Jennifer Lynn Peterson (PhD, University of Chicago) is a film historian, writer, and educator living in Los Angeles.
I am the author of Education in the School of Dreams: Travelogues and Early Nonfiction Film (Duke University Press, 2013). My academic articles have been published in Feminist Media Histories, the Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, Camera Obscura, The Moving Image, and the Getty Research Journal. I have published chapters in numerous edited book anthologies, including Hollywood on Location: An Industry History, Rediscovering U.S. Newsfilm, The Routledge Companion to Cinema and Gender, and Learning with the Lights Off: Educational Film in the United States.
My film, art, and book reviews have appeared in Millennium Film Journal, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Artforum.com, and Contemporary Art Review LA (Carla). Previously a tenured professor in the Film Studies Program at the University of Colorado at Boulder, I am now Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication at Woodbury University in Los Angeles.
My current work investigates the intersections between film history and environmental history. I bring together archival research, critical theory, and close analysis to produce materialist histories of “nature” in twentieth century films and visual culture. It is through cinematic images of nature’s past that we can better understand what has led us to the current ecological crisis. I’m now working on my second book, Cinema’s Ecological Past: Film History, Nature, and Endangerment Before 1960. I’m also working on a separate project about filmmaker Stan Brakhage and his creative partnership with his first wife Jane.
Sometimes I use my middle name, sometimes I don’t. Either way, there are lots of other people with this name. I’m the one who writes about cinema and nature.