Participant Bios

Team: Caetlin Benson-Allott and Lokeilani Kaimana
Topic: Difference and Affinity
Caetlin Benson-Allott:

Caetlin Benson-Allott is Associate Professor of English at Georgetown University and Core Faculty Member in its Film and Media Studies Program. She is the author of Killer Tapes and Shattered Screens: Video Spectatorship from VHS to File Sharing (University of California Press, 2013) and Remote Control (Bloomsbury Press, forthcoming January 2015). Her work on film and technology, exhibition history, spectatorship theory, and feminist theory has appeared in the Atlantic, Cinema Journal, South Atlantic Quarterly, the Journal of Visual Culture, Jump Cut, Film Quarterly, Film Criticism, In Media Res, the Quarterly Review of Film and Video, and multiple anthologies. Her dissertation won the Society for the Cinema and Media Studies Best Dissertation Award in 2009. After winning Film Quarterly’s 50th Anniversary Review Essay Competition in 2008, she continued to write for the journal and became a regular columnist and contributing editor. She is currently working on special issues of Feminist Media Histories (on “Materialisms”) and the Journal of Visual Culture (on “Horror as Affect and Aesthetic”) and a book-length study of special effects and spectatorship that compares the political impact of stunt work and digital visual effects on the automotive spectacles in the 1970s and 2000s US car movie cycles. She teaches courses on film history and theory, histories of new media, gender and technology studies, and the horror genre.

Lokeilani Kaimana Bio:
Lokeilani (Lokei) Kaimana is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Radio-Television-Film at the University of Texas-Austin and the Mendenhall Dissertation Fellow at Smith College. Her research and teaching interests include queer cinema and media studies, the American/transnational avant-garde, women of color feminisms and theoretical praxis, and dystopian camp aesthetics. Her dissertation is in conversation with women of color media artists who work at the intersection of emergent technology, community activism, and form. Her work can be found in Film & History, the Velvet Light Trap,, English and Third World Literature Review of Books, and forthcoming in Black Cinema Aesthetics Revisited and the anthology, “We Carry these Memories inside of We:” Daughters of the Dust and the Black Arts Aesthetic of Julie Dash. At Smith College, she has taught Introduction to Film Studies, Film Theory, Queer Cinema/Queer Media, and is currently having a ball teaching Authorship and Women of Color Filmmakers.

Team: Michele Leigh and Kristen Anderson Wagner
Topic: Archives
Michel Leigh:

Michele Leigh received her Ph.D. in Critical Studies from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Film and Media History in both the Cinema and Photography department and the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Leigh is the co-chair for the Society for Cinema and Media Studies scholarly interest group Women in Screen History and the Co-Executive Secretary for Women in Film History International. She has published chapters in Researching Women in Silent Cinema, Screen Culture: History and Textuality, and in the forthcoming Doing Women’s Film History. Leigh’s current research focuses on female industrial practice in Russian cinema prior to the Revolution, as well as gender and sexuality constructions in contemporary television.

Kristen Anderson Wagner:
Kristen Anderson Wagner received her Ph.D. in Critical Studies from the USC School of
Cinematic Arts and currently teaches film studies at Menlo College. Her research interests include silent and early sound film, gender and media, performance studies, reception theory, and fan culture. Kristen’s book manuscript, Comic Venus: Women and Comedy in American Silent Film, explores the often-overlooked work of silent-era comediennes. Her recent publications include chapters in Not So Silent: Women in Cinema Before Sound, The Blackwell Companion to Film Comedy, Researching Women in Silent Cinema: New Findings and Perspectives, an article in Velvet Light Trap’s Fall 2011 issue on comedy, and a chapter on Fanny Brice in the forthcoming book Hysterical! Women in American Comedy.

Team: Virginia Kuhn and Viola Lasmana
Topic: Feminist Media Literacy

Virginia Kuhn
Virginia Kuhn is faculty in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. Her work centers on visual rhetoric, media studies, and algorithmic modes of research. She publishes natively-digital and print-based peer reviewed work and serves on the editorial boards of several journals. Kuhn directs a graduate certificate in Digital Media and Culture and an undergraduate Honors program and teaches a range of courses in new media, all of which marry theory and practice.

Viola Lasmana
Viola Lasmana is a doctoral candidate in the English department at University of Southern California. She works in the intersections of American and Indonesian cultural productions, transpacific studies, digital humanities, and theories of the archive. Viola currently serves as an International Consultant on the current Fembot Advisory Board (FAB).

Team: Mary Beltrán and Becky Burditt
Topic: Representation

Mary Beltrán
Associate Professor of Radio-Television-Film, Mary Beltrán specializes in critical and cultural studies-driven scholarship at the intersections of television and film studies, critical race studies, and gender studies. She is also a Faculty Affiliate of the Centers for Women’s and Gender Studies and Mexican American Studies. She writes and teaches on Latina/o media studies, mixed race and media culture, “post-racial” media trends, feminist media studies, celebrity studies, U.S. television and film history, and media activism and DIY media movements.
Mary has published and presented on a wide variety of topics, including the evolution of Latina/o film and television production and stardom since the 1920s, the implications of the rising visibility of mixed-race actors and characters, strategies on the part of television networks to appeal to more diverse audiences, and the new “semi-Latina” stars of contemporary tween television. She is the author of Latina/o Stars in U.S. Eyes: The Making and Meanings of Film and TV Stardom (University of Illinois Press, 2009) and co-editor, with Camilla Fojas, of Mixed Race Hollywood (NYU Press, 2008). Her recent publications include the essays “Fast and Bilingual: The Fast Franchise’s Lucrative Embodiment of U.S. Borderlands,” “SNL’s ‘Fauxbama’ Debate: Facing Off Over Millennial Mixed(-Racial) Impersonation,” and “Una Nueva Frontera for Latinos in Web Television,” co-authored with RTF graduate student Vittoria Rodriguez. She is currently working on a new project on Latina/o histories in American television since the 1960s.

Becky Burditt
Becky Burditt is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in the Media and Society Program. Her research and teaching interests include postwar Hollywood cinema, global musical media, queer cinema, and culinary history.

Team: Shelleen Greene and Nina Cartier 
Topic: Authorship
Shelleen Greene
Shelleen Greene is an associate professor in the Department of Art and Design, Peck School of Arts, at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. She received her doctorate from the Program in Visual Studies at the University of California, Irvine. Her research interests include Italian film, race and representation, Black European studies, cultural studies, postcolonial studies, and globalization and visual culture. Her book, Equivocal Subjects: Between Italy and Africa – Constructions of Racial and National Identity in the Italian Cinema (Continuum Press, 2012) examines the representation of mixed-race subjects of Italian and African descent in the Italian cinema, arguing that the changing cultural representations of mixed-race identity reveal shifts in the country’s conceptual paradigms of race and nation. Her work has also been published in From Terrone to Extracomunitario: New Manifestations of Racism in Contemporary Italian Cinema: Shifting Demographics and Changing Images in a Multi-Cultural Globalized Society (Troubador Press, 2010) and Postcolonial Italy: Challenging National Homogeneity (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). Shelleen Greene has recently presented at the University of Bologna, Italy; Queen Mary, University of London; the Calandra Italian American Institute, CUNY; the Society for Cinema and Media Studies annual conference; and the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center at Indiana University.

Nina Cartier
Nina Cartier is a doctoral candidate at Northwestern University, where she is completing her dissertation on Blaxploitation.  She studies representations of blackness in media, focusing upon urban cinema of the 1960s-1980s and critical race theory, Afro-Futurism, and narration. Her recent articles appear in Cinema Journal and  in Beyond Blaxploitation, Ed. Gerald Butters and Novotny Lawrence (Wayne State University Press).


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