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SAC Ph.D. Alumni

Feroz Hassan (Ph.D. 2016)

Feroz Hassan defended his dissertation, "Surviving Politics: André Bazin and Aesthetic Bad Faith," in December 2016. Feroz's dissertation recovers the political character of Bazin's work by identifying the intellectual debates that were formative for his critical positions. It also revises the standard picture of Bazin as a realist film theorist by highlighting his ambivalence about cinematic realism as well as by foregrounding his close engagement with generic cinema, stardom, and the sociological dimensions of the medium.


Dimitrios Pavlounis (Ph.D. 2016)

Visiting Assistant Professor of Cinema and Media Studies, Carleton College

Dimitri succesfully defended his dissertation, entitled, "Sound Evidence: An Archaeology of Audio Recording and Surveillance in Popular Film and Media," in 2016. In his work, he traces the historical appropriation of sound recording technologies for the purposes of surveillance from 1910-1975. He argues that popular media generally, and crime cinema and television in particular, must be understood as constituent parts of this history, playing a central role in transmitting knowledge and shaping public understandings of surveillance technologies that continue to resonate in the present. 

Katy Peplin (Ph.D. 2016)

Katy successfully defended her dissertation, entitled, "Construction and Constraint: The Animal Body and Constructions of Power in Motion Pictures," in May of 2016. Her dissertation proceeds from the question, "How does the camera capture animals, and how does the medium of that image structure the relationship between camera, animal and spectator?" by arguing that both the terms of the question and the answer are culturally and historically contingent. 


Michael Arnold (Ph.D. 2015)

Lecturer of Film and Digital Media, UC Santa Cruz 

In 2015, Michael successfully defended his dissertation entitled, "Sex Every Afternoon: Pink Film and the Body of Pornographic Cinema in Japan," a theoretical and historiographical analysis of Pink Film production and exhibition in Japan from the 1980s to the present.


Nathan Koob (Ph.D. 2015)

Special Lecturer, Department of Cinema Studies, Oakland University

Nathan successfully defended his dissertation, entitled, "Out-siders: Auteurs in Space," in 2015. In his work, he examines authorship theory and the function of authorship in city spaces. Koob's  primary areas of interest are examining relationships between American commercial, independent and avant-garde cinema production contexts. He has also performed extensive research on 3-D technology along with work considering authorship and cinematic technologies.


Erin Hanna (Ph.D. 2014)

Assistant Professor in Media Studies program, School of Journalism and Communication, University of Oregon

Erin’s work engages with critical questions of economic and cultural power as audience practices are incorporated into the industrial logic of media production, promotion, and publicity.  She successfully defended her dissertation, “Making Fandom Work: Industry Space and Structures of Power at the San Diego Comic-Con,” in 2014. In her work, she examines how the organization and control of labor and space at Comic-Con produces and reinforces hierarchies that shape the relationship between media industries and fans.  


Courtney Ritter (Ph.D. 2014)

Courtney successfully defended her dissertation, entitled, “Everyman’s Broadcasting: Programming the Democratic Transition in 1950s Italy,” in 2014. Her work focuses on the much-ignored early years of Italian television and places the new medium in the transnational context of the cold war, the country’s civic transition from fascist dictatorship to democratic republic, and Italy's film and journalistic culture.


Peter Alilunas (Ph.D. 2013)

Assistant Professor of Media Studies, School of Journalism and Communication, University of Oregon

A 2013 Ph.D. graduate in Screen Arts & Cultures at the University of Michigan, Peter is a former co-editor-in-chief of at the University of Texas at Austin and a co-editor of the Michigan Feminist Studies Journal

Peter's dissertation, "Smutty Little Movies: The Creation and Regulation of Adult Video, 1976-1986" (successfully defended in 2013), traces the industrial transition of the adult film industry from celluloid-based production and distribution to home video with the introduction of the Sony Betamax in 1976.  Arguing that this industrial transition was concomitant with a cultural shift in the regulation of gender and sexuality, this work examines the myriad ways in which adult video both triggered and contributed to a wide-ranging set of tensions and anxieties surrounding the understanding of mediated sexualities.  From legal constraints to community censorship efforts, alongside the internal re-framing of pornography as a "respectable" object, the story of the transition of adult film to home video offers much to larger histories of gender, sexuality, and technology.


Nancy McVittie (Ph.D. 2013)

Instructor, Department of Communication, Media and Theatre, Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, IL

Nancy completed her dissertation, entitled, “Elder Kitsch: The Development of a Comedic and Cultural Trope in Postwar America” in 2013.  The project considers representations of the aging on film and television during the postwar years and how a number of cultural, social, and industrial factors led to the development of the “funny old man/lady” trope popularized later on by stars like George Burns and Betty White.

Since 2012, Nancy has been a faculty member in the Department of Communication, Media and Theatre at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago.  She is currently at work on a book project considering representations of aging in Hollywood film and an article about the 1950s television series December Bride.


Kristy Rawson (Ph.D. 2012)

Learning Specialist in the Center for Students with Disabilities, DePaul University, Chicago

Kristy successfully defended her dissertation, entitled, "A Trans-American Dream: Lupe Velez and the Performance of Transculturation" in 2012.