Sarah Mae Fleming





2156 Vilas Hall

Sarah Mae Fleming

Sarah Mae Fleming is a Film Ph.D. student in the Department of Communication Arts. She focuses on sound and music in film studies with an emphasis on cognitivism. Her work has investigated the ways in which sound and music work to develop narrative comprehension and character alignment. Sarah Mae’s current projects examine the cognitive challenges and pleasures of puzzle films, as well as consider the historical and aesthetic tradition of punk rock filmmaking and archiving.

Upcoming and Recent Conference Presentations: 

  • 2024 – SCSMI, “From Memento to Memoria: A Sonic Inquiry into the Challenges and Pleasures of Puzzle Films”
  • 2024 – MaMI, “A Reluctant Filmmaker: Sunny Singh’s Documentation of Dissent in the Hate5six Archive”
  • 2024 – SCMS, “Hardcore Preservation: Punk Culture and Institutional Memory in the Hate5six Archive”
  • 2023 – SCSMI, “Sonic Subjectivities: Examining the Role of Music in Accessing ‘Difficult’ Characters”
  • 2023 – MaMI, “Looping into the Mind: Audiovisual Aesthetics and Narrative Comprehension in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  • 2019 – SCMS-U, “You see, my wife’s dad is real well off: Money Obscured in the Coen Brothers”
  • 2018 – SCMS-U, “There Will Be Oil: The Celebration and Inevitability of Petroleum through Upton Sinclair and Paul Thomas Anderson”


  • Student Research Grant, 2023
  • Robert J. Wickhem Award in Media Production, 2023
  • Sharon Sites Award, 2022


  • M.A. with Distinction – Communication Arts, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 2023
  • B.A. – English and Film Studies, Rhode Island College, 2019


  • CA 100 – Introduction to Speech Composition
  • CA 313 – Horror Films
  • CA 350 – Introduction to Film
  • CA 355 – Introduction to Media Production


  • Editorial Board Member for Velvet Light Trap 2022 – present
  • GSO Representative, 2022-2023 academic year