Skip to content


Mal Ahern is a PhD student in the joint program in Film Studies and History of Art at Yale University. Previously, she was registrar at the Museum of the Moving Image, where she managed the physical care and documentation of the museum’s collection. Her research primarily focuses on the interplay between postwar American art and cinema.

Manuel Betancourt is a PhD candidate at the English department at Rutgers University. His dissertation project, “Being in the Picture: Movie-Made Writers and Postwar Queer Literature,” argues that for writers such as Tennessee Williams, Manuel Puig and Gore Vidal, the experience of movie-going coupled with their fan-like attachment to cinema formally influenced their writing.

Michael Chiappini is a first-year English MA student at Case Western Reserve University specializing in queer theory and twentieth and twenty-first century American literature. His research involves queer affects and bodily transgression in popular culture.

Born and raised in the heart of Pennsylvania, Joshua Demaree grew up with a love for film, diners, and Fleetwood Mac. He currently holds a BA (magna cum laude) from the University of Pittsburgh in Film Studies and the History of Art & Architecture (with a Philosophy minor) and is currently a second-year MA candidate in the Visual & Critical Studies program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Matt Harris is a Ph.D. candidate in Cultural Studies at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. He received his M.A in Film Studies from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario in 2011. Expanding upon his Master’s Thesis which focused on the manifestations of cinephilia in the work of Quentin Tarantino, his current research further explores the stylistic and thematic ramifications of cinephilic filmmaking practices, as well as investigating cinephilia as a cultural phenomenon with particular focus on its evolution as necessitated by the digital age’s diffusion of the cinephilic experience beyond the theatrical setting.

Adam Charles Hart’s dissertation at the University of Chicago is entitled “‘Something to Be Scared Of’: Placing the Horrific in the Cinema,” advised by Tom Gunning, James Lastra, and Adam Lowenstein. The dissertation discusses the horror genre’s increased emphasis on abjection (rather than “monstrosity”) in recent decades, and this shift’s impact on the viewer’s experience and understanding of horror films. His essay “Trends in 21st Century Horror” will be published in The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to the Horror Film (ed. Harry Benshoff, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, forthcoming 2013).

Kalling Heck is a Ph.D. student in Media, Cinema and Digital Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. His research generally deals with questions of continental philosophy as they pertain to art house (particularly Asian and European) cinema.

Lily Hughes recently received her master’s in Communication, Culture & Technology (CCT) from Georgetown University where she focused on contemporary representations of gender and sexuality in new media and technology. Before Georgetown, Lily graduated from the University of East Anglia with a first class degree in Film and American Studies. She has previously published work on asexual identity in Georgetown University’s communication journal, Gnovis.

Jenn Hyland recently received her MA in Liberal Studies from The New School for Social Research, and her thesis “pr0n: Internet Pornography & Digital Culture” examines the changing landscape of Internet pornography in the 21st century. Her research interests include pornography and sex work, un/popular cultures, and digital media.

Dominic Leppla is a doctoral student in Film & Moving Image Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema of Concordia University, Montréal, where he also serves as coordinating online editor for the Permanent Seminar on Histories of Film Theories. He received his MA in Film History & Visual Media from Birkbeck, University of London, and did several stints at the British Film Institute thereafter. His research interests include Marxist discourses, reconsideration of the melodramatic mode in cinema, alternative public spheres in the digital age and their connection to cinephilia, and community building in/around cinema during periods of perceived social instability.

Originally from Monterrey, Mexico, Juan Llamas-Rodriguez is currently pursuing a Masters in Film Studies at Concordia University in Montreal. Previously he obtained a BA in Cinema Studies and Economics from the University of Toronto. He is interested in the study of film distribution, especially informal and alternative forms of moving image circulation in the US and Latin America. As well, his work focuses on the politics of access surrounding digital media. Professionally, he has been involved with various niche film festivals in Toronto and Montreal.

Nicholas Loess is an award-winning filmmaker and visual artist feverishly chasing a PhD in the School of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph. His research explores the critical and aesthetic relationship between Improvisation and Intermediality in experimental film, video art, and improvised music. While his work is heavily influenced by Chris Marker, Sun-Ra, Dziga Vertov, Trinh Minh-Ha and Peter Greenaway, the energy behind his PhD is nourished by a practice-based model of synthesizing his research into a collaboratively structured series of improvised colloquia in consort with aural improvisers. He is excited!

Hannah Mueller is a third year graduate student at Cornell University in the department of German Studies. She graduated with a Master in Art and Media Studies, German Literature and Philosophy from Konstanz University in Konstanz, Germany in 2004. In the following years, she worked as a journalist, press relations officer and editor in academic publishing, before joining the graduate program at Cornell. She is currently teaching German language classes at Cornell University and working as a translator for the Müller :: Kluge – Conversations between Heiner Müller and Alexander Kluge video collection hosted by Cornell University and Bremen University. Her research interests focus on popular culture, film, fan studies and gender studies. She is working on a dissertation project about the dissolution and reconstitution of genre and gender concepts in contemporary fandom.

Matthias Mushinski is currently finishing his undergraduate degree as part of the Film Studies Specialization program at Concordia University. He is also an employee at La Boite Noire vidéo club in Montréal.

Laura Nevins is currently working on her M.A. in Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her academic interests include film, popular culture, and constructions of gender, and she is beginning work on her thesis project which explores female sexuality and representations of women in science fiction movie posters of the 1950s.

Caitlin Reynolds is a Master’s Student in Communication Studies at Kansas State University focusing on visual media, film, and meme culture. Her interests include B-films, narrative rhetoric, queer theory, and the history of memory. She is currently completing a thesis research on the history and rhetoric of the Yahoo! GeoCities archival movement.

Karly-Lynne Scott is a first year doctoral candidate in Screen Cultures at Northwestern University. Her research focuses on philosophical questions about corporeality raised by cinema— questions about the representation, perception and knowledge of sensations through cinema; about the affect produced by cinematic images and the moral and ethical issues that follow from the erotic presentation of bodies on screen.

Luke Stadel is a PhD candidate in Screen Cultures at Northwestern University. He also holds an MA in Film Studies from the University of Iowa. His work has been published in Music, Sound, and the Moving Image; Spectator; and Popular Communications, and he has pieces forthcoming in Quarterly Review of Film and Video. He is currently researching a dissertation on the history of television sound.

Jerrine Tan is a first year PhD student in the English department at Brown University. She received her BA in Economics and English from the University of California, Berkeley. She is interested in 20th century American literature and film and intends to focus her research around topics such as gender/sexuality and queer theory. She is particularly interested in the varying ethical experiences of reading texts and viewing films.

Rachel Thibault is a PhD candidate in the Department of Communication at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her dissertation focuses on the articulations of gender and cinephilia in online film criticism. She is also a Visiting Lecturer in the Communication Department at the SUNY Geneseo.

Seth Watter holds a BA in Cinema from Binghamton University and is currently a second-year doctoral candidate in the Department of Modern Culture & Media at Brown University. His research focuses broadly on the status of the body in lens-based media, particularly on issues such as the relationship between gesture and language, the affective contract between actor and viewer, and the heritage of physiognomy in the cinema. He is a co-director of Magic Lantern Cinema, an avant-garde film series based in Providence, RI.