Media Studies Dissertation


Listed by year of graduation


Anna Dimitrova

Jedd Hakimi, Visiting Lecturer, Department of English, University of Pittsburgh

Julie Nakama, Visiting Lecturer, Department of English, University of Pittsburgh


Natalia Ryabchikova

Dan Chyutin, Teaching Fellow, Tel Aviv University and Open University of Israel


Kevin Flanagan, Visiting Lecturer, Department of English, University of Pittsburgh

Candice Wilson, Assistant Professor of Film and Digital Media, University of North Georgia-Gainsville


Usha Iyer, Assistant Professor of Film Studies, Stanford University

Kathleen Murray, Senior Writer/Editor, MarCom Group, Washington DC

Seung-hwan Shin, Adjunct Instructor in East Asian Studies (NTS), University of Pittsburgh

John Trenz, Adjunct Instructor of English (NTS), University of Pittsburgh


Kristen Fallica, Digital Strategist, Chicago Humanities Festival


Ryan Pierson, Assistant Professor, Department of Communications, Media and Film, University of Calgary

Colleen Jankovic


Alison Patterson, Lecturer in English and Film Studies (NTS), University of Pittsburgh


Tanine Allison, Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies, Emory University

Amy Borden, Assistant Professor of Film and Theater, Portland State University

Rick Warner, Assistant Professor (TTS), University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill


Kara Andersen, Assistant Professor of Film (TS), Brooklyn College

Molly Brown, Research Director, Wise Brother Media

Jill Dione, Retired

Salomé Aguilera Skvirsky, Assistant Professor, Department of Cinema and Media Studies and the College, University of Chicago

Kyle Stevens, Assistant Professor of Film Studies, Appalachian State University

Kirsten Strayer


Gregory Allen

Manisha Basu, Associate Professor of English and African Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Amanda Klein, Associate Professor of Film Studies (TS), East Carolina University


Dana Och, Lecturer in English and Film Studies, University of Pittsburgh

Daniel Wild

  • Dissertation: The Writing on the Screen: Images of Text in the German Cinema from 1920-1949
  • Chair: Marcia Landy (English)
  • Readers: Paul Bové (English), Lucy Fischer (English), Linda Shulte-Sasse (German, McAllister College)


Anustup Basu, Associate Professor of English and Media and Cinema Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • Link to professional profile >
  • Dissertation: Mantras of the Metropole: Geo-Televisuality and Contemporary Indian Cinema
  • Chair: Marcia Landy (English)
  • Readers: Paul Bové (English); Eric Clarke (English); Colin MacCabe (English); M. Prasad (Film Theory, Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages, Hyderabad)

Clare Connors, Instructor (NTS), University of Pittsburgh

  • Dissertation: Hollywood Youth Narratives and the Family Values Campaign 1980-1992
  • Chair:  Lucy Fischer (English)
  • Readers: Troy Boone (English), Marcia Landy (English), Carol Stabile (Communications)


Julia Turner

  • Dissertation: Reading Scars: Circumcision as Textual Trope
  • Chair: Philip Smith (English)
  • Readers:  Lucy Fischer (English), Mariolina Salvatori, Greg Goekjian (Portland State University)


Emily T. Bauman, Master Teacher of Liberal Studies, New York University

  • Dissertation: Dreaming in Crisis: Angels and the Allegorical Imagination in Postwar America
  • Chair: Colin MacCabe (English)
  • Readers: Ronald Judy (English), Jonathan Arac, Nancy Condee (Slavic)

Andrew C. Miller, Associate Professor and Chair of Media Studies and Digital Culture, Sacred Heart University


Michael G. Aronson, Associate Professor of English and Director of Cinema Studies, University of Oregon

Hugh S. Manon, Associate Professor of Screen Studies and Director of the Screen Studies Program, Department of Visual and Performing Arts, Clark University

  • Link to professional profile >
  • Dissertation: As Far As Anyone Knows: Fetishism and the Anti-Televisual Paradoxes of Film Noir
  • Chair:  Lucy Fischer (English)
  • Readers: Valerie Krips, James Knapp, Henry Krips (Communications)


Kara Keeling, Associate Professor of Critical Studies and American Studies and Ethnicity, University of Southern California


Patricia Caillé, Assistant Professor, (TTS) Université Robert Schuman de Strasbourg and Institute of European Studies, Paris

  • Dissertation:  French Film Criticism, Authorship, and National Culture in the Mirror of John Cassavetes’s Body, His Life, His Work
  • Chair:  Lucy Fischer (English)
  • Readers:  Marcia Landy (English), James Knapp

Ellen Kreger, Associate Dean for Learning and Assessment Services, Mercy College

  • Dissertation: In The Shadow of His Language: Language and Feminine Subjectivity in the Cinema
  • Chair:  Colin MacCabe (English)
  • Readers:  Lucy Fischer (English), Lynn Emanuel, Patrizia Lombardo (French and Italian)

David Sidore, Associate Professor, English, Macon State College


Patrice Fleck, Professor, English, Northern Virginia Community College

  • Dissertation: The Emergence of Date Rape: Feminism, Theory, Institutional Discourse, and Popular Culture
  • Chair: Jane Feuer (English)
  • Readers: Nancy Glazener (English),  Lucy Fischer (English), Carol A. Stabile (Communications)


Anne Ciecko, Associate Professor, Communications, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Joy Fuqua, Associate Professor, Media Studies, Queens College

Lori Shorr, Chief Education Officer, Mayor of Philadelphia’s Office

  • Dissertation: Technology, the Natural and the Other: The Case of Childbirth Representations in Contemporary Popular Culture
  • Chair:  Lucy Fischer (English)
  • Readers: Marcia Landy (English), Dana Polan, Iris M. Young (Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh)

Amy Villarejo, Professor and Chair, Theatre, Film & Dance Department, Cornell University


Ellen Bishop, Lecturer, University of Pittsburgh

Matthew Tinckom, Associate Professor of Communications, Culture, and Technology and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Georgetown University


Madhava Prasad, Professor of Film and Cultural Studies, Centre for European Studies, Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages (Hyderabad, India)


John Champagne, Professor of English, Penn State Erie, the Behrend College


Linda Mizejewski, Professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Ohio State University

Cinema and Media Studies - Academic Year 2017-2018

Mikki Kressbach, Perfect Contagion Machine: Digital Media, Scientific Evidence, and Emergent Outbreaks on Screen (Cinema and Media Studies, Autumn 2017)

Jordan Schonig, Cinema's Motion Forms: Film Theory, the Digital Turn, and the Possibilties of Cinematic Movement  (Cinema and Media Studies, Autumn 2017)

Sabrina Negri, Archival CLues: Film, Digital, and the Evidential Paradigm (Cinema and Media Studies, Summer 2017)

Cinema and Media Studies - Academic Year 2016-2017

Ling Zhang, Sound Images, Acoustic Culture, and the Transmediality in 1920s-1940s Chinese Cinema (Cinema and Media Studies, Spring 2017)

Emily Capper, Allan Kaprow and the Dialectives of Instruction, 1947-1968 (Cinema and Media Studies, Spring 2017)

Richard M. Davis, Wit and Wordplay: The Japanese Wartime Musical Film, 1931-1945 (Cinema and Media Studies, Autumn 2016)

Kenneth Eisenstein, Dismembering: The Activity of the Archive in Hollis Frampton (Cinema and Media Studies, Autumn 2016)

Hannah Frank, Looking at Cartoons: The Art, Labor, and Technology of American Cell Animation (Cinema and Media Studies, Summer 2016)

Mario Slugan, Fictions, Narrators, and Early Cinema (Cinema and Media Studies, Spring 2016)

Junko Yamazaki, Jidaigeki's Postwar: Visions of the Present in Japanese Period Films (Cinema and Media Studies, 2016) 

Cinema and Media Studies - Previous Academic Years

Matt Hauske, Cowboy Modernity: Contexts of the Hollywood Western, 1946-1964 (Cinema and Media Studies, Spring 2015)

Daniel Johnson, Interstitial Dimensions: Anonymity and Asynchronicity in Contemporary Media Cultre (Cinema and Media Studies, Spring 2015)

Ian Jones, Enough of a World: A Phenomenology of Videogame 'Weltlichkeit' (Cinema and Media Studies, Spring 2015)

Dong Liang, The World Heard: Sound, Film Theory, and the Cinematic Experience (Cinema and Media Studies, Summer 2015)

Adam Hart, A Cinema of Wounded Bodies: Sensational Abjection and the Spaces of Modern Horror (Cinema and Media Studies, Spring 2014).

Marianna Martin, Reading the Cards: Contemporary Genre Practice and Digital Audiences (Cinema and Media Studies, Autumn 2014)

Namhee Han, Technologies of Anamorphic Vision: Widescreen Cinema and Postwar Modernity in Japan and South Korea (Cinema and Media Studies, Spring 2014)

Adrienne Seely, Continuous Resonance: Early 1970's Film Aurality and the Technics of Becoming (Cinema and Media Studies, Summer 2014)

Colin Williamson, Watching Closely with Turn-of-the-Century Eyes: Obscured Histories of Magic, Science, and Animation in the Cinema, (Cinema and Media Studies, Spring 2013).

Po-Chen Tsai, Singing, Dancing, and the Mass Production of Non-Belonging: Musicals, Melodramas, Migration, and the Transnationalization of Hong Kong Cinema, 1940s to 1960s, (Cinema and Media Studies, Spring 2013).

Nathan Holmes, Welcome to Fear City: Crime Film and the Urban Imagination, 1970-1975 (Cinema and Media Studies, Summer 2012). 

Ivan Ross, Mediating the Historical Imagination: Visual Media and the U.S. Civil War, 1861-2011 (Cinema and Media Studies, Summer 2012). 

Michelle Puetz, Variable Area:  Hearing and Seeing Sound in Structural Cinema: 1966-1978 (Cinema and Media Studies, Spring 2012). 

Laura Zoe-Humphreys: Revolutions Within: Criticism and Ambivalence in Post-Soviet Cuban Cinema (Anthropology and Cinema and Media Studies, Spring 2012). 

Yuki Takinami, Reflecting Hollywood: Mobility and LIghtness in Early Silent Films of Ozu Yasujiro, 1927 - 1933 (Cinema and Media Studies, Spring 2012).

Doron Galili, Seeing by Electricity: The Emergence of Television and the Modern Mediascape, 1878-1939 (Cinema and Media Studies, Summer 2011). 

Inga Pollmann, Cinematic Life: Vitalism and the Moving Image (Cinema and Media Studies, Summer 2011). 

Diane Wei Lewis, Moving History:  The Great Kanto Earthquake and Film and Mobile Culture in Interwar Japan (Cinema and Media Studies, Summer 2011). 

Katharina Loew, Techno-Romanticism: Special Effects in German Fantastic Films of the Silent Era (Cinema and Media Studies & German, Summer 2011). 

Andrew Johnston, Pulses of Abstraction: Episodes from a History of Animation (Cinema and Media Studies, Spring 2011).

Scott Richmond, Resonant Perception: Cinema, Phenomenology, and the Illusion of Bodily Movement (Cinema and Media Studies, Spring 2011). 

Man Fung Yip, Martial Arts Cinema and Hong Kong Modernity: Bodies, Genders and Transnational Imaginaries (Cinema and Media Studies, Spring 2011). 

Laura Lee, Cinema of the Interval: Stop-Motion Animation and Japanese Film Aesthetics (Cinema and Media Studies, Summer 2010). 

Christina Petersen, Paradise for the Young:  Youth Spectatorship in the American Silent Film Era, 1904-1933 (Cinema and Media Studies, Summer 2010). 

Caitlin McGrath, Captivating Motion: Late-Silent Film Sequences of Modern Urban Perception (Cinema and Media Studies, Spring 2010)

Ariel Rogers, "Moving Machines: The Experience of New Technologies from Widescreen to Digital Cinema" (Cinema and Media Studies, Spring 2010)

Theresa Scandiffio, Better'n Any Circus That Ever Come to Town': Cinema, Visual Culture and Educational Programming at Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History 1921-35 (Cinema and Media Studies, Autumn 2008)

Sarah Keller, To Fill a Gap: Cinema and Poetry (Cinema and Media Studies, Summer 2008)

Lee Carruthers, Doing Time: Timeliness and Temporal Rhetorics in Contemporary Cinema (Cinema and Media Studies, Spring 2008)

Julie Turnock, Plastic Reality: Special Effects, Art and Technology in 1970s U.S. Filmmaking (Cinema and Media Studies, Spring 2008)

Joshua Yumibe, Moving Color: Aesthetic History of Applied Color Technologies in Silent Cinema (Cinema and Media Studies, Summer 2007)

Charles Tepperman, Communicating a New Form of Knowledge: Tracing the Amatuer Cinema League and Its Films (1926-1954) (Cinema and Media Studies, Spring 2007)
Charles Tepperman (2008) received the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Dissertation Award

Daniel Morgan, "A Feeling of Light": Cinema, Aesthetics, and the Films of Jean-Luc Godard at the End of the Twentieth Century (Cinema and Media Studies, Autumn 2007)

Chika Kinoshita, Mise-En-Scene of Desire: The Films of Mizoguchi Kenji (Cinema and Media Studies, Winter 2007)

Kaveh Askari, Moving Pictures before Motion Pictures: The Pictorial Tradition and American Media Aesthetics, 1890-1920 (Cinema and Media Studies, Summer 2005)

Weihong Bao, Baptism by Fire: Spectatorship and Aesthetic Affect In Chinese Cinema from Shanghai to Chongqing (Cinema and Media Studies/East Asian Languages and Civilizations, 2005).

Allison Whitney, The Eye of Daedalus: A History and Theory of IMAX Cinema (Cinema and Media Studies, 2005).

Other Departments

Before the Department of Cinema and Media Studies was founded in 1999, the following film-related dissertations were produced in other departments within the University of Chicago.

Paula Amad, Archiving the Everyday: A Topos in French Film History, 1885-1931 (2002)
Honorable mention for the SCS Dissertation Award in 2003.

Oliver Gaycken, Devices of Curiosity: Cinema in the Field of Scientific Visuality (English, 2005).

Terri Francis, Josephine Baker's Museum: Black Dance, French Cinema, Harlem Renaissance (English, 2004).

Robert Spadoni, The Uncanny of Early Sound Film: Classic Horror Cinema and the Return of the Medium-Sensitive Viewer (English, 2003).

Pedram Partovi, Developing Communication: Politics, MassMedia, and Society in Iran, 1945-1979 (History, 2003).

Michael Stamm, Mixed Media: Newspaper Ownership of Radio Stations and the Reorientation of American Culture, 1920-1950 (History, 2003).

Sharon Hayashi, Traveling Film History: Language and Landscape in Japanese Cinema, 1931-1945 (History, 2003).

Jean Ma, Time without Measure, Sadness without Cure: Hou Hsiao-hsien's Films of History (English, 2003).

Michelle Raheja, Screening Identity: Beads, Buckskin and Redface in Autobiography and Film (English, 2002).

Brandon Johnson, Spirits on the Stage: Public Mediums, Spiritualist Theater, and American Culture, 1848-1893 (History, 2000).

Jennifer Peterson, World Pictures: Travelogues and the Lure of the Exotic, 1896-1920 (English, 1999).

Jacqueline Stewart, Migrating to the Movies: The Emergence of Black Urban Film Culture (English, 1999).

Roderick Coover, Visualizing Cultures: Metaphors, Montage, and the Topologies of Worldmaking in the Representation of Performance and Politics in Ghana of the 1990s (History of Culture, 1999).

Temby Caprio, Women's Film Culture in the Federal Republic of Germany: Female Spectatorship, Politics and Pleasure from the Fifties to the Nineties (Germanic Studies, 1999).

Zhang Zhen, 'An Amorous History of the Silver Screen: Film Culture, Urban Modernity, and the Vernacular Experience in China, 1896-1937 (East Asian Lang. & Civ., 1998).
Zhang Zhen (2000) received the Society for Cinema Studies Dissertation Award

Teri Silvio, Drag Melodrama/Feminine Public Sphere/Folk Television: 'Local Opera' and Identity in Taiwan (Anthropology, 1998).

Lise Shapiro, Consuming Fantasies: Labor, Leisure, and the London Shopgirl, 1890-1914 (English, 1998).

Adam Lowenstein, Shock Waves: Trauma, History, and Art in the Modern Horror Film (English, 1998).

Arthur Knight, African-American Musical Performance and the Hollywood Musical (English, 1998).

Hank Sartin, Drawing on Hollywood: Warner Bros. Cartoons and Hollywood, 1930-1950 (English, 1998).

Brian Currid, The Acoustics of National Publicity: Music in German Mass Culture, 1924-1945 (Music, 1998).

Paul Young, Virtual Fantasies, Public Realities: American Cinema and the Rival Media, 1895-1995 (English, 1997).

Delia Caparoso Konzett, Diasporic Modernism: Anzia Yezierska, Zora Neale Hurston, Jean Rhys (English, 1997).

Sabine Haenni, The Immigrant Scene: The Commercialization of Ethnicity and the Production of Publics in Fiction, Theater, and the Cinema, 1890-1915 (English, 1997).

Leslie H. Abramson, In the Eye of the Director: Self-Reflexivity in the Films of Alfred Hitchcock (English, 1997).

Anne Wolverton, The Dilemmas of Gender in the Mass Media: Mary, Doug, and Charlie, 1915-1933 (History, 1996).

Andrea Sanders, Witnesses to the Cold War: A Literary and Cultural Analysis of Containments in 1950s Narratives by Hitchcock, Mailer, Kerouac, Ellison, Arnow, and Nabokov (English, 1996).

Geoffrey B. Pingree, Forging Witnesses: Rhetorics of Documentary Representation in the Spanish Civil War (English, 1996).

Alison Landsberg, Prosthetic Memory: The Logics and Politics of Memory in Modern American Culture (English, 1996).

Stephen Putnam Hughes, Is There Anyone Out There? Exhibition and the Formation of Silent Film Audiences in South India (SALC, 1996).

Anna Maria Torriglia, Textualizing Reconstruction: Postwar, Pre-Boom Italy in Cinema and Prose Fiction (Romance Lang. and Lit., 1995).

Anne G. Balay-Wilson, Domestic Modernism: Appropriations of the Feminine Past in American Women's Novels (English, 1994).

Pamela Robertson, Guilty Pleasures: Camp and the Female Spectator (English, 1993).

Shari Roberts, Seeing Stars: Feminine Spectacle, Female Spectators, and World War II Hollywood Musicals (English, 1993).

Candace Mirza, Collaboration as Resistance: Alternative Traditions within Classical Hollywood Filmmaking (English, 1993).

Marianne Conroy, Playing Both Ends against the Middlebrow: Difference, National Identity, and Cultural Value in the Postwar American Film (English, 1993).

Nancy Susan Wikarski, A Symphony of Shadows: The Transmigration of German Expressionism into American Film (English, 1990).

Mary Louise Devereaux, Epistemology of Cinema: Audience Response to the Moving Image (Philosophy, 1981).

John William Llewellyn, Narration in Novels and Film: An Approach to the Study of Filmic Adaptation of Novels (History of Culture, 1980).

Virginia Wright Wexman, The Hard-Boiled Detective on Film (English, 1976).

George Richard Buchanan, Rhythm and Experience: The Expanding Art of Rhythm in Novel and Film (Ideas and Methods, 1973).

George L. Mitchell, The Image of the City in the American Film: 1896-1928 (English, 1972).

Hannah Hardgrave, A Theory of Film Criticism (Philosophy, 1971).


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