Ben Singer

Ben Singer's picture
  • Associate Professor
  • Film
Office Hours:
  • Thursday 1:45 - 3:45 PM
Expertise and Activities: 

My research has focused on social and historical issues in American silent cinema, the aesthetics of avant-garde film, and the history of film theory, particularly theory in the first third of the 20th century. My first book examined the genre of sensational melodrama in early American cinema, tracing its transposition from popular theater and documenting its social and discursive contexts with respect to experiential and ideological transformations associated with modernity. A second work collects and analyzes the writings of Alexander Bakshy, a pioneering theorist of spectatorship who argued for a modernist conception of overt presentationalism. I am currently doing research on late Romantic currents, both stylistic and thematic, in early film criticism and avant-garde film.

Education

  • B.A. Harvard University, 1985
  • Ph.D. Cinema Studies, New York University, 1996

Articles

  • 1988. "Film, Photography, and Fetish: The Analyses of Christian Metz." Cinema Journal 27:4 , 4-22 .
  • 1990. "Jeanne Dielman...Cinematic Interrogation and 'Amplification'." Millennium Film Journal 22 , 56-75 .
  • 1995. "Manhattan Nickelodeons: New Data on Audiences and Exhibitors." Cinema Journal 34:3 , 5-35 .
  • 1987. "Connoisseurs of Chaos: Whitman, Vertov and the 'Poetic Survey'." Literature/Film Quarterly 15:4 , 247-258 .
  • 1988. "Early Home Cinema and the Edison Home Projecting Kinetoscope." Film History 2:1 , 37-70 .

Books

  • 2001. Melodrama and Modernity: Early Sensational Cinema and its Contexts. Columbia University Press .

Chapters

  • 2004. "Feature Films, Variety Programs, and the Crisis of the Small Exhibitor." Cinema's Transitional Era: Audiences, Institutions, Practices , Charles Keil and Shelley Stamp University of California Press .

Courses

  • CA 664 - Classical Film Theory
  • CA 463 - Avant-Garde Film
  • CA 354 - Styles and Genres