Education in the School of Dreams: Travelogues and Early Nonfiction Film (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2013)
In the earliest years of cinema, travelogues were a staple of film programs in commercial motion picture theaters. These short films, also known as “scenics,” depicted tourist destinations and exotic landscapes otherwise inaccessible to most viewers. Scenics were so popular that they were briefly touted as the future of film. But despite their pervasiveness during the early 20th century, travelogues have been overlooked by film historians and critics. Education in the School of Dreams recovers this lost archive, analyzing travelogues and other nonfiction films exhibited in the United States between 1907 and 1915. As a form of instructive entertainment, these technological moving landscapes were both formulaic and also wondrous and dreamlike. Early travelogue films offered visions of American culture, imperialism, and modernity, both producing and disrupting the spectator’s complacency about her place in the world.
EDITED JOURNAL ISSUES and DOSSIERS
Co-edited with Graig Uhlin, “In Focus” dossier on Film and Media Studies in the Anthropocene, Journal of Cinema and Media Studies 58:2 (Winter 2019): 142-146.
“An Anthropocene Viewing Condition,” Representations 157 (Winter 2022): 17-40.
“Barbara Hammer’s Jane Brakhage: Nature, Feminism, and 1970s Experimental Film,” Feminist Media Histories 6:2 (Spring 2020): 67-94.
“Ecodiegesis: The Scenography of Nature on Screen,” Journal of Cinema and Media Studies 58:2 (Winter 2019): 162-168.
“The Art and Commerce of Nineteenth Century Visual Education: The Historiscope and the Milton Bradley Company,” Getty Research Journal, no. 6 (2014): 175-184.
Co-authored with Dino Everett, “When Film Went to College: A Brief History of the USC Hugh M. Hefner Moving Image Archive,” The Moving Image 13:1 (2013): 33-65.
“The Front Lawn of Heaven: Landscape in Hollywood Melodrama Circa 1945,” Camera Obscura 74 (Fall 2010): 118-159.
CHAPTERS IN EDITED COLLECTIONS
“Cinema, Nature, and Endangerment,’” in Ends of Cinema, ed. Richard Grusin and Jocelyn Szczepaniak-Gillece (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2020), pp. 53-78.
“The Silent Screen: 1895-1927,’” in Hollywood on Location: An Industry History, ed. Josh Gleich and Lawrence Webb (Rutgers University Press, 2019), pp. 16-44.
“Rough Seas: The Blue Waters of Early Nonfiction Film,” in The Colour Fantastic, ed. Giovanna Fossati and Joshua Yumibe (Amsterdam University Press, 2018), pp. 75-91.
“Technologies of Place in the Early Sound Newsreel: The Aerial View,” in Rediscovering U.S. Newsfilm: Cinema, Television, and the Archive, ed. Mark Garrett Cooper, Sara Beth Levavy, Ross Melnick, and Mark Williams (Columbia University Press, 2018), pp. 155-172.
“Green Porno and the Sex Life of Animals in the Digital Age,” in The Routledge Companion to Cinema and Gender, ed. Kristin Hole, Dijana Jelača, E. Ann Kaplan, Patrice Petro (New York: Routledge, 2017), pp. 427-436.
“The Life Cycle of an Analog Medium: Tacita Dean’s FILM,” in New Silent Cinema, ed. Paul Flaig and Katherine Groo (London: Routledge, 2015), pp. 286-314.
“Workers Leaving the Factory: Witnessing Labor in the Digital Age,” in The Oxford Handbook of Sound and Image in Digital Media, ed. Amy Herzog, Carol Vernallis, and John Richardson (London: Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 596-617.
“Glimpses of Animal Life: Nature Films and the Emergence of Classroom Cinema,” in Learning with the Lights Off: Educational Film in the United States, ed. Devin Orgeron, Marsha Orgeron, and Dan Streible (London: Oxford University Press, 2012), pp. 145-167.
“Animals in Film and Media,” in Oxford Bibliographies in Cinema and Media Studies, ed. Krin Gabbard (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013).
“‘The Knowledge Which Comes in Pictures’: Educational Films and Early Cinema Audiences,” in A Companion to Early Cinema, ed. André Gaudreault, Nicolas Dulac, and Santiago Hidalgo (Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, 2012), pp. 277-297.