Oksana Chefranova is a Lecturer in Film & Media Studies and Programming Director for the Film & Media Studies Program and Yale’s Whitney Humanities Center. She received her Ph.D. in 2014 from the Department of Cinema Studies, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. Her dissertation work was awarded the Jay Leyda Prize for excellence and originality of research. Before joining the Yale faculty, she taught classes at NYU on American avant-garde film, Scandinavian cinema, Surrealism, international silent cinema, and academic research & writing. At Yale, she teaches a core curriculum seminar Close Analysis of Film.
Currently, she is working on a book manuscript, From Garden to Kino. Evgenii Bauer, Cinema, and Russian Visual Culture Circa 1900, on one of the most imaginative and key figures in silent cinema and visual arts, Evgenii Bauer, who played a founding role in the evolution of cinema as art and institution. The extensive archival research for this project was supported by the Andrew Mellon International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF) of Social Science Research Council. Looking at aesthetic, historical, and cultural intersections among cinema, amusement garden, and theatrical stage, the book explores paradoxes and contractions of modernity – between beauty and truth, nature and artifice, depth and surface, light and darkness, animation and stillness – through the analysis of a wide range of examples from landscape architecture, painting, photography, tableau vivant, diorama, modernist theater, dance, and film. Chefranova also contributed chapters to the volumes Viscera, Skin, and Physical Form: Corporeality and Early Cinema (forthcoming from Indiana University Press) and Beyond the Screen: Institutions, Networks and Publics of Early Cinema (ed. by M. Braun, C. Keil, R. King, P. Moore and L. Pelletier). Her other projects and research interests focus on history and theory of camera movement, archaeology of the screen, experimental film and art practice, representation of landscape, cinema & contemporary visual arts, videographic film studies, film festivals, and contemporary world cinema.
As Programming Director, Chefranova organizes annual series of campus visits and workshops by filmmakers and scholars and also works with other Film & Media Studies faculty and graduate students to organize screenings, film conferences and other events. Embracing in her programming both historical figures and recent tendencies, she looks at the present state of cinema as expanded and reshaped by diverse forms and contexts of new media environment and, through this expansion, addresses the dynamism and complexity of contemporary cinema. Chefranova strives to maintain a strong connection between theory and practice, between the scholarly study of cinema and the exploration of filmmaking process that should promote Film Programming at Yale as a dynamic platform for filmmakers to share their artistic products and creative techniques. One of her continuous scholarly and curatorial interests is international women filmmakers, specifically the global explosion of films by female directors over the past decade.
Silent cinema & visual culture circa 1900; history and theory of camera movement; experimental film and art practice; archaeology of the screen; representation of landscape; cinema & contemporary visual arts; videographic film studies; new media art; film festivals; contemporary world cinema.
Ph.D., Cinema Studies, New York University, Awarded Distinction M.A., Cinema Studies, New York University, B.A. and M.A., Art History, Moscow State University