Members of the Film Studies Steering Committee include Robin Blaetz, Hannah Goodwin, Bernadine Mellis, Amy Rodgers, Ajay J. Sinha, Paul Staiti, and Elizabeth Young.
Emily Dickinson Professor of Film Studies; Chair of Film Media Theater
Robin Blaetz teaches Introduction to Film, History of World Cinema, Film Theory, and Experimental Film, as well as courses in various genres, including the Musical and Documentary. Her scholarly work centers on women and film; she has published an anthology called Women’s Experimental Cinema: Critical Frameworks (Duke University Press, 2007) and Visions of the Maid: Joan of Arc in American Film and Culture (Virginia University Press, 2001). Her current project explores the connections between the films of Joseph Cornell and his better known boxes.
Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies
Hannah Goodwin teaches Introduction to Media Studies, as well as various courses on contemporary media cultures. Her research bridges film and media studies with science and technology studies. Goodwin is currently working on the manuscript of her first book, Sky, Stars, and Screen: Cinematic Cosmologies, 1896 – 1962, which traces the intersecting histories of cinema and astronomy. She has also done interdisciplinary research on social media and censorship in Mongolia, Turkey and Zambia as part of a team of researchers at UC Santa Barbara.
Five College Senior Lecturer in Film Media Theater; on leave 2020-2021
Bernadine Mellis teaches video production with an emphasis on documentary and experimental narrative. Her own films span political/personal non-fiction and experimental fiction. Her documentary, The Forest for the Trees, follows environmentalist Judi Bari’s civil case against the FBI. Bernadine also directed The Odyssey, a collaborative, queer adaptation of Homer's epic. Bernadine is currently working on two projects: a story about children of the New Left, and a documentary about alternative burial practices.
Visiting Lecturer in Film Media Theater
Elliot Montague's films explore the nuances of trans and queer narratives through engagement with familial relationships, spirits, and rural landscapes. His work has contributed significantly to the current wave of "New Trans Cinema." Over the past two decades, Montague's films have received international recognition at dozens of festivals and museums, including the Media Arts Festival in Osnabruck, Germany, the Tribeca Film Festival, the Anthology Film Archives in New York, and the Dashanzi Arts Festival in Beijing, among others. Montague is a twice recipient of the prestigious Princess Grace Award from the Princess Grace Foundation and his films are partially distributed through Women Make Movies and Video Data Bank.
Associate Professor of Film Media Theater; Dean for the Senior Class
Amy Rodgers' research focuses on early modern literature and culture, audience and popular culture studies, theories of adaptation, and dance studies. Her publications include essays on the Renaissance court masque, Hindi-language cinema director Vishal Bhardwaj, Shakespeare's history plays' influence on HBO's Game of Thrones, and performance genealogies that cross different communicative forms, particularly theater and dance. In her role as Dean for the Senior Class, Rodgers focuses on offering additional academic guidance to seniors as they progress toward graduation and shape their goals for the future; she also supports faculty advisors and department chairs in their work with seniors.
Ajay J. Sinha
Professor of Art History
Ajay Sinha teaches the history of Asian art at various levels, and seminars on Indian photography and Indian film. In his classes, students explore how the visual arts in India, China, Japan and other Asian countries reflect political and social formations and embody cultural values, and make visible the historical connections between local cultures and global networks both past and present, and between religious beliefs and secular life. He has published books and scholarly journal articles on the art and architecture of ancient India, and modern and contemporary art of South Asia including photography and film. Sinha is also a member of the Asian studies and film studies programs.
Professor of Fine Arts on the Alumnae Foundation
Paul Staiti teaches courses in American art and cinema. He has authored books and essays on John Singleton Copley, Gilbert Stuart, Winslow Homer and other American artists. His most recent book, “Of Arms and Artists: The American Revolution Through Painters’ Eyes,” is concerned with the diverse ways in which painters responded to the crisis of the American Revolution. He co-curated the 1995 John Singleton Copley show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Currently, in anticipation of an exhibition scheduled for Versailles and the Metropolitan, Staiti is researching the Americans who visited the court of Louis XVI.
Carl M. and Elsie A. Small Professor of English; Chair of English
Elizabeth Young teaches courses on American literature, women’s writing, film, and visual culture. Her courses often focus on intersections among gender, race, and sexuality in U.S. culture and on combinations of literary and visual materials. Her scholarly research includes the books Black Frankenstein: The Making of an American Metaphor, Disarming the Nation: Women’s Writing and the American Civil War, and Pet Projects: Animal Fiction and Taxidermy in the Nineteenth-Century Archive.
Academic Department Coordinator
Associate Professor of Spanish, Latina/o and Latin American Studies; on leave 2020-2021
Professor Crumbaugh’s research focuses on contemporary Spain. He is the author of Destination Dictatorship: The Spectacle of Spain’s Tourist Boom and the Reinvention of Difference (SUNY Press 2009) and co-author of Spanish Fascist Writing (U of Toronto Press forthcoming). Professor Crumbaugh’s articles have appeared in the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies, the Hispanic Review, the Hispanic Research Journal, the Revista de Estudios Hispánicos, and other scholarly venues. His publications include studies on the cultural formations surrounding the Franco dictatorship, tourism, terrorism, and political victimhood.
Helen Day Gould Professor of French
Samba Gadjigo's research focuses on French-speaking Africa, particularly the work of filmmaker Ousmane Sembene. In 2001, Gadjigo was instrumental in bringing the Senegalese filmmaker to MHC for screenings and discussions of his work.
Professor of Film Media Theater
Vanessa James is an international designer of sets, costumes and lighting for theater and opera. She is an art director for feature films and television, has received an Emmy citation and been nominated for three Emmy awards. Examples of her work are in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute library, and the New York Museum of the Moving Image. She is the author of two books of popular reference, The Genealogy of Greek Mythology, and Shakespeare’s Genealogies, both published by Penguin USA.
Mary Lyon Professor of Humanities; Chair of German Studies and Jewish Studies
Karen Remmler’s interdisciplinary research and teaching in English and German focuses on the politics and cultures of memory in the aftermath of atrocity and war in European and transnational contexts; German literature, film, and sites of memory within transnational contexts; 19th century critical social thought through the lens of contemporary social critics; and the interrelationship between national processes of transitional justice and the work of memory in films by the descendants of genocide survivors and perpetrators in non-western contexts.
David W. Sanford
Elizabeth T. Kennan Professor of Music
David Sanford teaches courses in music theory, composition, music and film, and jazz history. As a composer, his works have been commissioned by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Speculum Musicae, the Meridian Arts Ensemble, and cellist Matt Haimovitz, and also performed by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Chicago Symphony Chamber Players, and the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra under Marin Alsop among others. He is the leader of the contemporary big band, the Pittsburgh Collective.