I am an assistant professor of Film and Media Studies at Lafayette College, where I teach classes on film history, early and silent-era cinema, minor media practices (found footage, home movies, amateur 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. I received my Ph.D. in Comparative Literature with a concentration in Film and Video Studies from Cornell University in June 2009. I received a B.A. in Comparative Literature and French from Emory University in 2002.
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 (and co-edited a book on the subject). 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. You can read more about my published and forthcoming research here.
I used to maintain a blog called Half/Films. Like a lot of blogs, it had a finite lifespan. It got its name from an archivist at the Filmmuseum in Amsterdam, who used the term “half films” to describe the scraps of cinema I selected to screen. “Half films” inhabit the vast margins of the archives: untitled, unauthored, seemingly infinite in number, and unrestored even in their digital afterlives. I am still writing and thinking about “half films,” even if I am no longer blogging about them. You can find the archives of my posts here.