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Voices & Visions in Black Cinema Speaker Series: Allyson Nadia Field

April 15, 2016

"Aesthetics of Confrontation: The L.A. Rebellion as Third Cinema in the First World."

When: April 15, 4:30 p.m.

Where: Film Forum, Schwartz Center

Allyson Nadia Field is an Associate Professor in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago. Her scholarship contributes to evolving areas of study that investigate the functioning of race and representation in interdisciplinary contexts surrounding cinema. Her primary research interest is in African American film, both silent era cinema and more contemporary filmmaking practices, and is unified by two broad theoretical inquiries: how film and visual media shape perceptions of race and ethnicity, and how these media have been and can be mobilized to perpetuate or challenge social inequities. Her work is grounded in sustained archival research, integrating that material with concerns of film form, media theory, and broader cultural questions of representation.

She is the author of Uplift Cinema: The Emergence of African American Film & The Possibility of Black Modernity (Duke University Press, 2015). Uplift Cinema excavates and explores the emergence of Black filmmaking practices in the period prior to D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation (1915) and the proliferation of race cinema that began in the late teens. Her research interests extend to Blaxploitation and African American film culture of the 1970s, nontheatrical film, orphan and ephemeral media, studio era Hollywood cinema, and contemporary media cultures. She is currently working on a book project on actor and filmmaker Noble Johnson, considered the first Black movie star—a project that argues for an alternative history of the racial politics underlying American studio era cinema, going beyond a black-white binary of race and national identity. She is also co-editing an essay collection with Marsha Gordon on race and nontheatrical film.

Allyson Nadia Field