Michael Cowan is a film and media historian, as well as a Germanist, who joined the Department of Cinematic Arts following previous appointments at McGill University and the University of St. Andrews. His work has received numerous professional distinctions, including best book awards from Germany (Willy Haas Award), Italy (Limina Award) and the UK (BAFTSS); best article awards from SCMS and BAFTSS; and numerous grants and fellowships, most recently from the Humboldt Foundation.
Dana Alston is a Ph.D. candidate in Film Studies. He received his MFA in Film and Television Studies from Boston University and his dual BA's in Cinema Studies and Media Studies from the University of Oregon. His current work focuses on contemporary forms of film authorship, cinephilia, and industrial media commodification.
Rick Altman teaches courses on film sound, film genres, and narrative theory. In recent years he has taught courses on silent film sound and exhibition, Hollywood's conversion to sound, genre theory, the musical, the films of Rouben Mamoulian, and narrative theory.
Paula Amad is an Associate Professor of Film Studies and Chair of the Department of Cinematic Arts (Jan 2016-July 2018; August 2019-December 2020). She teaches and researches at the intersection of film history and film theory, with specialization in French cinema, nonfiction film, archive and memory studies, feminist film history, postcolonial theory and visual studies, and the relationship between photography and film.
Sam is an MA student in Film Studies. He received his BA in Media Studies and History from Indiana University. He is interested in emerging modes of digital media, historical representations of gender and sexuality, and how sex, desire, and romance are depicted on screen.
Lydia Brubaker is a second-year master's student in the Film Studies program. She received her B.A. in Cinematic Arts and Production from Indiana University Bloomington in 2021. Her research interests include horror, music in film, gender studies, temporality, and the representation of disability on screen.
Corey K. Creekmur is jointly appointed in Cinematic Arts and English and is affiliated with the Department of Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies. He is also affiliated with the South Asian Studies Program and directs the Institute for Cinema and Culture. His teaching and research focus on international popular cinema (especially American and South Asian), cross-cultural film genres, and the way in which such films interact with other media (such as music) as well as popular discourses of race, gender, and sexuality.
Head of Screenwriting
Anahita was selected as one of the 25 New Faces of Independent filmmaking in 2013 by the Filmmaker Magazine, and was in the list of 20 rising female filmmakers by IndieWire in 2017. She was a writing fellow at the Sundance Screenwriters’ Lab in January 2013, artist-in-residence at Museum of Fine Art Houston's Core Program 2013-2015, and has been mentored by filmmakers such as Jane Campion and Abbas Kiarostami. Doha Film Institute Grant, Tribeca Film Institute's IWC Filmmakers' Award, Sarah Jacobson Annual Film Grant, Sundance Institute/ Doris Duke Foundation Grant for Islamic Arts and George C. Lin Emerging Filmmaker Prize are among her professional accomplishments.
Head of Film Studies
Christopher Goetz is a film, digital media, and videogame scholar whose research focuses on fantasy and play across a range of platforms, from cinema to interactive digital media.
F. Wendell Miller Associate Professor
Interim Director of Graduate Studies
Christopher Harris makes films and video installations that read African American historiography through the poetics and aesthetics of experimental cinema. His work employs manually and photo-chemically altered appropriated moving images, staged re-enactments of archival artifacts and interrogations of documentary conventions. His current project is a series of optically-printed 16mm experimental films in conversation with canonical works of African-American literature.
Matthew Hipps is a Ph.D. candidate in the Film Studies program. He received his M.A. in Film Studies from Columbia University, and his B.S. in Communication with majors in Motion Pictures and Political Science from the University of Miami. His research and teaching interests include early film, animation, nontheatrical film and media, fan and audience studies, and immersive storytelling.
Arman Hodasefat is an independent filmmaker. He received his M.A. in Film Studies from the Art University of Tehran in 2017, and his B.A. in Architecture from the University of Guilan in 2013. His recent work focuses on an interdisciplinary idea of using the technical principles of architectural design in long-take shots and continuous shot feature films.
Moin Kadir is an independent filmmaker. He received his B.S.S. and M.S.S in Mass Communication and Journalism from the University of Dhaka. He is interested in directing, screenwriting and photography. His main focus is on narrative film, working with drama, science fiction, dark comedy and horror.
Ruedi Kuenzli taught courses at the University of Iowa in contemporary theories, literatures and cultures of the 19th and 20th centuries, interarts, and the avant-garde. He has published books on Marcel Duchamp, Dada and Surrealist Film, André Breton, Surrealism and Women, and New York Dada. He served as the editor of Dada/Surrealism and the Director of the International Dada Archive at the University of Iowa.
Jonathan R. Lack is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Iowa’s Department of Cinematic Arts. He earned his B.A. and M.A. summa cum laude from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and has written, published, and podcasted on film and media since the age of 10. His research specializes in East Asian cinema, with a particular focus on Japanese film and animation, and has written extensively on directors such as Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata. His approach aims to study film and media in ways that are uniquely personal, interdisciplinary, and accessible for a wide audience of both scholars and casual viewers. Alongside Sean Chapman, he is host of The Weekly Stuff Podcast, a long-running show about movies, TV, and video games, and Japanimation Station, a seasonal anime podcast. You can read his work at www.JonathanLack.com.
Visiting Assistant Professor
Instructional Services Manager
Franklin Miller has been making films, videos, and television programs with over 100 major credits since 1961. His early experience was in documentary and narrative forms, including writing and producing a theatrical feature film. Since 1970, he has been working in shorter, more experimental forms that combine and layer live-action footage into collages that fall somewhere between photography and painting. He has also explored techniques in 3D modeling and animation.
Administrative Services Coordinator (Curriculum)
Julia Anna Morrison
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Julia Anna Morrison is a poet and screenwriter from Alpharetta, Georgia. She has an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and a B.A. in English from the University of Georgia. She is a 2014 Nightboat Books Poetry Prize finalist, a recipient of the Friedman Fellowship from the University of Iowa and a 2014 Yaddo Residency Fellow.
Dr. Kathleen Newman is an associate professor in Spanish & Portuguese at the University of Iowa. Her research and teaching focuses on Latin American, Chicano, and Spanish cinemas as well as on theoretical questions regarding the relation between fictional narrative and politics and the relation between cinema and globalization.
Director of Graduate Studies
Hayley O’Malley is a film historian and literary critic, and her interdisciplinary scholarship focuses on African American film, visual culture, literature, and political thought. She is particularly interested in the formation of alternative film cultures and is writing about the efforts of artists and activists to build a Black feminist film culture in the latter half of the 20th century.
Associate Professor of Instruction,
Officer of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Andrew Owens’ research and teaching interests include global film and television history, media industry studies, historiographic methodologies, contemporary occultism, and LGBTQ+/gender/critical race theories. His book, Desire After Dark: Contemporary Queer Cultures and Occultly Marvelous Media (Indiana University Press, 2021), provides an industrial and cultural history of how modern occult practices have risen to on-screen prominence over the past half-century during moments of profound transnational anxiety surrounding sexual, gender, and racial mores.
Leighton Pierce uses video and sound to create experiences in transformative time. He creates multi-channel site-specific installations as well as single channel works that have been exhibited in major art museums and film festivals throughout the world including the 2016-17 Kochi Muziris Biennale, The Whitney Bienniale, and many festivals including Sundance, San Francisco, New York, Tribeca, Ann Arbor, and Rotterdam.
Nathan Platte teaches courses on film music and other 20th- and 21st-century topics for the School of Music. His research explores film music and sound of Hollywood’s studio era from a variety of angles, including the collaborative process of film scoring, the intersection of technology and music, the role of studio orchestras, and soundtrack albums.
Lauren Rabinovitz's current research and teaching interests include early cinema and culture, feminist film history and theory, and theories and history of visual spectacles. Her books include a social history of women, For the Love of Pleasure: Women, Movies, and Culture in Turn-of-the-Century Chicago and a critical study of feminist filmmakers, Points of Resistance: Women, Power, and Politics in the New York Avant-Garde Cinema, 1943-1971.
Cinematic Arts Educational Advisor
University Shared Services Representative
Instructional Service Specialist
Co-Head of Playwrights Workshop
Lisa Schlesinger's plays include Celestial Bodies, Wal-martyrs, Same Egg, Manny and Chicken, Rock Ends Ahead, The Bones of Danny Winston, and Twenty-One Positions (with Naomi Wallace and Abdel AbuSrour). She is currently writing the libretto, Harmonicus Mundi, the second piece in the Celestial Bodies Trilogy and In the Wake of the Graybow Riots, for her Slow Theatre Project.
Andrea Schuster received a B.A. in Communication and Philosophy from the University of Iowa, an M.F.A. in Film from Boston University, and an M.A. in English from Oregon State University. She worked as a negative cutter and digital filmmaking instructor in Seattle before returning to Iowa as a Ph.D. student.
Rosemarie Scullion’s research and teaching focus on twentieth-century French literary and cultural studies, French women writers and feminist/gender theory, contemporary European literary theory, French cinema and modern French history and historiography. She offers a wide range of interdisciplinary courses that bring literary, cinematic and cultural texts into critical dialogue.
James O. Freedman Professor of Letters
From his position in the English department, Garrett Stewart regularly teaches film in graduate courses on critical methodology and media ecology. Beyond his studies of narrative fiction, poetics, and conceptual art, his books on screen media include Between Film and Screen (1999), Framed Time: Toward a Postfilmic Cinema (2007), Closed Circuits: Screening Narrative Surveillance (2015), Cinesthesia: Museum Film and the Curated Screen (2018), Cinemachines (2020), and The Metanarrative Hall of Mirrors: Reflex Action in Fiction and Film (2022).
Head of Film and Video Production
Hope Tucker transforms what we know as a daily form of terse, text-driven narrative through The Obituary Project, a compendium of moving image that gives new life to the antiquated documentary practice of salvage ethnography.
Steven Ungar taught Cinema, French Studies, and Comparative Literature at The University of Iowa from 1976 to 2020. His book-length publications include Roland Barthes: The Professor of Desire (1983), Scandal and Aftereffect: Blanchot and France Since 1930 (1995), Popular Front Paris and the Poetics of Culture (2005), Cléo de 5 à 7 (2008), and Critical Mass: Social Documentary from the Silent Era to the New Wave (2018). He is editing a critical edition and English translation of Chris Marker’s early film writings.
Zachary Vanes received his M.A. in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and his B.A. in English Literature and Film Studies from DePauw University.
After studying Psychology and Philosophy as an undergraduate, and then working in the mental health industry as a mentor and teacher for several years, Chris earned his M.F.A. at Boston University, writing his thesis on the work of the American experimental animator Don Hertzfeldt. As a PhD candidate at the University of Iowa, Chris has conducted research on doppelgängers, digitality, documentary studies, Left Bank cinema, posthumanism, genre theory, epistolary aesthetics, collectivist ontology, and cinematic depictions of the afterlife.
David Wittenberg teaches in the English Department and the Department of Cinema and Comparative Literature. He is the author of Time Travel: The Popular Philosophy of Narrative (Fordham University Press, 2013) and Philosophy, Revision, Critique: Rereading Practices in Heidegger, Nietzsche, and Emerson (Stanford University Press, 2001).
Negar Torabi Soufi Amlashi
Negar is an M.F.A. student in Film and Video Production. She began her studies in Film at an early age, receiving her BA in Cinema and Editing in Iran and worked as a video editor where she fell in love with the art.
Yuqin He received her M.A. in East Asian Studies from New York University in 2023 and B.A. in Chinese Language and Literature from Beijing Normal University in 2017. Her research interests include film history, Chinese cinema, modern Chinese literature and affect theory.
Bruce Elgin has a B.A. in English from the University of Iowa, an M.F.A. from National University and has won awards for his screenplays, his novels and his teaching.
Malik is pursuing an M.F.A. in Film and Video Production. He completed a BA in Film Production and Anthropology from Hampshire College. Malik is invested in the restorative qualities of documentary media and narrative cinema.
Getong is an MFA student in Film and Video Production. He creates works that derive from his interests in film, poetry, and music. They often touch upon the ambiguity and fallout between fantasy and reality.
Dean Bakopoulos is an Associate Professor of Cinema and Screenwriting Arts. He teaches Topics in Screenwriting and Advanced Screenwriting I. He has written several novels and has received several awards.
Graduate Program Coordinator
A multidisciplinary artistic practitioner, educator, and film industry professional from Baltimore, Maryland who focuses on the creation of media, sound, and art objects. After receiving a dual degree in Theatre and Electronic Media in 2017 at Towson University, she completed her MFA in Documentary Media with certificates in Critical Theory and Reflective and Effective Teaching Practices at Northwestern University in 2023. Her work seeks to move between digital and physical spaces; crossing boundaries in both theoretical and material ways. She’s most interested in craft, the body, and how we represent the digital on physical media. Laura’s video work has been displayed and published in galleries, theatres, and digital spaces around the world; most notably at the Mattress Factory (Pittsburgh, PA), Bio Oko (Prague, Czech Republic), and with Do Not Research.