Skip to content


Katie Bird is a doctoral student in Film Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. She holds BA degrees in Film Production and English from Loyola Marymount University. She earned her MA in Literary and Cultural Studies from Carnegie Mellon University. Katie’s research is grounded in a materialist history of transnational film industry and exhibition practices. She is currently working on a number of projects focusing on historical craft labor discourse and aesthetics.

Kevin M. Flanagan is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Critical and Cultural Studies program at the University of Pittsburgh. He is writing a dissertation on strange (and silly) representations of war in 1960s and 1970s British cinema. Kevin is the editor of Ken Russell: Re-Viewing England’s Last Mannerist (2009). He has published essays and reviews in (among others) Framework, Proteus: A Journal of Ideas (a piece on the film of Terry Southern’s The Magic Christian that is either forthcoming or recently released), Media Fields Journal, the Journal of British Cinema and Television, Film & History, and the Journal of American Studies in Turkey. This year, he is indulging his longstanding interests in videogame culture through several conference presentations and invited talks.

Hannah Frank is a doctoral candidate in Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago, where she is writing a dissertation on the visual aesthetics of American celluloid animation. Her writing has appeared in the Slavic & East European Journal, the Quarterly Review of Film & Video, and The Believer. She is also, on occasion, an experimental animator.

Abigail Hall Gilmore was born and raised in Aberdeen, South Dakota. She did her undergraduate work at Concordia College in Fargo, North Dakota, double majoring in Art History and French and minoring in Business Management. She is currently in the Art History graduate program at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, and is several months from graduating. She has worked as a collection manager in several museums, most recently in the American Museum of Asmat Art and the University of St. Thomas, and finds a great deal of joy working directly with pieces.

Abigail’s academic areas of interest revolve around theatricality, Surrealism, bar design, and contemporary architecture. She frequently writes on the connections between human emotion and the architectural construction of space, and finds the ability of architects to construct emotionally charged areas fascinating. Her master’s research focuses on the architecture of H. R. Giger, and the theatricality and visitor experience manipulation of his site-specific, total design bars.

Elizabeth Gleesing is currently a second-year MA student in the English Studies program at Western Washington University. Her research interests include auto/biographical representation in twentieth and twenty-first century US and global literatures and film.

David Haeselin is a PhD Candidate in Literary & Cultural Studies at Carnegie Mellon University. His dissertation, “Searching…A Cultural History of ‘Free’ Information, 1936-1998,” charts the aesthetic response to scientific techniques for organizing and retrieving visual and textual media.  To that end, this project attempts to contextualize emergent developments in the discipline of pre-war information science as overlooked foundations in the computerized methods of information retrieval that now underlie the modern search engine.

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.

Kalling Heck is a PhD student at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. His work revolves around questions of aesthetics as they pertain to moments of political transition.

A. Shaun Kurian is currently working on a Masters in Art and Design with a concentration in Animation at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. He holds a B.A. in Film Studies and Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his academic interests include world cinema, visual effects, and interaction design.

Gabe Levine is a musician, interdisciplinary artist, and PhD candidate in the Graduate Program in Social and Political Thought at York University, Toronto. His dissertation, “Radical Vernaculars: experiments with tradition between politics and performance,” focuses on current North American artistic projects that take “tradition” as a starting point for creative experimentation. The thesis argues that by reanimating vernacular material that has been consigned to the past, these projects – with their different strategies of retrieval, redemption, remixing, and resurgence – carry a powerful political promise.

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!

Travis Matteson is a PhD student at SUNY University at Buffalo. His research is currently focused on the intersection between contemporary experimental poetry, media study, and universal language systems.

Kartik Nair is a PhD Candidate in Cinema Studies at New York University. His dissertation project, “Cheap Thrills in the Long Decade,” focuses on the history of low-budget horror films in 1980s India.

Niels Niessen is a doctoral candidate in Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota. His work has been published in journals including Discourse and Cinema Journal. In September 2013 he will defend his dissertation, which will form the basis for his first book project, “A Cinema of Life: The New Realism of the French-Walloon Cinéma du Nord.”

Justin Ramm is a graduate student enrolled in the Poetics program at the University at Buffalo. He enjoys studying American poetry and literature where they converge with or dissolve into sound, film, and other media. Tactility and the elegiac are of additional interest.

Brian Real is a PhD Candidate in Information Studies (or, more simply put, Libraries and Archives) at the University of Maryland, College Park. At UMD, he currently works for both the recently-launched film studies program and the Information Policy and Access Center (iPAC), a policy research center that focuses on issues involving digital literacy and public libraries. His in-process dissertation focuses on the impact of American public policy on film preservation from the mid-1960s to the present.

   James Rosenow is a PhD candidate in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago. She has a Masters in Art History from Williams College. Her work, and soon to be proposed dissertation, is focused on reassessing and possibly redefining amateur film production in America during the twenties and thirties. Her essay—“Translated Modes of Poe-etic Synesthesia in Early Amateur Cinema”—is currently being published in ArtLaboratory Berlin’s edited volume Synaesthesia: Discussing a Phenomenon in the Arts, Humanities, and (Neuro-)Science (forthcoming 2014).

Jason Kelly Roberts is a PhD candidate in the Screen Cultures program at Northwestern University. His dissertation, “The Awkward Ages: Film Criticism, Technological Change, and Cinephilia,” investigates popular and academic film criticism across moments of major technological change, from the coming of sound to the dominance of home video formats. He earned a BA in English at the University of Colorado at Denver, and an MA in Film Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. He has taught classes on film analysis and cultural studies at DePaul University in Chicago, and on multi-platform auteurs at Northwestern. He is also Assistant Director at Northwestern’s Office of Fellowships.

Zach Saltz is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Film and Media Studies. He received his B.A. in History from Concordia University, Portland, and his M.A. from the University of Kansas. His interests include traditional and digital media regulation, transnational cinema and censorship, and political economy of film and television. He has published articles for Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture and the Scarecrow Press.

Alexander Thimons is a PhD candidate whose research interests are in television history and theory, tourism studies, museums studies, and critical geography. His dissertation is about attempts to display global spaces on travelogue, educational, and public service television programs in the 1950s. It argues that these programs helped situate television as a “global medium” at a time when live global broadcasting was not yet possible. He has an MA from Northwestern and a BA from Cornell University.

Seth Watter is a third-year PhD candidate in the Department of Modern Culture & Media at Brown University. He is a co-organizer of Magic Lantern Cinema, an experimental film and video series based in Providence, RI. His research interests include film theory, performance, the avant-garde, horror cinema, and philosophical aesthetics.