Mattie Jacobs



2154 Vilas Hall

Matthew Jacobs

Mattie Jacobs is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He works within the intersecting fields of cognitive studies, rhetorical narrative theory, and film. His current project focuses on conversation depiction and how viewers develop a theory of mind for characters in movies. Previous projects looked at probability signaling and techniques of viewer cognitive priming and how excess is used as a narrative resource to focus attention.

Recent/Forthcoming Conference Presentations: 

2024 – SCSMI, “Night Sweats – The Somatic Cinema, Sweaty Embodiment, and Film Noir”

2024 – MaMI, “‘A smooth man on the ivories, hot on the trigger and cool in a jam’ – John Cassavetes’ Staccato and Jazz Noir”

2024 – ISSN, “Can We Read a Robot Writer’s Mind? Collaborative Authorship, the WGA strikes, and AI in the Writers’ Room”

2023 – SCSMI, “Talking at the Movies: Conversation Depiction, My Dinner with Andre, and Differentiating Dialogue”

2023 – SCMS, “Finished and Shelved: Studio Finances, Completion Bonds, and The Dynamics of What’s on the Chopping Block”

2023 – ISSN, “The Incomprehensible American: Disunity and Motivated Excess in Wim Wenders’ The American Friend

2023 – Narrative and Materiality, “Everything is Serial Now: Changing Film Narratives During Production and Audience Co-Creation”

2022 – ISSN, “You Laugh or You Groan: Charting the Coincidental and Improbable in Narrative Cinema”

2022 – SCMS, “Second Avenue Histrionics,” Melodrama and the Yiddish Shund Film in the Popular Presses of the 1930s”

2022 – SCMS Videographic and Digital Humanities Seminar participant, video work created/presented: “Friendly American Excess: The American Friend and Cinematic Excess”


2024 SCMS – Media Studies Journals Publishing Information Session


Student Research Grant, Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Funding – 2023

Helen K. Herman Memorial Fund Scholarship (Acknowledging graduate students who demonstrate academic ability, need, and participation in extra-curricular activities), 2023

Alan Nadel Prize for Graduate Student Presentation, Narrative 2022, Honorable Mention

Charles Chester Pearce Award in Rhetoric, Dept of Comm Arts, 2022, for research and presentation


Velvet Light Trap Submission Editor – 2023/24

Velvet Light Trap Reader Board 2020 – 2023


  • M.A. Film Division, Communication Arts, University of Wisconsin – Madison, 2022
  • B.A. The Film Studies Program, The Ohio State University, 2020


  • COM100/181 – Introduction to Public Speaking, Honors, 2020, 2021 – Instructor
  • COM 313 – Crime Films – Instructor
  • COM355 – Introduction to Media Production, Spring, Fall 2022 – TA, Summer 2023 – Instructor
  • COM350 – Introduction to Film, Spring 2023 – TA
  • COM467 – Advanced Cinematography, Fall 2023 – TA
  • COMM 609/659 – Advanced Motion Picture Workshop – TA