I’m a film, literary, and cultural historian, with broad interests in European literature, art cinema (particularly Northern and Central Europe) visual culture, and intersection points between film, literature, painting, music and theater. I’ve published widely on German cinema, on the history of the picturebook, and on the history of the novel. I’ve recently finished The Viewing Platform: Perspectives on the Panorama (co-ed. with Tim Barringer), on nineteenth-century panorama painting and its continuing influence on twentieth-century visual culture (including my essays on painting, film, photography,installation art and the picturebook), am finishing The Divided Screen: German Cinema 1930–2000 (about leftist, émigré and Cold War film culture and spectatorship), and at work on a long-standing book project about the role of the nursery in the European avant-garde (Degas, Auguste and Jean Renoir, Morisot, Vuillard, Bonnard, Seurat, Vanessa Bell, Mallarme, Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov, Pirandello, Khodasevich, Woolf, Edward Sackville-West, Marinetti, Gabo, Mussorsky, Diagalev, Eisenstein). I am also working (with Kathryn James) on a 2017 Beinecke Library exhibit on Text and Textile. I’ve taught a wide range of film and literature courses; I plan future courses on the backstage musical and the travelling players, and on the aesthetics of the post-office (epistolary fiction, GPO documentaries, stamp design, WPA murals).
European cinema (especially Germany, Britain, Scandinavia, Central/Eastern Europe); filmgoing practices and film memory; the panorama; painting, visual culture, textiles; the history of the picturebook; Modern European literature (esp. the long history of the novel, modern drama, modernism); anglophone writing; communist culture; musicals and opera
Ph.D., Comparative Literature, Stanford University, 1990
AM, English and American Literature, Harvard University, 1983
BA Honours, University of Alberta, Canada, 1982
Free University of Berlin, 1987–8 (Exchange Student)
University of Freiburg, 1980–1 (Foreign Student)