I received my PhD (2007) and my MA in Communication Arts (Film Studies) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and my HonBSc in Physics and Cinema Studies (1999) from the University of Toronto.
My current research focuses on film sound and music. I am interested especially in the relationship between the industries of popular music and film during 2 critical eras of change: the late 1920s (marking Hollywood’s transition to sound) and the 1980s (marking the global diffusion of digital music technologies). How did these changes affect the development of film music and sound design? How did these developments differ across various national film industries? Most of my research is guided by an “historical poetics of cinema,” which means that I usually ask how films are made in particular historical contexts, and in order to achieve which certain effects. For example, I’ve tried to figure out how composers working in Hong Kong in the 1980s and 1990s harnessed the new global popularity of synthesizer pop music, and how the resulting film scores served vital narrative functions in the industry’s celebrated action cinema of the period.
I am willing to supervise graduate students who are pursuing research on subjects of film style, film history, the American film industry, film sound and music, and cognitive studies of film. Occasionally, I have undergraduate and graduate assistantship opportunities for students engaged in primary archival research. Contact me for more information.
I have taught a variety of undergraduate courses, including Film and Narrative; Film History 1895-1939; American Film 1929-1969; Classical Film Theory; Hong Kong Cinema; Early Film; Film Sound, Music and Narrative; Film and Technology. My graduate seminars include Film Melodrama and Film Historiography.
Journal Articles and Book Chapters:
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