Recent and Ongoing PhDs

Recent Completed Dissertations

Erica Moulton (2023)

“From Bestseller to the Big Screen: The Acquisition and Development of Popular Novels in Classical Hollywood”
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Matt St. John (2023)

“United Slates: The Evolution of the American Film Festival System”
Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research

JJ Bersch (2022)

“Pack Your Product’s Bags, It’s Going Hollywood: Explaining the Mainstream Emergence of Cinematic Product Placement in the 1980s”
Blank Check podcast

Luke Holmaas (2022)

“The Best Gag in the Picture: Gag-Based Comedy’s Adaptability in Blockbuster-Era Hollywood Cinema”
University Wisconsin-Madison

Hamidreza Nassiri (2022)

“Iranian Cinema in the Digital Era: The Implications of Digital Technologies on Local and Global Power Relations in Film and Media Industries”
Fordham University

Megan Boyd (2021)

“Legitimizing Laughter: The Rise of Feature Comedy”
University of Cincinnati

Maureen Rogers (2020)

“Getting in on the Act: How Exploitation Cinema Remade the New Hollywood (and Vice Versa)”
Shapiro & Raj

Jonah Horwitz (2019)

“Live Television Drama and Its Cinematic Legacies”
University of Pittsburgh

Nora Stone (2018)

“Marketing the Real: The Creation of a Multilayered Market for Documentary Cinema”
University of Alabama

Brandon Colvin (2018)

“Making It Real: Performance Styles and Contexts in Contemporary American Microbudget Cinema”
University of Alabama

Matt Connolly (2018)

“Underground Exploiteer: John Waters and the Development of a Directorial Brand, 1964-1981”
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Eric Dienstfrey (2018)

“The Stereo Impulse: High Fidelity Cinema and the Making of Modern Surround Sound Aesthetics”
Ursinus College

Derek Long (2017)

“Reprogramming the movies: distribution strategy and production planning in the early studio system, 1915-1924”
University of Illinois

Chelsea McCracken (2017)

“Riding the Gay New Wave into New Queer Cinema: revealing the contexts that created a movement”
State University of New York, Oneonta

Jenny Oyallon-Koloski (2017)

“An aesthetic of contradictions: Jacques Demy, Choreography, and the musical genre”
University of Illinois

Booth Wilson (2017)

“The most European cinema: Yakov Protazanov across borders, 1909-1930”
Shenzhen University, China

Amanda McQueen (2016)

“After ‘the Golden Age’: an industrial history of the Hollywood musical, 1955-1975”
New York University

John Powers (2016)

“Conjuror’s box: technology and aesthetics in postwar American avant-garde cinema”
Washington University in St. Louis

Andrea Comiskey (2015)

“The Sticks, the Nabes, and the Broadways: U.S. Film Distribution, 1935-1940”
Franklin & Marshall College

Heather Heckman (2014)

“Undervalued Stock: Eastman Color’s Innovation and Diffusion, 1900-1957”
University of South Carolina

Mark Minett (2013)

“Expanding the Standard Story: Rethinking ‘Early Altman’ and the Elaboration of Classical Hollywood Storytelling”
University of South Carolina

Dissertations Underway

John Bennett
“Mediterranean Film Cultures in Light of Algerian Independence”

Tim Brayton
“The Illusion of Depth in Animation”

Pauline Lampert
“Not Just an Actor: Socially Conscious Stardom and the Rise of the Post-War Actor-Producer”

Thomas Macpherson
“Towards a Poetics of Landscape”

David Vanden Bossche
“Man and Camera Become One”: Analyzing the influence of the Steadicam on Camera Movement in American Cinema,1974-94”

Zach Zahos
“Beyond Distinction: New Possibilities in Art House Film Distribution”