- Teaching Assistant
- 2153 Vilas Hall
- Thursdays 1:30 - 3:30 PM
- And by appointment
My research focuses on the industrial history of American cinema. My dissertation, “(Re)Programming the Movies: Distribution Planning and Production Control in the Early Studio System,” examines the shifting and mutually determined relationship between film distribution and “macro-scale” production planning from 1915 to 1924. Using primary evidence from corporate production and distribution records, correspondence, and the trade press, I argue that over the course of the late teens and early twenties, the major distributors developed precise mechanisms of macro- scale production control. This set of practices, which in the mid-teens operated at the level of the studio plant and served primarily to keep costs consistent, had transformed by 1924 into a system that operated in tandem with distribution planning to control inputs, schedule and differentiate releases through tiering, and maximize profits.
I am also interested in applying digital tools, particularly the computational analysis of large-scale quantitative and qualitative datasets, to industrial questions of film and media history. I am currently developing and curating two datasets. The first stores filmographic information based on Lauritzen and Lundquist’s American Film-Index (echo.commarts.wisc.edu), allowing scholars to contribute their own well- sourced data as well as reference and comment upon the data of others. I have also built a database of cost ledgers from the records of the 4500 Sunset Boulevard studios from 1914-17 (qmhdb.commarts.wisc.edu).
I am in charge of data curation and management for a grant project I co-authored, funded as part of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ “Digging Into Data” Challenge. The project, known as Arclight (projectarclight.org), maps “trends” in media history as a way of quantitatively assessing the cultural influence of stars, films, studios, the trade press, and other institutions. You can try out the Arclight app here (try searching for a favorite classical Hollywood star).
My other research interests include the history and aesthetics of animation (particularly the early history of Warner Bros.), early cinema, broadcasting history, avant-garde and cult cinema, and low-budget and B-film production and distribution.
For more information on my teaching, research, and digital projects, see my professional website.
- M.A. Film Studies, Emory University, 2010
- B.A. History, Middlebury College, 2008
- The Anne Friedberg Innovative Scholarship Award (shared with Eric Hoyt and The Media History Digital Library and University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Communication Arts Teams) , Society for Cinema and Media Studies , 2014
- Helen K. Herman Award , Department of Communication Arts , 2013
- Co-author of successful NEH Digging Into Data Challenge grant , Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council , 2013
- 2015. "Reconstructing Rose Hobart: Joseph Cornell's Recutting of East of Borneo." New Review of Film and Television Studies , 13:4, 313-353 , http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17400309.2015.1064741 .
- 2013. "Television Distribution of Low-Budget Independent Features in the 1950s: The Cases of United Artists v. Strand Productions and Eagle-Lion Classics v. Bogeaus." The Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television , 33:1, 99-114 , http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01439685.2013.770942 .
- 2012. "The Highway Shock Film: History, Phenomenology, Ideology." The Projector: an electronic journal on film, media, and culture , Fall 2012 , http://www.theprojectorjournal.com/uploads/5/4/9/9/54999077/fall2012_downloadabl... .
- 2014. "Scaled Entity Search: A Method for Media Historiography and Response to Critiques of Big Humanities Data Research (Coauthored with Eric Hoyt, Kevin Ponto, Kit Hughes, and Anthony Tran)." Proceedings of the 2014 IEEE International Conference on Big Data , https://bighumanities.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/hoyt.pdf .
- 2015. "Production Control and the Early Studio System: Star Tiering and Feature Differentiation at Fox, 1917-21," Society for Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference , Monreal, Quebec, Canada , March 27, 2015 .
- 2014. "Feature Standardization at 4500 Sunset Boulevard: Notes from the Reliance-Majestic and Triangle-Fine Arts Cost Ledgers, 1914-17," Society for Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference , Seattle, WA , March 23, 2014 .
- 2013. "The Influence of the Vitaphone Short on the Industrial Logics of Early Warner Bros. Animation," Society for Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference , Chicago, IL , March 10, 2013 .
- 2012. "Feuillade in America: New Evidence on the Distribution and Reception of Fantomas and Les Vampires in the United States, 1913-1920," Society for Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference , Boston, MA , March 21, 2012 .
- 2010. "A Great Guy with Something to Sing About: James Cagney, Star Authorship, and Grand National Pictures," On, Archives!: A Conference on Media, Theater and History - Sponsored by the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research , Madison, WI , July 08, 2010 .
- CA 100 - Introduction to Speech Composition
- CA 155 - Introduction to Digital Media Production
- CA 552 - American Cinema Since 1970
- CA 357 - History of Animation