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Film and Media


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, television, and street theater. Faculty and PhD students work on major research projects on topics such as women and horror film, French documentary and animation, banlieue cinema in France, French extreme cinema, early modern texts' adaptation on screen, queer French film, gender and French urban/rural geographies, beur and Maghrebi sexualities, food and film, and Italian literature as the origin of horror genres. The study of European film is especially well represented in our department. 

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.

Recent Events in the Film and Media Network
  • 20th & 21st Century French and Francophone Studies International Colloquium, March 2022.
  • Pitt/Lyon II Film Studies Colloquium, April 2022
  • "Eziliphonics: Afro-sonic Feminism in Haitian Women’s Fiction" by Cae Joseph-Masséna, April 2022
  • French Film Festival: "Memories of a Republic", March 2022.
  • Pitt-Lyon 2 Third International Colloquium - French Cinema and the Challenge of Cinematic Genres/Le cinéma français au défi des genres cinématographiques, April 30-May 2, 2020
  • "The Horrid Beginning": Boccaccio's 'Decameron' as Archetype of Modern Post-Apocalyptic Narrative, with Alberto Iozzia, January 15, 2020
  • Pitt-Lyon 2 Summer Institute in Film and Media Studies for Graduate Students, May 20-23, 2019
  • Introduction and post-screening Q&A with Renzo Carbonera, Director, Resina, April 2019
  • Lecture by Elena Di Giovanni, University of Macerata, Italy, Professor English Translation and Pitt Italian Distinguished Fulbright Lecturer, “Cinema and television in Europe and beyond: a history of censorship and manipulation through translation,” March 2019
  • Lecture by Sébastien David, University of Lyon 2, “Sharunas Bartas and the Cinematographic Image as a Place for the Future of Communities: Aesthetics, Anthropology, and History,” October 25, 2018
  • Lecture by Fabio Parasecoli (NYU), "Food, Gender, and Media in Italy," September 2018
  • Pitt-Lyon 2 Second International Colloquium - Cinema in the Name of Art: Aesthetics, Cultural Imaginaries, Film Industries, Institutions/Le cinéma au nom de l’art : Esthétique, Imaginaires culturels, industries du film, institutions, April 26-27, 2018
  • Lecture by Stephen Sartarelli, "Pasolini: Poetry as Prism of the Universe," October 2017
  • Lecture by Alex Marlow-Mann, U of Kent, “Regional Cinemas: Micromapping and the Glocalisation of Film Studies,” February 2017
  • Pitt-Lyon 2 First International Colloquium – Auteurism: Then and Now, April 14-15, 2016
  • Tucci-Cornetti Lecture by Karla Mallette, Professor of Italian, University of Michigan, “Writ in water: Poetry on paper in medieval Italy,” January 2016
  • Lecture by Luc Vancheri, University of Lyon 2, “Film Analysis and Analytical Iconology,” November 19, 2015
  • Introduction and post-screening Q&A with Abdella Taïa, Director, Salvation Army, September 29, 2015
  • Introduction and post-screening Q&A with Jean-Marie Villeneuve, Director, Tout est faux, April 18, 2015
  • Tucci-Cornetti Lecture by Rebecca West, William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Service Professor Emerita, U of Chicago, “Valentino’s Vicissitudes of Identity,” March 2015
  • Lecture by Rémi Fontanel, University of Lyon 2, "Maurice Pialat, Abdellatif Kechiche, Bruno Dumont: Cinema and the Challenge of the Body,” November 20, 2014
  • Lecture by Margaret Flinn, The Ohio State University, “Olivier Assasyas: the Transnational, the Global and the Cosmopolitan,” October 8, 2013
  • Humanities Center Lecture by Dudley Andrew, Yale University, “Malraux-Benjamin-Bazin: A Triangle of Hope (Espoir) for Cinema,” October 1, 2013
  • Tournées French Film Festival, February 2012

Sample Graduate Courses

  • Italian Apocalyptic Cinema: After the End, Spring 2020, Alberto Iozzia
  • Early Modern Adaptations, Spring 2020, Chloé Hogg
  • French Studies, Gender Studies, Fall 2019, Todd Reeser
  • Contemporary French Cinema: Universalism and Its Others, Spring 2018, David Pettersen
  • Media and Material Culture in 20th and 21st century France, Spring 2017, David Pettersen
  • Horror and the Question of Genre in French Cinema, Spring 2016, David Pettersen
  • Classical French Cinema: The Cosmopolitan 1930s, Fall 2013, David Pettersen
  • Center and Periphery in French Film, Spring 2012, David Pettersen​ 

Current PhD Students Currently Working in This Network

  • Yacine Chemssi
  • Hyunjin Kim
  • Phoebe Marshall

Alums in This Network

  • Anna Dimitrova
  • Teresa Johnson-Evans
  • Yahya Laayouni
  • Maxime Bey-Rozet
  • Emma Ben Hadj
  • Jonathan Devine

Sample Undergraduate Courses

  • History of French Cinema (taught in English), offered regularly
  • History of Italian Cinema (taught in English), offered biannually
  • Italian Cinema Icons, offered binannually
  • French Sub(urban) Cinema
  • TV in French

Undergraduate Projects

  • Workshop with Elena Di Giovanni on “Film and TV Titling,” October 2018
  • Funded Undergraduate Internship in Italy, with Elena Di Giovanni‘s team of translators and titlers working with the Macerata Opera Festival and InclusivOpera.
  • Aleksandra Pomiecko, French Honors Thesis, “Elements of 1930s French Nationalism in Soviet Cinema: The Representation of Individualized Revolution and the Future of Socialist Realism,” April 2012


Network Coordinator: David Pettersen