University of Pittsburgh




David Pettersen

Assistant Professor of French

Associate Director, Film Studies Program


Office: 1328 G Cathedral of Learning
Tel: 412-624-6262



PhD, French Literature with a Designated Emphasis in Film Studies, University of California at Berkeley
MA, French Literature, University of California at Berkeley
BA, French and Film and Television Production, University of Southern California

Curriculum vitae (PDF)

Research interests & Fields of study

David Pettersen's research interests center around the politics of mass culture in French literature and cinema during the 20th and 21st centuries. He is currently completing a book manuscript entitled Modernism for the Masses: Americanism, Emergent Media, and the Politics of Culture in 1930s France. This book shows how a systemic engagement with American mass culture allowed a new generation of French writers, filmmakers, and intellectuals to re-imagine modernism for a mass public during the bitterly divided 1930s. His second book project looks at the relationships between global film genres and the French banlieue in contemporary cinema, specifically the ways in which recent French producers and filmmakers have fused the marginalized space of the French suburbs with global genre formulae to imagine a commercially viable, popular French cinema. His articles have appeared in Cinema Journal, Studies in French Cinema, and Romance Studies.




Selected Publications

“Genre Film in the French banlieue: Luc Besson and parkour” (forthcoming in Cinema Journal 53:3)

"Espoir," and "Le Crime de Monsieur Lange" in Directory of World Cinema: France, edited by Tim Palmer and Charlie Michael (Chicago: Intellect Books, 2013), 50-52 and 159-161.

"Interview with Christie Mcdonald and Susan Rubin Suleiman," Contemporary French and Francophone Studies 17:2 (March 2013), 245-252.

"The Politics of Genre in Jean Renoir's Le Crime de Monsieur Lange,"Studies in French Cinema 12:2 (May 2012), 107-122.

"Fragments of Affect: A Pragmatics of Creative Engagement in André Malraux's Revolutionary Novels," Romance Studies 28:1 (January 2010), 57-68.


Selected Awards and Honors

U of Pittsburgh A&S Type I Research Grant, Summer 2011

U of Pittsburgh A&S Type I Research Grant, Summer 2013

Professional Service


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