Peter J. Bloom Department of Film and Media Studies

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Peter J. Bloom

Department of Film and Media Studies

University of California

2433 Social Science and Media Studies Building (SSMS)

Santa Barbara, California 93106-4010

Tel. +1 805 893 2347 [department office]

Fax +1 805 893 8630


Current Position
University of California, Santa Barbara

Associate Professor, Department of Film and Media Studies (2007-present)

Assistant Professor, Department of Film [and Media] Studies (2003-2007)

Affiliated Faculty in the Department of French and Italian, the Program in Comparative Literature, Department of History, and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies

Co-Director, UC African Studies Multicampus Research Group (2008-present)
[With Percy N. Hintzen (UC Berkeley, African American Studies, Director, Center for African Studies) and Stephan F. Miescher (UCSB, History)]
Academic and Visiting Positions
Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis [IUPUI]
Assistant Professor of English, Film Studies Program, 2000-2003
University of Southern California, Visiting Assistant Professor

Department of French and Italian, Fall 2000

University of California, San Diego, Postdoctoral Fellow

African and African American Studies Research Project, Department of Sociology, 1999-2000

University of California, Davis (1997-1999)

University of California Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow

Department of Environmental Design and Landscape Architecture
UCLA, Department of Film and Television

Ph.D., Film and Television (Critical Studies), June 1997

Co-chairs: Teshome H. Gabriel (UCLA) and Bennetta Jules-Rosette (UCSD)
M.A., Film and Television (Critical Studies), December 1992
The American University, School of International Service

B.A., International Studies, Minor in French Studies, May 1987

Peter J. Bloom. French Colonial Documentary: Mythologies of Humanitarianism (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2008); for more information see:

Awarded the Laurence Wylie Prize in French Cultural Studies for books published in English between 2008-2009,

French Colonial Documentary addresses the visual rhetoric of French colonial humanitarianism from the construct of the image in eighteenth-century Sensationalist thought to documentary cinema. It analyzes myths that underlie the geographically remote victim, and describes how cultural difference was transformed into an evolutionary anthropometric archive of humankind.

Charles Tshimanga, Didier Gondola, and Peter J. Bloom, eds. Frenchness and the African Diaspora (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2009); for more information see:


Focuses on the racial and colonial underpinnings for the continuing unrest in the French suburbs beginning in November 2005, culminating in protests throughout the country without precedent in the postwar period. This volume incorporates a number of contributions translated from French into English. In addition to the co-editors, the contributors include: Nicolas Bancel, Florence Bernault, Ahmed Boubeker, Frederick Cooper, Nacira Guénif-Souilamas, Didier Lapeyronnie, Achille Mbembe, and Pierre Tévanian.

Published Articles with précis

Peter J. Bloom. 2011a. “Unraveling the Ethnographic Encounter: Institutionalization and Scientific Tourism in the oeuvre of Jean Rouch,” in French Forum 35, no. 2-3. Special Issue, “Francophone Documentary Cinema.”

Peter J. Bloom, and Kate Skinner. 2011b. “Modernity and Danger: The Boy Kumasenu and the work of the Gold Coast Film Unit,” in the Ghana Studies [Journal]. Special issue, “Revisiting Modernization.” Co-edited by Peter J. Bloom, Takyiwaa Manuh, and Stephan F. Miescher. Madison: University of Wisconsin, African Studies Center.
[Challenging the unity of authorship in the making of The Boy Kumasenu, which was one of the best known feature films made by the Gold Coast Film Unit in the postwar period, this paper argues that techniques of “loose scripting” and a reliance on a Ghanaian production team allows for the presence of narrative strands that complicate an understanding of the colonial mandate for British colonial film production.
N.B.: The special issue, “Revisiting Modernization,” is the result of an interdisciplinary academic conference, Revisiting Modernization, with an accompanying array of activities, held at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Legon, July 27 – July 31, 2009. In addition to original articles by the editors, this issue also includes a record of the dance performance, art exhibit, and short story competition held as part of the conference itself.]
Peter J. Bloom. 2009a. “The State of French Cultural Exceptionalism: The 2005 Uprisings and the Politics of Visibility,” in Frenchness and the African Diaspora. Eds., Tshimanga, Gondola, and Bloom. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, pp. 227-247.
[Focusing on the theme of the gymnastic technique known as parkour with particular reference to the action film District B13, this article examines a cycle of appropriation in France related to popular spectacle, postwar urban reconstruction, and the staging of exceptionalism through the auteur.]
Peter J. Bloom. 2009b. “Refiguring the Primitive: Institutional Legacies of the Filmology Movement,” in Cinémas 18, nº 2-3, pp. 169-182.
[The article examines how the discourse of “the primitive,” as an institutional point of reference developed by the philosopher Lucien Lévy-Bruhl (1857-1939), influenced the establishment of the Institute of Filmology at the University of Paris in 1948.]
Peter J. Bloom. 2006. “Trans-Saharan Automotive Cinema: Citroën, Renault, and Peugeot-sponsored documentary interwar crossing films,” invited article as part of anthology entitled, The Time Machine: Cinema and Travel. Ed. Jeffrey K. Ruoff. Durham and London: Duke University Press, pp. 139-156.
[A detailed discussion of the Citroën and Renault-sponsored automobile films during the interwar period. It treats the history of automobile production in France and the role of geographic Sensationism in the colonies.]
Peter J. Bloom. 2005. “Theorizing Senegalese Migrant Identities in the era of Globalization: An Interview with Mamadou Diouf,” in Emergences: The Study of Composite Cultures 13, nos.1-2, May-November 2003, pp. 47-74. Special issue entitled “Territorial Boundaries: Memory, Meaning, and Place in the Negotiation of Identity,” introduced (pp. 3-8), and co-edited by Peter J. Bloom and Katherine J. Hagedorn. [Article is an extended interview and series of reflections on the nature of Senegalese migrant identity. N.B.: The journal date reads 2003, but the journal was printed in 2005.]
Peter J. Bloom. 2004. “Material Traces of Edward W. Said’s Legacy,” in Francophone Postcolonial Studies 2, no. 2, autumn-winter, pp. 75-81.
[Evocation of Edward W. Said’s work upon visiting Columbia University as part of a personal narrative.]
Peter J. Bloom and Katherine J. Hagedorn. 2003. “Film and Music Liner Notes for Legong: Dance of the Virgins (1935),” to accompany the DVD entitled Legong: Dance of the Virgins. Performed by Gamelan Sekar Jaya and The Club FOOT Orchestra. New Musical Score Composed by Richard Marriott and I Made Subandi. [Extensive liner notes were written to accompany the restoration of the 1935 film Legong: Dance of the Virgins: a story of the South Seas (dir. Henry de la Falaise, Bennett Pictures) which also included a newly composed Balinese gamelan score.]
Peter J. Bloom. 2003. “Beur Cinema and the Politics of Location: French Immigration Politics and the Naming of a Film Movement,”[Reprint] in Multiculturalism, Postcoloniality, and Transnational Media. Eds. Ella Shohat and Robert Stam. Piscataway, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, pp. 44-62. [See 1999 article précis.]
Peter J. Bloom. 2002. “La subversion des hierarchies du savoir dans Les statues meurent aussi,” in Zoos Humains: Mémoire coloniale. Eds. Nicolas Bancel, Pascal Blanchard, Gilles Boëtsch, Sandrine Lemaire, and Éric Deroo. Paris: Éditions La Découverte, pp. 355-361. Reissued in a widely distributed pocket-sized book in 2005. English title: “Subverting hierarchies of knowledge in Les statues meurent aussi [Statues also die].” [Article addresses the interaction between eighteenth-century Sensationist thought and the French colonial legacy through a close reading of the film, Les statues meurent aussi (dir. Chris Marker and Alain Resnais, 1953).]
Peter J. Bloom. 2001a. “Hygienic Reform in the French Colonial Film Archive,” The Journal of Film Preservation 63, no. 1, November, pp.17-24. [Article addresses the relationship between fictional and documentary films about the rhetoric of hygienic reform in French colonial North Africa.]
Peter J. Bloom. 2001b. “Invisible Agents: Diagnosing French Colonial Interwar Cinema,” in (a): the journal of culture and the unconscious 1, no. 2, pp. 76-92. [A close analysis of three French educational films used to promote hygienic practices in France and the French colonies during the interwar period.]
Peter J. Bloom. 2001c. “Beyond the Western Frontier: Reappropriations of the ‘good-badman’ in France, the French colonies, and contemporary Algeria,” Westerns: Films Through History. Ed. Janet Walker, AFI Film Readers Series. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 197-216. [Article examines the legacy of the “good-badman” in North Africa and addresses a recent Franco-Algerian adaptation of a French camembert Western, Dynamite Moh.]
Peter J. Bloom. 2000. “The Cinema of Political Allegory,” The SAIS Review: A Journal of International Affairs, winter-spring, pp. 221-233. [Analytic review article of two recent French films, focusing on the reappropriation of the Foreign Legion film genre and the camembert Western.]
Peter J. Bloom. 1999. “Beur Cinema and the Politics of Location: French Immigration Politics and the Naming of a Film Movement,” Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture 5, no. 4, December, pp. 469-487.
[Article describes protest movements in favor of full French citizenship rights for Franco-Maghrebis as the source for beur cinema.]
Peter J. Bloom. 1997. “Entre la représentation graphique et l’hygiène coloniale : Le cinéma de propagande coloniale de l’entre-deux-guerres,” Archives (Institut Jean Vigo Cinémathèque de Toulouse) and Cahiers de l’IREMAM (Institut de recherches et d’études sur le monde arabe et musulman) [co-edition], nos. 71-72, July, pp. 16-24. English title, “From graphic representation to colonial hygiene: French colonial propaganda film during the interwar period.” [Article examines the role of cinema in French colonial medicine.]
Peter J. Bloom. 1995. “A travers le miroir cinématographique,” L’Autre et Nous:«Scènes et Types». Eds. Pascal Blanchard, Nicolas Bancel, Gilles Boëtsch, and Hubert Gerbeau. Paris: Syros Press, pp. 234-238. English title, “Through the cinematographic looking glass.” [Article examines the first French colonial film mission established by the French Army in Indochina.]
Peter J. Bloom. 1994. “La poterie, la chronophotographie et les archives coloniales françaises,” Xoana: images et sciences sociales 2, May, pp. 7-24.

English title, “Pottery, Chronophotography, and the French Colonial Archive.” [Article addresses the ethnographic motion photography of Félix-Louis Regnault in the context of the French Colonial Exhibitions and Bergsonian vitalism.]

Peter J. Bloom. 1990. “Some Reflections on the Iranian Film Festival: A Decade of Iranian Cinema, 1980-1990,” Jusur 6, no. 1, pp. 95-99. [Article examines the first screening in the United States of post-Revolutionary Iranian films.]
Catalogue Contributions:
Peter J. Bloom. Forthcoming [catalogue essay]. “Vita Nova amidst the colonial ruins of françafrique.” Lead essay appearing in exhibition catalogue, Hantologie des colonies, edited around the work of the Belgian artist, Vincent Meessen, edited by Espace Khiasma. See [Article examines a recent film by Vincent Meessen, entitled Vita Nova, focused on the colonial context for Roland Barthes’s works and his maternal grandfather, Louis-Gustave Binger, who was the first French governor of Côte d’Ivoire. The article examines the broader thematic of Françafrique in the work of François-Xavier Verschave and contemporary politics in Côte d’Ivoire.]
Peter J. Bloom. 2010a. “The Planter’s Wife,” Colonial Film: Moving Images of the British Empire, BFI website . [Extensive filmography of The Planter’s Wife (dir. Ken Annakin, prod. J. Arthur Rank Organisation, 1952) which includes all pertinent production information, bibliography, and reviews the content and context for the film. Commissioned as part of the Colonial Cinema Project at Birkbeck College, London.]
Peter J. Bloom. 2010b. “Baby Ghana,” Découvrir les films de Jean Rouch: collecte d’archives, inventaire et partage. Eds. Véronique Cayla and Béatrice de Pastre with Philippe Constantini for the Centre national de la cinématographie (CNC). Paris: CNC, pp. 56-57. [This catalogue entry is part of a comprehensive catalogue of Rouch’s films that was associated with the event, Le Projet Jean Rouch: Cinéma, Colloque, Tables Rondes, held in Paris from 14-20 November 2009.]
Peter J. Bloom. 2010a. “Review: Reframing Difference: Beur and Banlieue Filmmaking in France, Carrie Tarr (2005),” in Studies in European Cinema 7, no. 2, pp. 167-169.
Peter J. Bloom. 2010b. Review: Brian Larkin, Signal and Noise: Media, Infrastructure, and Urban Culture in Nigeria (2008), in Cinema Journal 50, no. 1, fall, pp. 170-172.
Peter J. Bloom. 2010c. Review: Ranjana Khanna, Algeria cuts: women and representation, 1830 to the present (2008), in The Journal of North African Studies 15, no. 1, pp. 129-131.

Peter J. Bloom. 2008. Review: Dominic Thomas, Black France: Colonialism, Immigration, and Transnationalism (2007), in French Forum 33, nos. 1-2, winter/spring, pp. 286-288.

Peter J. Bloom and Bennetta Jules-Rosette. 1992. “FESPACO in Paris: A Battle of Position,” Visual Anthropology Review 8, no. 1, spring, pp. 140-141.
[Article reviews the screening of films from the Pan African Ouagadougou Film Festival, held in Paris.]
Current Projects

The Curse of Minimal Difference: The British Voice in Late Colonial Media

This project examines the English speaking voice as performance and location of social identity in film and radio as a means of negotiating political authority across Empire. Addressing primarily the postwar period until independence in colonial Ghana and Malaysia. Voice is a rhetorical instrument communicating minimal, but critical, differences of hierarchy reorienting internal conceptions of national identity. The films produced by the British Colonial Film Unit based in London (1939-1956) along with those units which continued to produce films in the colonies themselves, as well as radio programs produced by the BBC serve as crucial sources in exploring processes of legibility, internalization, and projection. The politics of difference in Empire is analyzed by reference to narrative techniques through the agency of media communication.

Edited volumes:

Revisiting Modernization in Africa, eds., Peter J. Bloom, Takyiwaa Manuh, and Stephan F. Miescher. (Under Review at Indiana University Press).

This edited volume addresses the foundational histories of decolonization and nation building in Africa. We argue that modernization is critical to understanding the independence struggles in the 1950s and to the state building project carried out across the continent in the decades to follow. The contributors to this volume evoke the role of transnational developments across the former colonized world as an important site of inquiry. This volume will include archival documents, abridged interviews, and original contributions by the co-editors as well as Jean Allman, Andrew Apter, Mhoze Chikowero, Percy Hintzen, Rosaleen Smyth, Julia Tischler, Nana Wilson-Tagoe, among others.

Conference Organizing and Workshop Participation:
Invited Participant, Moving Image Workshop
Presentation: “Historical Fallacy or Shifts in the History and Nature of Visual Perception?” Organized by Tom Gunning, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, April 2-3, 2010

Co-Organizer, Revisiting Modernization Conference
University of Ghana, Legon, Co-convener with Professor
Takyiwaa Manuh (Director, Institute of African Studies, University Ghana, Legon) and Professor Stephan F. Miescher (History, UCSB), July 29-31, 2009
Invited Speaker and Roundtable Discussant, Le Projet Jean Rouch
Organized by Le Comité du Film Ethnographique, Bibliothèque nationale de France, CNC, and CNRS, Paris, France, November 14-20, 2009
Roundtable Co-Organizer, Association of Moving Image Archivists
Roundtable: Interpreting the Moving Image Archive, Los Angeles, California, November 13-18, 2000
Curatorial Activities:
Programmer and Lecturer, Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Screenings, lecture, discussion, Film Series related to the exhibition, Picasso and Braque: The Cubist Experiment, 1910-1912, October-December 2011.
Programmer and Speaker, Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Screenings, lecture, discussion, Empire and Order, organized in conjunction with the Yinka Shonibare MBE Exhibition, Santa Barbara, May 2009
Programmer, Contemporary African Cinema Series

With the Indiana University African Studies Committee,

The Madame C. J. Walker Theater, Indianapolis, Indiana, 2001-2003
Co-Curator and Speaker, Workshop on French Colonial Cinema
Rencontres: Le cinéma colonial: Le Maghreb et Afrique noir [Theme]
CRAC Scène nationale: Cinema dans l’histoire [yearly programming]
With Raymond Chirat (co-curator), Eric Le Roy (CNC), and Françoise
Calvez (CRAC), Valence, France, January 12-14, 2001
Programmer, African Cinema Series, San Diego Museum of Art

Balboa Park, San Diego, March 2000

Presenter, Screening at the Pacific Film Archive at UC-Berkeley
In the Land of the Cannibals (1928, dir. André-Paul Antoine) archival print from the CNC as part of the France-Berkeley Imperialism and Identity
, March 1, 1998
Co-curator, African Americans and Europe Film Festival

Program featuring African-American performers in interwar dance films

Co-organized with Patrick Bensard (Cinémathèque de la Danse), Bennetta Jules-Rosette (UCSD, Sociology), and Jean Rouch (Comité du Film Ethnographique), as part of the international conference, African Americans and Europe, organized by Professor Michel Fabre (Université de Paris III-Sorbonne Nouvelle), Paris, France, February 6-8, 1992

Editorial Boards and Institutional Oversight:
Advisory Board Member, Media Fields: Critical Explorations in Media and Space [Journal], University of California, Santa Barbara, 2009-present
Editorial Board Member, The Velvet Light Trap [Journal]
University of Texas at Austin, 2005-2011
Vice President, Poitiers International Audio-Visual Cinema Center

Organization for the promotion of film education in France,

Sponsors film-related workshops, conferences, and festivals, 2003- 2007
Board Member, The Black Film Center/Archive
Indiana University, Bloomington, 2002-2003
Fellowships and Residencies:
Visiting Scholar, African and African-American Studies Research Project

Department of Sociology, University of California, San Diego, 1999-2000

University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow

Department of Environmental Design and Landscape Architecture

University of California, Davis, Mentor: Dean MacCannell, 1997-1999
Resident Fellow at the University of California

Irvine Humanities Research Institute

Media and Nations Research Group, dir. Anton Kaes, Winter 1997
Research Associate at Université de Paris V

Centre d’Études des Activités Quotidiennes, dir. Michel Maffesoli, 1995-1996

Research Associate at Université de Paris III–Sorbonne Nouvelle

Centre d’Études Afro-américaines, dir. Michel Fabre, 1994-1995

University of California Grants:
UC African Studies Multi-Campus Research Group Funding, Critical Historicities between Africa and the Diaspora, Peter J. Bloom, Percy C. Hintzen, and Stephan F. Miescher, $10,000 (UCHRI funding) + campus contributions, Spring 2010-2011
UCSB Letters and Science Conference Support, Revisiting Modernization Conference, Peter J. Bloom and Stephan F. Miescher, , $5,000, Spring 2009

UCSB-Institute of Social, Behavioral, and Economic Research, Repositioning the Self and Other in African Studies: Contrapuntal Collaborations, Peter J. Bloom and Stephan F. Miescher, $7,540, Spring 2009

UCHRI Conference Fund, Revisiting Modernization Conference, Peter J. Bloom and Stephan F. Miescher, $7,500, Fall 2008
UCSB Interdisciplinary Humanities Center Collaborative Grant, Visit of Professor Takyiwaa Manuh, Peter J. Bloom and Stephan F. Miescher, $3,000, Winter 2009
UC African Studies Multi-Campus Research Group (MRG), UCOP funding with in-kind contributions from seven UC campuses, Peter J. Bloom and Stephan F. Miescher, $35,000 + campus contributions, 2008-2009Reviewing Activities:

Peer Review Activity
Journals: Canadian Journal of Film Studies, Cinema Journal, International Journal for Middle Eastern Studies, PMLA, and Velvet Light Trap
Organizations: African Studies Association (conference organization subcommittees [intermittent involvement]), Korea Film Foundation, Government of Ireland Fellowship Commission, University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program
Presses: Duke University Press, University of Mississippi Press, Routledge
Promotion Cases: CUNY, UCLA, UCSC
Teaching and Advising
Graduate Seminars at UCSB (2003-2011):
Dissertation Prospectus Preparation (FMS 598: Spring 2010)

Film Theory (FMS 240: Spring 2009, Spring 2011)

Revisiting Modernization in Africa and Beyond [co-taught with Stephan F. Miescher/cross-listed with HIST 201 AF] (FMS 262A: Spring 2009)

Productions of Truth [co-taught with Elisabeth Weber/ cross-listed with GER 210, COMP LIT 200] (FMS 594PT: Spring 2008)

Textual Analysis: Semiotic Approaches to Media (FMS 220: Fall 2005, F 2007),

Pre-Cinema (FMS 232PC: Fall 2006)

Undergraduate Courses at UCSB (2003-2011):
Film History: History of Silent Film (FMS 101A: Fall 2008, F 2009, F 2010, F 2011)

Film History: Development of Sound Film (FMS 101B: Winter 2004, W 2005,

W 2006, W 2007, W 2008)

Torture and Representation in the Media (INTE 094KP, Freshman Seminar:

Spring 2007)

French and Francophone Cinemas (FLMST 134: Spring 2004, Spr 2005, Spr 2006, Spr 2010)

Immigration and Cinema (FLMST 122IM: Spring 2004)

Colonial Cinemas Seminar (FLMST 187CC: Spring 2005)

Pre-Cinema Seminar (FMS 187PC: Fall 2004: F 2005, F 2007)

Media Archaeology (FMS 189MA: Fall 2011)

Early Visual Media Culture Seminar (FMS 189EVM: Fall 2010)
Other Courses:
Global Hip Hop Culture (undergraduate seminar, Yonsei University, Seoul, Republic of Korea, Summer 2007)
Introduction to Film (online course consisting of ten 50-minute video segments for distance learning students; includes lectures, field recordings of film productions, interviews with film and media professionals, historians, and scholars; broadcast on Indianapolis public access television, IUPUI, 2002-2003)
The French Colonial Archive in African Thought (graduate seminar, USC, Department of French and Italian, Fall 2000)
African Societies Through Film (undergraduate lecture course, UCSD, Department of Sociology, Winter 2000)
Agricultural Landscapes on Film (undergraduate lecture course, UC-Davis, Department of Landscape Architecture, Spring 1998)

B.A. Thesis Committees:

Colin Williamson, Advisor, Film and Media Studies, UCSB, B.A. Thesis, 2005

Kelsey Brannan, Advisor, Film and Media Studies, UCSB, B.A. Thesis, 2011
M.A. Committees:

Anastasia Hill, Member, Film and Media Studies, UCSB, 2008 (completed)

Regina Longo, Member, Film and Media Studies, UCSB, 2006 (completed)

David Platzer, Chair, Comparative Literature, UCSB, 2008 (completed)

Pauline Stakelon, Chair, Film and Media Studies, UCSB, 2006 (completed)
Ph.D. Committees:
Meredith A. Bak, Chair, Film and Media Studies, UCSB, ABD, 2008

Maria N. Corrigan, Chair, Film and Media Studies, UCSB, ABD, 2010

Claudio Dell’Oca, Member, French, UCSB, ABD, 2006

Ouidyane Elouardaoui, Chair, Film and Media Studies, UCSB, ABD, 2011

Anastasia Y. Hill, Member, Film and Media Studies, UCSB, ABD, 2010

Regina Longo, Member, Film and Media Studies, UCSB, completed 2011

Torsten Sannar, Member, Dramatic Arts, UCSB, completed 2011

Allison Schifani, Member, Comparative Literature, UCSB, ABD, 2009

Pauline Stakelon, Chair, Film and Media Studies, UCSB, ABD, 2008

Jon Stern, Member, Sociology, UCSD, ABD, 2009

Athena Tan, Member, Film and Media Studies, UCSB, ABD, 2010
University Committees and Related Service
Committee work:
Director of Undergraduate Studies in the UCSB Department of Film and Media, 2006-2008

Member, UCSB, Torture and the Future Research Focus Group, 2007- 2009

Member, UCSB Interdisciplinary Humanities Center Visiting Artist
Initiative Advisory Board, 2005-2007

Affiliated Faculty, UCSB, Critical Issues in America: Torture and the Future: Perspectives from the Humanities, 2006-2007

Member, UCSB Environmental Media Initiative, 2004-2007

Member, UCSB Faculty Committee on International Education, 2003-2008

Member, UCSB Faculty Committee on Faculty Issues and Awards, 2009-present

Member, UCSB Center for Film, Television, and New Media, 2003-present

Member/intermittent co-convener, UCSB African Studies Research
Focus Group, 2003-present
UC conference presentations, lectures, and formal participation:
Invited Roundtable Participant, “The Future of African Studies at UC: A Roundtable Discussion,” UC Davis, organized by Professor Corrie Decker, Department of History, with participation of the departments of African and African-American Studies and Anthropology, Friday, October 7, 2011.

Conference Respondent, Medieval Studies Conference, “Women, Art and Culture in Medieval and Renaissance Europe,” UCSB, February 26-27, 2010

Lecture, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, “The Politics of Public Housing in Franco-Maghrebi Cinema,” UCSB, April 23, 2009
Roundtable Participant, UCLA Graduate Student Conference in French and Francophone Studies, UCLA, October 16, 2009
Lecture, “The Dialectics of Modernization and Modernity in Colonial Cinema,” The African and African-American Studies Research Project, UCSD, May 15, 2009
Lecture, “French Colonial Cinema and Bergsonian Duration”
Department of Sociology and the African American Studies Research Project, UCSD, March 3, 2006
Lecture, Film Studies Colloquium, “Tupi or not to tupi: ‘Natural man’ and the ideology of French colonial documentary cinema,” UCSB, October 28, 2005
Roundtable Organizer and Participant, “Frenchness and the African Diaspora,” with Charles Tshimanga and Didier Gondola. UC Irvine-UC Santa Barbara Graduate Student Conference in French and Francophone Studies, UCSB, May 12, 2005
Panel Chair and Film Programming Consultant, Sartre International Centential Colloquium, Department of French and Italian, UCSB, December 2, 2005
Lecture, UCSB Food for Thought Black Studies Lecture, “To be or not to be American: African-American Boxing in Interwar France,” UCSB, February 16, 2004


French: fluency, both spoken and written

Spanish and Italian: reading knowledge

Membership in Professional Organizations

African Studies Association (ASA), American Association of Anthropology (AAA), Central African Studies Association (CASA), DORMITOR: International Association for the Study of Early Film, Ghana Studies Council, Modern Language Association (MLA), Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS)

Conference Papers with précis
“Radio-cinema Governmentality in Malaya Speaks (1954),” Visible Evidence 18, New York City, New York University, August 11-14, 2011. [Paper addresses the function of voiceover as fictional and documentary narrative device during the Malayan Emergency through an examination of Malaya Speaks and English language overseas BBC radio.]
“Instituting Narrative Authority: Voicing British Colonial Film and Radio,” Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Panel Organizer: “Reconciling Institutional Media Cultures and Political Subjectivity,” New Orleans, LA, March 10-13, 2011. [Paper addresses the relationship between British colonial radio programming and voiceover in a number of British colonial films in the immediate postwar period.]
“The Curse of Colonial Difference: Voice and Citizenship in the Late Colonial Period”
African Studies Association Conference. Panel organizer: Transacting a Cosmopolitan Politics of Performance and Visuality in a Diasporic Frame. San Francisco, California, Westin St. Francis Hotel. November 18-22, 2010. Served as conference program committee member. [Examines the articulation of the British colonial voice through an examination of the film, I Will Speak English (Gold Coast Film Unit, 1954), from the context of literacy campaigns and a psychoanalytic perspective focusing on subject positioning.]
“Introjecting Imperial Consciousness: The Documentary Cinema of the Empire Marketing Board and Adult Education”
Conference: Colonial Film: Moving Images of the British Empire, 1895-1939, Birkbeck College, London, UK, July 7-9, 2010. [Examines the role of British documentary cinema as publicity vehicle for the Conservative Party during the interwar period in relation to Adult Education and Empire focusing particularly on the relationship between Leopold Amery, Stanley Baldwin, John Grierson, and Stephen Tallents.]
“Educating the Masses: The British Film Institute and Constructs of Empire” Conference: On the History and Epistemology of Film and Moving Image Studies, Advanced Research Team on History and Epistemology of the Moving Image (ARTHEMIS), Concordia University, Montreal, Canada, June 4-7, 2010. [A reevaluation of the relationship between the Griersonian documentary film movement and an examination of the early context for the emergence of the British Film Institute in relation to the Imperial Institute.]
“Mediations of a Late Colonial Presence: Between Drawn Strips, Instructional Cinema, and Comic Routines in the Belgian Congo”
Conference: Building an African Presence, Center for Global Thought, Columbia University, New York, April 30-May 1, 2010. [An examination of the moralizing drawn strip figure of Mbumbulu appearing in the Belgian colonial magazine Nos Images in relation to figures appearing in Belgian colonial instructional cinema during the postwar period.]
“From the Primitive to the Developing Subject: Constructing African Audiences and the Work of the Gold Coast Film Unit”
Conference: Revisiting Modernization, UC African Studies MRG, University of Ghana, Legon, July 27-31, 2009. [Exploration of the redefinitions and debates related to the “primitive subject” through the work of the Gold Coast Film Unit.]
“Reconciling Modernization and Modernity in Colonial Cinema: Narrative Strategies of Film Education as developed by the Gold Coast Film Unit”
Conference: Space Matters: Reframing Early Cinema and Modernity, Department of Screen Arts and Culture, University of Michigan, April 10-11, 2009. [Examination of late colonial modernist themes as part of a longer historical trajectory related to early cinema examined in the context of the Gold Coast Film Unit in the postwar era.]
“Humanitarianism and Scenarios for Disaster”
Conference: Critical Investigations into Humanitarianism in Africa, Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies (CGPACS), University of California, Irvine, January 16-17, 2009. [Exploration of the entropics of humanitarianism as mediated by radio addressing various Heideggerian themes and the work of the Israeli theorist Adi Ophir.]
“Technologies of Modernization and Scenarios for Disaster: Radio Machete and the Discourse of Media Effects”
Panel (co-organizer): Alternative Narratives of Modernization in West Africa and Beyond. Conference: African Studies Association, Chicago Illinois, Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers, November 13-16, 2008. [Critique of the radio effects discourse in explaining the effect of Radio Machete on the Rwandan genocide and points to a broader examination of modernization and violence.]
“Mapping Post-Colonial Body Techniques: Vovinam, martial arts, and the anti-colonial media spectacle”
Panel (co-organizer): Cinema and the Return of the Imperial Signifier. Conference: Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Philadelphia, March 6-9, 2008. [Examines the history of French colonial body techniques in postcolonial Viêt Nam and its relationship to martial arts techniques and film.]
“Auteur cinema and the politics of absorption: Beur cinema and the 2005 riots”
Conference: Beur is Beautiful: Maghrebi-French Filmmaking, New York University, Tinker Auditorium, The Alliance Française, New York City, November 10-11, 2007. [Addresses the quality of appropriation in an absorptive media sphere focusing on the relationship of banlieue aesthetics and the geography of deportation camps during World War II.]
“French banlieue culture and a certain tendency in French cinema”
Panel: Frenchness and the African Diaspora. Conference: African Studies Association, Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers, New York City, October 18-21, 2007. [Focuses on the theme of the history of auteurship in French cinema and its relationship to exceptionalism.]
“Eruptions of violence: (Black) American media spectacle in the French political landscape”
Panel: On Dangerous Ground[s]. Conference: African Studies Association, San Francisco, November 16-19, 2006. [Addresses the appropriation of Black American vernacular gestures in relation to 2005 riots in France.]
“The Cinematic Bodily Training of French Colonial Warfare: From Georges Demeny’s Rational Gymnastics to Luc Besson’s parkour
Conference: Spaces of War: France and the Francophone World, Department of French and Italian, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, October 26-28, 2006.
Beur Cinema and the accretion of French exclusionary politics”
Panel: The African Diaspora in France: Exploring Notions of Identity, Culture, and Nation. Conference: African Studies Association, Washington, D.C., November 18, 2005. [An analysis of the aesthetics of suburban housing in contemporary French beur and banlieue films, focusing on the role of language in Abdellatif Kechiche’s 2004 film L’esquive (Games of Love and Chance).]
“Visual Traces of French Colonial Psychiatry”
Panel: Scientific Image and Colonial Higher Education in the Sciences and Empires/Pacific Circle (SC 18). Conference: 22nd International Congress of History of Science, Beijing, China, July 24-30, 2005. [Paper addresses the history of French colonial psychiatry in the colonies and examines case histories from the earliest African psychiatric patients interned in Marseilles.]
“Diagnosing Invisible Agents”
Invited Lecture: Robert Koch School of Microbiology at the Charité University Hospital, Berlin, Germany, June 23, 2004. [Paper focuses on the cinematic representation of the vector of the fly leading to the spread of trypanosomiasis in the work of Eugène Jamot and Robert Koch in West Africa from 1902-1938.]
“Jean Rouch’s Les Maîtres Fous and an ambivalent colonial legacy”
Panel (co-organizer): Jean Rouch Revisited. Conference: Society for Cinema and Media Studies, London, England, April 2, 2004. [Paper focuses on the role of ethnopsychiatry as a crucial context for Jean Rouch’s 1954 film Les Maîtres Fous.]
“Ousmane Sow’s ‘Battle of Little Bighorn:’ Cinematic Sculpture and Transformations
of the Battle Scene”
Panel (co-organizer): Les nouveaux westerns: Post (colonial) Reinventions and Borrowings. Conference: XXth and XXIst Century French and Francophone Studies International Colloquium, Tallahassee, Florida, April 1-3, 2004. [Paper focuses on Ousmane Sow’s 1999 sculptural tableaux of 36 figures depicting the famous 1876 American battle scene of General George Armstrong Custer’s defeat near Little Big Horn River in Montana incorporating techniques of diorama construction derived from the natural history museum.]
“Citroën and French Colonial Cinema: Geographies of Montage and Empire”
Panel: Rethinking Colonial Ethnography: Theory, Practice, Canon. Conference: American Anthropological Association, Chicago, Illinois, November 19-23, 2003.

“Crossing into French Colonial Cinema: The Citroën, Renault, and Peugeot-sponsored Documentary Films of the Interwar Period”

Conference/Workshop: Dartmouth Workshop on the Early Film Travelogue, Hanover, New Hampshire, March 29-30, 2003.
“Retraining Desire: Shellshock and Afterimages of the Senegalese Sharpshooter”
Panel: Moral Passion and Desire in Postcolonial Africa. Conference: American Anthropology Association, New Orleans, LA, November 21-24, 2002. [Paper focuses on how visual representations of the Senegalese Sharpshooter were linked to the discourse of French colonial psychiatry, the emerging diagnosis of shell shock, and representations of sexuality.]

“African-American boxing and the figuration of masculinity in interwar French avant-garde performance culture”

Panel: Black Paris: Art and Literature in Social Context. Conference: African Literature Association, University of California, San Diego, April 4-8, 2002. [Paper addresses African and African-American boxers as part of interwar French theatrical and cinematic performance culture during the 1920s and 1930s.]
“Inside the French Colonial Archive”

Conference: Writing the History of French Cinema, UCLA Center for Modern and Contemporary Studies, UCLA, Los Angeles, California, May 12, 2001. [Paper focuses on three films as an illustration of parameters for colonial films representations during the interwar period.]

“Hygiene and the Permutations of French Colonial Cinema”
Conference: Colonial Cinema: A Borrowed Patrimony, International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF), Rabat, Morocco, April 10-20, 2001. [Paper focuses on the relationship between fictional and documentary films about the rhetoric of hygienic reform in French colonial North Africa.]
“Recent Ghanaian ‘Horror’ Films”
Panel (co-organizer): New African Genres. Conference: Twelfth Triennial Symposium on African Art (ACASA), St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands,
April 25-29, 2001. [Paper addresses the recent production and circulation of Ghanaian Horror video-films that feature Ewe and Akan iconography overlaid with Christian Pentecostalist themes.]
“Suturing the French Colonial Archive: The Cinema of French Hygienic Reform”

Conference: American Anthropological Association, San Francisco, California, November 15-19, 2000. [Paper relates the history of eighteenth century French Sensationist thought to colonial archive under the Third Republic, emphasizing the role of hygiene films.]

“Hygiene, Cinema, and the Automobile in Interwar France”
Conference: What Drives California? Symposium of the California Psychoanalytic Circle, University of California, San Francisco, April 1-2, 2000. [Paper analyzes the representation of the automobile as a metaphor for the human body through French interwar documentary cinema.]
“Picturing Rational Gymnastics: Vocabularies of Civilization and Masculinity”
Panel (organizer): Rationalizing Visions. Conference: Society for Cinema Studies, Chicago, Illinois, April 9-12, 2000. [Paper traces the evolution of the Rational Gymnastics Movement, under the leadership of Georges Demenÿ, through the invention of chronophotography and the educational film movement during the interwar period.]
“The American Western in French Colonial Spaces”
Conference: Symposium on the Black West, UC African Studies MRG, The African and African-American Studies Research Project, University of California, San Diego, April 22-23, 1999. [Paper addresses the reception of the American Western film in the French colonies and focuses on a 1996 Algerian Arabic voice-over comic adaptation of a 1961 French spaghetti Western with Fernandel, in order to reflect on the current Algerian civil war.]
“Planetary Thought and Transcendental Cinema: Albert Kahn’s Archive of the Planet”
Panel (organizer): Internationalist Legacies of French Colonial Cinema. Conference: Society for Cinema Studies, Florida Atlantic University, West Palm Beach, Florida, April 15-18, 1999. [Paper examines an early utopian still and moving image archive of Albert Kahn, from 1912-1931, within the framework of internationalism, human geography, and Bergsonian intuition.]
“Black Boxing in Exile: European Modernism and Black Nationalism”
Panel (organizer): African Art under and beyond European Modernism. Conference: Eleventh Triennial Symposium on African Art (ACASA), New Orleans, Louisiana, April 8-12, 1998. [Paper addresses the cultural trajectories and international itineraries of three black American and African boxers, Jack Johnson, Alfonso Theophilo Brown (a.k.a. “Panama” Al Brown), and Louis Phall (a.k.a. “Battling Siki”), during the interwar period.]
“Cinema and Civilization in The Land of the Cannibals
Conference/Workshop: Imperialism and Identity: Remapping the Cultural Politics of Representation, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley, February 26- March 1, 1998. [Paper addresses the role of anthropophagy and exploration narratives in French colonial cinema using the 1928 André-Paul Antoine film, In the Land of the Cannibals.]
“Ideology, Ergonomics, and French Colonial Cinema”
Panel (organizer): ‘Ideology,’ ‘Technology,’ and ‘the Scientific’ in French Colonial Cinema. Conference: Society for Cinema Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. May 15-18, 1997. [Paper argues that French colonial cinema is closely bound to the history of ergonomics and work-study techniques used to develop a reliable labor pool in the colonies.]
“From Ciné-Trance to Beur Cinema
Conference: Workshop on Popular Culture, Bordeaux Institute of Political Studies, Bordeaux, France, December 5-7, 1996. [Paper examines North African filmmaking and cultural movements in France from the 1970s to the 1990s.]
“La Cinématographie comme outil de l’hygiène coloniale”
Invited Lecture: Sciences and Empire Working Group, CNRS (UPR 318), Recherches épistemologiques et historiques sur les sciences exactes et les institutions scientifiques, Université de Paris VII, Jussieu, Paris, France, June 13, 1996. [Paper argues that early film in the French colonies was typically presented in the context of military recruitment and medical hygiene campaigns.]
“Seeing as Knowing: From the Geographic to the Hygienic”
Conference: International Colloquium on Twentieth Century French Studies, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland. March 28-30, 1996. [Paper describes French colonial cinema as a means of propagating a form of colonial humanism, used to convince French citizens of the necessity for a colonial Empire.]
“La représentation graphique et l’hygiène colonial”
Conference: Documentary Filmmaking in Algeria before Independence, Mémoires Méditerranéenes and IREMAM, La Cité du Livre, Aix-en-Provence, France, January 12, 1996. [Paper focuses on graphic strategies of representation in physiology and relates these methods to images of illness and health in colonial hygiene campaigns.]
“Locating Beur Cinema: Social activism, immigration politics, and the naming of a film movement”
Conference: Tenth Triennial Symposium on African Art, New York University, New York City, April 20-23, 1995. [Paper focuses on film and television imagery of North African immigrants in France.]
“A travers le miroir cinématographique”
Conference: Colloque International: Scènes et Types, L’Association pour la Connaissance de l’Afrique Contemporaine (ACHAC), Le Pharo, Marseilles, France, February 9-11, 1995.
“Armchair Adventure: French Colonial Crossing Films and Proto-tourism”
Panel/Working Group: Sociology of Tourism (05). Conference: XIIIth World Congress of Sociology, University of Bielefeld, Germany, July 18-23, 1994. [Paper describes early automobile tourism in French North Africa through a discussion of guidebooks and documentary films produced by Citroën and Peugeot.]
“The French Crossing Film: Technology, Evolution, and French Cinematic Record”
Conference: Society for Cinema Studies, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York. March 3-6, 1994. [Paper argues that early French documentary cinema in North Africa was used to propagate race-based evolutionary paradigms within France.]
“Le cinéma dans les expositions coloniales”
Conference: Images et colonies: Maghreb et Afrique noire au regard du cinéma colonial 1895-1962, ACHAC, L’Institut du Monde Arab, Paris, France, February 17-27, 1994. [Paper addresses cinema as a new promotional industrial technique at the French Colonial Exhibitions.]
“Pottery, Chronophotography, and the French Colonial Archive”
Conference: Screen Studies, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, June 25-27, 1993.
“Alternative Visual Testimony: John Wayne, Children, and the Right to Confrontation”
Conference: International Association for the Semiotics of Law, University of the Aegean, Mytelene, Lesbos, Greece, July 6-9, 1992. [Paper argues that children’s visual testimony in U.S. criminal law proceedings and the Western film genre share an ideology of visual truth, rescue, and protection.]
“Transducing Migrant Identities: The Western as an American Imaginary”
Conference: Society for Cinema Studies, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, May 23-26, 1991. [Paper analyzes the politics of corporate banking culture and museum displays that deploy the mythology of the West.]

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