Media and Materiality

Words, sounds, and images move today at unprecedented speed through the world and into the everyday texture of our lives. When studying cultural production, it is essential to understand that the different material objects and technologies around us shape what we see and how we perceive and create the world. They are part of a much longer history of the relationship between technology, materiality, and culture, one that moves from medieval manuscripts to pulp novels and from the theater of machines to video games. French- and Italian-speaking contexts raise central questions about media and materiality because they have always been at the avant-garde of formal and material cultural production.

Our faculty and graduate students work on a variety of media and objects, both new and old, including early modern periodicals, it-narratives, concrete poetry, media archaeology, genre filmmaking, and street theater.  

The graduate programs in French and Italian at Pitt benefit from an especially developed network of faculty and students across departments and programs, including the Film and Media Studies Program and the Digital Humanities Research Network. Our department also hosts an innovative, interdepartmental PhD program in Film and Media Studies with a Concentration in French.