Film Studies Program/Department of English
Current Graduate Students In Film
Clint's dissertation, entitled "Environmental Cinemas," considers the various aesthetic, cultural, and ecological impacts of cinema's encounters with natural environments, specifically in the films of Jean Painlevé, Werner Herzog, and Terrence Malick. He has spent much of his time as a graduate student learning Pittsburgh's complex topography on foot.
Dan Chyutin received his BFA in film production from Tel Aviv University’s Film and TV Department and his MA in cinema studies from New York University before entering the PhD track in Film Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. As a doctoral candidate, his research focuses on the cultural and theoretical intersections of religion and film, and in particular on contemporary Israeli cinema’s relationship with Judaism and Judaic identity. A section from his dissertation was published in the 2011 UT Press anthology, “Israeli Cinema: Identities in Motion,” and he also has essays forthcoming in Cinema Journal and Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies. In addition to his academic activities, Dan is also an accomplished filmmaker, whose short narrative fiction and experimental films have been screened in various festivals worldwide.
PhD Film Studies Katie Bird holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Film Production and English from Loyola Marymount University. She earned her MA in Literary and Cultural Studies from Carnegie Mellon University. Katie’s current research interests focus on a historiography of American film industry and exhibition practices in the postwar and contemporary periods. Specifically, she is interested in how art house movie theaters work with and within institutional frameworks (universities and museums) and how these institutions determine or define consumer behavior, niche marketing, and community. In addition to Katie’s focus on film as a site of cultural production, she also enjoys the genres of the women’s picture and televised detective series.
Veronica Fitzpatrick holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with specialization in Women's Studies from Michigan State University and a Master of Arts degree in Poetry from the University of Notre Dame, where she taught in the Department of Film, Television & Theatre. She has also taught with the University of Virginia Young Writers Workshop. Her current research interests include modern and contemporary horror film, monstrosity, trauma and memory, queer subjectivities, and theories of space.
Kevin M. Flanagan is a PhD Candidate in English, with a concentration in Film Studies. His dissertation, which is focused on postwar British culture, puts generic developments in war cinema into conversation with the longstanding tension between realism and visual excess (the governing historiographic discussion in British film historiography). His primary research interests include Birmingham School cultural studies, theories of adaptation, film genres (especially fantastic genres like horror), and cultural approaches to comedy and satire. That said, he also dabbles in game studies, with a focus on adaptation and medium specificity. He is editor of KEN RUSSELL: RE-VIEWING ENGLANDíS LAST MANNERIST (2009, Scarecrow Press), and has contributed articles to FRAMEWORK, PROTEUS: A JOURNAL OF IDEAS, MEDIA FIELDS JOURNAL, and numerous edited collections. Kevinís free time is spent wandering the streets of Pittsburgh, listening to comedy podcasts, and watching cult films.
Usha Iyer is a PhD candidate, originally from Bombay, India, where she studied literature, and mass
communication, and then did a string of jobs in filmmaking, television, journalism, and instructional
design. Her research interests include cinematic intertextuality, the use of films to reflect and create
cultural memory, and specific cinematic idioms such as the song-and-dance sequence in popular Indian
film. Her dissertation focuses on the cinematic and cultural production of dance in popular Hindi film.
Sonia Lupher holds a Bachelor of Arts from Willamette University and earned a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies from Columbia University. She also completed a summer-long film studies course in Paris with a focus on French women filmmakers. At Columbia University, she held a research assistantship with the Women Film Pioneers Project under Dr. Jane Gaines. Her research interests include the horror genre, women in film production, horror film exhibition practices, and the overlap of high and low-brow forms in film style and distribution, particularly in the horror film.
Sara is originally from Northampton, Massachusetts. She completed her undergraduate degree at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, during which time she also took classes at Smith College, Amherst College, and Mt. Holyoke College as part of a consortium program. Her academic interests at the University of Pittsburgh are primarily media, celebrity, and gender studies, and her social interests include drinking good beer, eating good food, and taking advantage of the numerous museums, galleries, music venues, and theaters that the city has to offer.
Julie Nakama holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Film from Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. Her current research interests include architectural design and theory, fashion theory, and issues related to time and space in cinema.
Felipe Pruneda Sentíes
Felipe, born and raised in Mexico, has been an international student for nearly eight years, first in Singapore, then in Middlebury, Vermont (where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Film and Media Culture), and now in Pittsburgh, which he loves. Felipe's main and current research interests include script studies, Latin American cinema and film theory, and the experience of foreign languages through film art—a topic he's sure has a name, but which he hasn't found yet. He is a collector of fountain pens, a theater buff, a museum dweller, and a fairly competent cook of enchiladas.
Laura Stamm holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies from Grinnell College. Her current research interests include feminist aesthetics, queer theory, and issues related to film historiography.
Michael Svedman holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Art History from Loyola University Chicago. His interests include questions of medium and genre, photography, evaluative criteria, and film style. More broadly, these concerns can be grouped under his desire to align his work with the philosophy of the moving image.
Kuhu Tanvir holds an M.Phil in Cinema Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. Before turning full-time to Film Studies, she earned a Master's and a Bachelor's degree in English literature from Delhi University. She wrote her M.Phil dissertation on the encounter between popular Hindi cinema and digital technologies in post-Globalization India. Her areas of interest include piracy, stardom, historiography, film archives, television, liveness etc.
Prior to coming to Pitt, John worked for ten years at a law firm representing wrongfully terminated workplace safety whistleblowers. As a scholar, his interests are focused primarily on American popular media of the late Cold War, and particularly, the influence of popular media on the construction of national and political identity. More narrowly, he is interested in the special role that popular cinema had to play in the construction of American conservatism in the 1970s and 1980s More broadly, he is interested in any discussion of the aesthetic dimensions of state and social power. John often likes to address these issues through the analysis of marginal, popular, and "bad" cultural objects. His other (often related) interests include working class studies, representations of labor in media, and video game studies.