Research and Teaching Interests:
I teach classes on film history, early and silent-era cinema, minor media practices (found footage, home movies, amateur and orphan works), visual culture, media archaeology, and sound theory. Before arriving at Lafayette, I directed the Film and Visual Culture program at the University of Aberdeen in northeast Scotland.
In my current research, I explore approaches to film history, film archives, and film artifacts. I am interested in the ways we write and think about film history and archival research, and the development of film history as a field in film studies. I am also interested in the intersections between silent film and new media. I am currently working on a handful of papers: (1) an analysis of drones, climate change, and the work of mourning; (2) a study of the figure of fire as it circulates in philosophies of history and migrates to film theory; and (3) a comparative account of two digital archives of silent film. I also hope to write a book about archives and the environment.
Bad Film Histories: Ethnography and the Early Archive (forthcoming, University of Minnesota Press, 2018)
New Silent Cinema (co-editor) (Routledge/AFI, 2015)
“Mixed Media: Ethno-zoography and the Archives de la Planète,” in The Zoo: Images of Exhibition and Encounter, co-edited by Michael Lawrence and Karen Lury (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016)
“Alice in the Archives” in New Silent Cinema, co-edited by Katherine Groo and Paul Flaig (Routledge/AFI, 2015), 17–37
“The Maison and Its Minor: Lumière(s), Film History, and the Early Archive,” Cinema Journal 52:4 (Summer 2013): 25–48
“Shadow Lives: Josephine Baker and the Body of Cinema,” Framework 54:1 (Spring 2013): 7–39
“Cut, Paste, Stutter, Glitch: Remixing Silent Film History” Frames 1:1 (2012)
Works in Progress:
“Let It Burn: Film Historiography in Flames,” forthcoming in Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture
“Weird Loops: Drone Cinemas, Climate Change, and the Work of Mourning,” forthcoming in Cinema of Exploration: Essays on an Adventurous Film Practice, eds. James Leo Cahill and Luca Caminati (American Film Institute/Routledge, 2019)
“Cults of the Digital” (in progress)
“Minor Cinemas, Minorating Practices” (in progress)
“Animalcules, Polypiers, and Diatums: The Visual Science of Scientia” (in progress)