Speakers

Jason Mittell

Jason Mittell is Professor of Film & Media Culture and American Studies at Middlebury College. He arrived at Middlebury in 2002 after two years teaching at Georgia State University. He received a B.A. from Oberlin College and a Ph.D. from University of Wisconsin – Madison.

He is the author of Genre and Television: From Cop Shows to Cartoons in American Culture (Routledge, 2004), Television and American Culture (Oxford University Press, 2010), and Complex Television: The Poetics of Contemporary Television Storytelling (NYU Press, forthcoming), and and the co-editor of How to Watch Television (NYU Press, 2013). He maintains the blog Just TV.

His research interests include television history and criticism, media and cultural history, genre theory, narratology, animation and children’s media, videogames, and new media studies & technological convergence. He was a founding member of the Public Policy Committee for the Society for Cinema & Media Studies, and is actively involved in advocating for fair use rights in education and media.

At Middlebury, Professor Mittell teaches a range of courses on media and American culture. Recent courses include Television & American Culture, Theories of Popular Culture, Urban America & Serial Television: Watching The Wire, Sustainable Television: Producing Environmental Media, Storytelling in Film & Media, Media Technology & Cultural Change, and The Art of Animation.

In the 2011-12 academic year, he was a visiting fellow at the Lichtenberg-Kolleg at the University of Göttingen, Germany, collaborating with colleagues on the Popular Seriality research initiative.

 Maria Engberg

Maria Engberg is currently Associate Professor (Universitetslektor) at the Dept of Media Technology at Malmö University (Faculty of Technology and Society). She holds a Ph.D. in English from Uppsala University (2007). During the fall 2011, she was Visiting Professor at the (now) LMC department at Georgia Tech, Atlanta, teaching media studies and a studio class in experimental augmented and mixed reality applications. 2007-2014, she was Universitetslektor in English and Digital Culture at the Department of Technology and Aesthetics, Faculty of Computing, Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH) in Karlskrona (Sweden), where she worked in the Bachelor of Arts in Literature, Culture, and Digital Media and the Bachelor of Science program Digital Culture and Communication.

Her research interests include digital media studies, digital media production, mobile Augmented and Mixed Reality technologies, digital visual culture, in particular computational photography, social media, and digital literature. Her PhD dissertation studied the interaction patterns, aesthetics and historical context of various genres of digital poetry (“Born Digital: Writing Poetry in the Age of New Media” Uppsala University, 2007).

Her current theoretical and practical projects focus on exploring how today’s digitally mediated cultures prompts a shift in how we perceive and co-create in a world that increasingly involve mediated experiences, a mode that she calls “polyaesthetic.” Hence, the name of the blog, found at http://polyaesthetics.net/.

Her current research projects include a single-authored book on contemporary aesthetic practices and locative media, “Polyaesthetics: Experiencing Digital Cultures.”

She has also launched a research track that involves practical digital media work in Augmented and Mixed Reality, in collaboration with Georgia Tech’s Augmented Environments Lab where she is Research Affiliate. With Prof Jay David Bolter she has also formed a collaboration, called far & near, in which they design and create mobile mixed reality experiences (farnear.net).

 Jamieson Webster

Jamieson Webster is a psychoanalyst in private practice New York City. She teaches at Eugene Lang College at The New School and supervises doctoral students at The City University of New York. She is the author of The Life and Death of Psychoanalysis (Karnac, 2011) and Stay, Illusion! The Hamlet Doctrine(Random House, 2012). She has written for The New York TimesCabinet, The GuardianApology Magazine, and Playboy. She has published clinical and theoretical articles in many psychoanalytic publications.

 Alessandra Stanley

Alessandra Stanley is the chief television critic for The New York Times. Before that, Ms. Stanley was a foreign correspondent for the newspaper, serving as Rome bureau chief from 1998 to 2001, and the Moscow bureau from 1994 to 1998. She has also covered national politics and metropolitan news for The Times. Before joining The Times, Ms. Stanley was a writer and correspondent for Time magazine. She has also written articles for The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, GQ magazine and Vanity Fair. Born in Boston, Mass., Ms. Stanley grew up in Washington, D.C., and Europe, and studied literature at Harvard University. She speaks French, Italian and Russian. She lives in New York City.

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André Aciman is Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature and the director of The Writers’ Institute at The Graduate Center, CUNY. He is the author of the memoir Out of Egypt, and of two collections of essays, False Papers: Essays on Exile and Memory and Alibis: Essays on Elsewhere. He has co–authored and edited The Proust Project and Letters of Transit. He is also the author of three novels, Call Me by Your Name, Eight White Nights, and Harvard Square. His books have appeared in many languages. He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a fellowship from The New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The New Republic, The Paris Review, as well as in many volumes of The Best American Essays.

Elizabeth Alsop earned her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the CUNY Graduate Center and her B.A. in Comparative Literature from Brown University. She is currently an Assistant Professor of English and Film at Western Kentucky University. Her research interests include 20th-century British and American fiction, especially the modernist novel; film and television studies; and narrative theory. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in College Literature, The Velvet Light Trap, The Quarterly Review of Film and Video, The New York Times Magazine, and the L.A. Review of Books, among other places. Her current book project explores the evolving function of dialogue in early twentieth-century Anglophone fiction.

Leah Anderst is Assistant Professor of English at Queensborough Community College, CUNY where she teaches courses in writing, film studies, and literature. She earned her PhD in Comparative Literature from the CUNY Graduate Center in 2010, and her research interests include narrative theory, autobiography, film and documentary, and writing pedagogy. Her articles, reviews, and translations have appeared in edited volumes and publications such as Narrativea/b:Auto/Biography StudiesSenses of CinemaThe Daily News, and Orbis Litterarum. Her edited volume of essays, The Films of Eric Rohmer: French New Wave to Old Master (Palgrave), was published in 2014. She has an article forthcoming in the fall 2015 issue of Narrative that considers the role of reader empathy in autobiography.

Monica Calabritto received her “Laurea” degree in Classics at the Università degli Studi di Pisa and her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, with a specialization in Renaissance Studies, from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her research focuses on the interaction between medicine and literature and between medicine and law in early modern Italy and Europe, as well as on the relation between visual and verbal media in early modern European culture.

Presently, she is completing two books. One is the result of archival research performed in good part during a year spent in Italy with an I Tatti Fellowship (2004-2005) from the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies in Florence. Her study focuses on the analysis and interpretation of the tensions between legal theory and practice and among legal, medical and social perspectives vis-à-vis the notion of insanity. The other book is a collection of essays, Emblems of Death in the Early Modern Period, co-edited with Peter Daly, on emblems and imprese of death produced in Europe between the sixteenth and the eighteenth century.

She is the author of the introduction to the first modern English translation, by John Crayton and Daniela Pastina, of Tomaso Garzoni’s The Hospital of Incurable Madness (Tempe, Arizona: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2009) and of numerous essays and articles on Garzoni, imprese, gendered madness, melancholy, the relationship between literature and medicine in literary and medical texts, and the structure and function of various medical genres vis-à-vis the illness of melancholy in the early modern period.

Marc Dolan is Professor of English, Film Studies, and American Studies at John Jay College, CUNY, and the CUNY Graduate Center.  He is the author of Bruce Springsteen and the Promise of Rock’ n’ Roll (in English from W. W. Norton, also available in Norwegian and Czech editions).  In addition, he has written and lectured on: serial creativity in Twin PeaksThe Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, and Lost; Fozzie Bear and the triumph of alienation; The Last Movie as an American Otto e mezzo; Ellery Queen’s shifting simulacrum of New York City; the triangular censorship of Preston Sturges’ The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek; how the measurement of U.S. broadcast and recording audiences changed during the Swing Era; the cultural poetics of “The Lost Generation”; and the posthumous reputation of Herman Melville.  His essays have appeared in the Journal of Urban HistoryESQPoliticoSalon, and American Songwriter.  He has spoken at the 92nd Street Y, the Irish Arts Centre, Le Poisson Rouge, and the Poison Pen Reading Series, and on the BBC Newshour, WGBH, CNN, Radio Nova, and the Road Dog Trucking channel on Sirius XM Radio.

Julie Grossman is professor of English and Communication and Film Studies at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York, where she teaches courses in literature, film, and gender and cultural studies. She has published numerous scholarly articles on film, literature, art, and adaptation. Grossman is co-editor of A Due Voci: The Photography of Rita Hammond (Syracuse University Press, 2003) and author of Rethinking the Femme Fatale in Film Noir (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009, 2012) and Literature, Film, and Their Hideous Progeny (forthcoming from Palgrave Macmillan in the fall of 2015). She is co-author of a monograph (with Therese Grisham) on the directing work of Ida Lupino (forthcoming from Rutgers University Press in 2016), and she is co-editor (with R. Barton Palmer) of the book series Adaptation and Visual Culture (Palgrave Macmillan).

Leigh Claire La Berge is Assistant Professor of English in the Department of English at Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY. Her book Scandals and Abstraction: Financial Fiction of the Long 1980s was recently published by Oxford University Press. Her co-edited volume Reading Capitalist Realism (Iowa, 2014) was released last year in the New American Canon series. In 2012, La Berge co-curated an exhibition on art and debt, “To Have and To Owe” with Laurel Ptak at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts in NYC. She has published articles on Zizek; labor politics in the contemporary university; The Wire; the history of the discourse of abstraction in political economy; and American Psycho, among other topics. She has articles forthcoming on artists in debt, the literary turn in economic anthropology, and on the artist Caroline Woolard.

Bettina Lerner is Assistant Professor of French and Comparative Literature at the City College and the Graduate Center, CUNY. She earned her PhD from Yale in 2004. Her research focuses on popular culture and literature in nineteenth-century France.  She has published on Michelet as well as on the nineteenth-century serial novel and is the co-editor of a special issue of Yale French Studies on Myth and Modernity (May 2007). She received an ACLS fellowship in 2008. Her first book entitled Inventing the Popular: Literature and Culture in Nineteenth-Century Paris is forthcoming. Her second book project focuses on the development of intellectual property law in nineteenth-century France.

Giancarlo Lombardi is a Professor of Italian, French, and Comparative Literature at the College of Staten Island and here at the Graduate Center. He received his doctoral degree in Romance Studies at Cornell University and afterward taught at the University of Rochester, Middlebury, Rutgers, and Smith. He has published extensively on European and North American women writers, Italian film and television studies, cultural studies, and, most recently, on American serial drama. He is the author of Rooms with a View: Feminist Diary Fiction published by Fairleigh Dickinson in 2002, and is the co-editor, together with Ruth Glynn and Alan O’Leary, of Terrorism Italian Style and Remembering Aldo Moro both dedicated to cultural representations of Italian political terrorism. He is currently finishing two projects, a monograph on the rhetoric of fear in Italian television drama from the ’60s and ’70s, and an edited volume on New Italian Political Cinema. He has just begun working on a new research project on modes of emplotment in crossnational television drama.

Ellen Nerenberg is Hollis Professor of Romance Languages & Literatures (Italian Studies) and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Wesleyan University, where she has been a faculty member since 1994. Her Prison Terms: Representing Confinement During and After Italian Fascism (University of Toronto Press, 2001) won the Howard R. Marraro Prize from the Modern Language Association for the best book on an Italian subject in the 2000-01 biennial. She is the co-editor of Writing Beyond Fascism: Cultural Resistance in the Works of Alba de Cèspedes (Fairleigh-Dickinson University Press, 2000) and co-editor and co-translator of Marco Baliani’s Body of State: The Moro Affair, A Nation Divided (Fairleigh-Dickinson University Press, 2011). Her study of three prominent murder cases in contemporary Italy and the cultural representations of the issues these murders gave rise to, Murder Made in Italy: Homicide, Media, and Contemporary Italian Culture, was published by Indiana University Press in March 2012. She holds degrees from Stanford University and The University of Chicago.

Jacqueline Reich is newly-appointed Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University.  Her areas of expertise include star studies, masculinity, film history and theory, fashion studies, and Italian and Italian American cinema. She is the author of Beyond the Latin Lover: Marcello Mastroianni, Masculinity, and Italian Cinema (Bloomington: Indiana UP, 2004) and co-editor of Re-viewing Fascism: Italian Cinema, 1922-1942 (Bloomington: Indiana UP, 2002). She also curates the book series New Directions in National Cinemas for Indiana University Press. In addition, she has published and lectured widely on Italian American film, fashion and Italian cinema, and early twentieth-century physical culture in the United States and Italy. At present she is working on two book projects: The Maciste Films of Italian Silent Cinema (Forthcoming, Indiana UP), in collaboration with the National Film Museum in Turin, and a study of Italian masculinity and stardom (Forthcoming, Il Castoro). In Fall 2011 she was awarded a mid-career fellowship from the Howard Foundation at Brown University.

Christa Salamandra is a Syrian media specialist and Associate Professor of Anthropology at Lehman College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She received a Ph.D. From the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford, where she also served as Postdoctoral Research Associate. She has been a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology, The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, a Fulbright Scholar and Visiting Professor at Lebanese American University in Beirut, and a Visiting Fellow at the New Islamic Public Sphere Programme, University of Copenhagen. She received a 2009 American Council of Learned Societies/SSRC/NEH International and Area Studies Fellowship for her current book project on the Syrian TV drama industry. She serves on the Editorial Board of the journal Arab Media and Society.

Paul Julian Smith came to the Graduate Center as Distinguished Professor in 2010. He is an internationally recognized critic in Hispanic cultural studies. He has been Visiting Professor in ten universities including Stanford, NYU and Carlos III, Madrid and has given over 100 lectures and invited papers around the world. Elected a fellow of the British Academy in 2008, his interests are wide-ranging and interdisciplinary. His Writing in the Margin (Oxford University Press, 1988) was the first systematic application of poststructuralist critical theory to literature of the Spanish Golden Age, and The Moderns: Time, Space, and Subjectivity in Contemporary Spanish Culture (Oxford University Press, 2000) was a groundbreaking examination of Spanish urban space. As the Spanish film critic for the British Film Institute’s Sight and Sound magazine, Smith has written dozens of reviews and, as the author of Desire Unlimited: The Cinema of Pedro Almodóvar (Verso, 1994 and 2000), earned a reputation as the major world scholar on the films of the Spanish director. Smith went beyond the field of cinema in Contemporary Spanish Culture: TV, Fashion, Art, and Film (Polity, 2003) to examine cultural areas that receive less academic attention; and his 2007 work Spanish Visual Culture: Cinema, Television, Internet (Manchester University Press) explores emotion, location, and nostalgia in each of these media. His most recent book is Spanish Practices: Literature, Cinema, Television (Oxford: Legenda, 2012). Smith’s research also focuses on Mexico, including a book on the groundbreaking film Amores Perros (BFI, 2003). He was a juror at the Morelia Film Festival in Mexico in 2009 and at the San Sebastián International Film Festival in 2013, is a regular contributor to Film Quarterly, and is one of the founding editors of the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies. A tribute (‘homenaje’) to him was held at the Universidad Complutense, Madrid in 2013 and his most recent book was launched at four events in Mexico in 2014, including at the Cineteca Nacional in Mexico City and the Guadalajara International Film Festival. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, where he was the Professor of Spanish for nineteen years before coming to the Graduate Center.

Ying Zhu is a Professor in and Chair of the Department of Media Culture at the College of Staten Island, CUNY. She has published eight books, including Two Billion Eyes: The Story of China Central Television (New Press, 2014). Her first research monograph, Chinese Cinema during the Era of Reform: The Ingenuity of the System(2003) initiated the study of Chinese cinema within the framework of political economy. Her second research monograph, Television in Post-Reform China: Serial Drama, Confucian Leadership and the Global Television Market (2008), together with two book volumes in which her work featured prominently—TV China (2009) and TV Drama in China (2008)—pioneered the subfield of Chinese TV drama studies. Her work has been translated into Chinese, Dutch, French, Italian, and Spanish. Her publications further appear in leading academic journals and major media outlets such as The AtlanticChinaFile, CNN, Foreign Policy, The Los Angeles TimesThe New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. A recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship and an American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, Zhu has given talks and keynote speeches at leading universities and media institutions around the globe. She reviews manuscripts for major publications and evaluates grant proposals for research foundations in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, the U.K., and the U.S. Zhu also produces current affairs documentary films, including Google vs. China (2011) and China: From Cartier to Confucius (2012), both screened on the Netherlands Public Television. She is currently working on a book, The Sino-Hollywood Courtship that parallels Hollywood’s contemporary China expansion and cooptation with the dominance and local resistance of American films in China during China’s Republic era.

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