I am Assistant Professor of French at Bentley University. I hold a Ph.D. in French from Columbia University (2016). I also received a B.A. in French and in Film studies from the University of California at Berkeley (2008). My primary research focus is French and Francophone cinema, television, and other media of the 1950s and 1960s. I am also interested in other periods of French and Francophone cinema, documentary cinema, and international cinema. My training in literary studies informs my study of cinema. Close reading, archival research, and attention to cultural and historical contexts are key aspects of my approach.
My first book, The Ethnographic Optic: Jean Rouch, Chris Marker, Alain Resnais, and the Turn Inward in 1960s French Cinema (forthcoming, Indiana University Press), probes the role of colonial ethnography in shaping innovative French cinema of the 1960s. Concurrent with the dissolution of the empire, three noted filmmakers whose work was previously characterized by a sophisticated engagement with alterity flipped to casting a self-aware ethnographic gaze on urban France. In their descriptions of these filmmakers’ unprecedented self-aware focus on the urban French, film critics deployed references tied to colonial French ethnography. The Ethnographic Optic examines the significant connections of ethnography and French cinema in the post-Second World War period, specifically in relation to the colonial tradition that, given its longstanding association with the imperial project, facilitates the linking of these films to the historical context of decolonization. This project has been supported by the Phi Beta Kappa Mary Isabel Sibley Fellowship and the Fulbright Fellowship.
I have published scholarly articles in Studies in French Cinema and in the edited collection Dans le sillage de Jean Rouch (Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme). My translations have appeared in Romanic Review and KinoKultura.
I am developing two new research projects. The first reframes the origins of sub-Saharan African cinema through an archival contextualization of two key films of the 1950s. The second examines the post-Second World War intersections of the domestic French ethnographic tradition, French cinema, and television.
My most recent activity in the public humanities–an event with Aftershocks author Nadia Owusu and a piece on director Nora Martirosyan’s Should the Wind Drop in the Los Angeles Review of Books–is guided by my belief in the importance of making cultural creation and its scholarly analysis accessible to a broader public.