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Film and Media Studies MA Thesis Titles

Class of 2020


“Conspiratorial Women: Searching for Antigone in Arab Spring Cinema”

by Alreem Alkaabi 


“‘Perilous Pauline’ or ‘Dainty Pearl White’? Fearless Femininity and Serial Queen Publicity Materials” 

by Daniel Lawrence Aufmann


“Be Water, My Friend: The Political, the Social, and the Aesthetic in Hong Kong as a ‘State of Exception’”

by Cheuk Ying Cherie Chan


“Democracy of Goods: Knowledge, Commodity, and Instructional Film”

by Phoebe Chen


“What Says and What Says Nothing: Between Language and Image in Fernand Deligny’s Cinematic Thought”

by Aaron Dowdy


"In the Forests: Solitude and Subjectivity in Contemporary British Queer Representation"

by Kira Li


“Bewitched and Besmirched: Locating Women in Contemporary Folk Horror”

by Kyna McClenaghan


“Modernist Fidelity in Adaptation Through the Polish School”

by T.A. Morris


“Politically Remediating Palimpsestic Digital Copies Brazilian Films Through Informal Distribution Networks”

by William Plotnick


“The Cult of Horror: Horror Cinema and Fandom at Horror Film Festivals” 

by Andrew Powell


“Portugal’s Saudade, a Cinema of Dreams”

by Karlee Rodrigues


Tuwei: New Awkwardness in Chinese Cyberspace”

Xiaoyu Shen


“Keep Me From Ending It All: Failed Content, Montage Forms and Collectivity in Digital Compilations”

by Will Tamura


“Girls on the Margin: Representation of Girlhood in Chinese Independent Documentary”

by Shimiao Wang


“Feminist Traumedy”

by Emily Wei


“On the Modernization of Film Language: Locating Chinese Film Theory Right After the Cultural Revolution and in Zhang Nuanxin’s Sha Ou (1981)” 

by Yumo Yan


“‘Listen to Moscow’: Intertitles in Soviet Russian Avant-Garde Cinema’s Transition to Sound”

by Zijing Yu


“The Last Blossom: The Road to Diva and the Disappearance of Tianhou” 

by Ao Zhang


“Meeting Women of the World: Hollywood’s Ambivalent Encounters with Vamp Actress”

by Muxin Zhang


“The Pseudo-Collaboration: Shanghai Cinema in Japanese Occupation (1938-1945)”

by Tianyi Zhou



Class of 2019


“Radical Potentialities: Retheorizing Cinephilia with a Feminist Historical Framework”

by Sonia Brand-Fisher


“Que Siri, Será: On Cinematic Love Stories of Human and Machine”

by Myranda D’Apolito


“The Strolling 60s: Sidney Poitier and Ontological Changes to the Black Image”

by Benjamin Y Goff


“Hypertemporal Dynamics: The Function of Nonlinear Fracture in the 21st Century Cinematic Narrative”

by Matt Knudsen


“Is Seeing Still Believing?: High Definition and Programmed Fidelity in the Age of 4K, and Beyond”

by Insook Park


“The Rap of China: Borderless Hip-hop with Chinese Characteristics”

by Tianren Qiang


“The Genus of Genre: Estrangement, Abjection, and Embodiment at the Border of Film Species”

by Nathan Escar Smith 


“Virtual Reality in Future Sexuality”

by Xingjian Sun


“The Murderous Shadow: Dr. Caligari from Weimar Germany to Republican China”

by Tim Shao-Hung Teng


“The Atmospheric Image: Between the Visible and the Invisible”

by Shuyi Xiong


“The Spatialized Moments in Your Pocket: Space, Image, and Locative Media”

by Yuxing Zhang


“Washed-Out City, Washed-Out Body: On Light Pollution, Elemental Infrastructure and Atmospheric Media”

by Tinghao Zhou


“Produce 101 vs. Idol Producer: The Problematic Transplantation of Male Idol Industry from South Korean to China”

by Rui Zhu


Class of 2018


“Sinema: A Cinema of Transcendent Immorality”

by Grant Douglas Bromley


“The Hegemon’s Shadow: Observing Western Influence in Tamil Cinema”

by Arjun Chandrasekar


“A New Colombian Cinema? Understanding the Construction of National Cinema in the Wake of a Globalized World”

by Anthony Enrique Chassi


“‘Fei Cheng Wu Rao’: Constructing Post-Socialist Subjectivities through Reality Television”

by Shuyi Chen


“Stand-Up Comedy as Rhetoric Craft”

by Shota Hasui


“DIVED-on’t: Recontextualizing Puerto Rican Films under the Division of Community Education (DIVEDCO)”

by Alexandra Elena James


“‘What’s Origin Got to Do with It?’: Problematic Historiographies and the Debate of Cinematic Origin”

by Sasha Dilan Krugman


“When China (Tries to) Take Command: Chinese War Film in Dialogue with World Cinema”

by Wentao Ma


“Why? Films”

by Marie-Anne Malek


“Growing Market, Growing Attention: Chinese Film Censorship and Controversies”

by Jinghan Mao


“Screwball Performativity and Stardom in 1930s American Comedy”

by Denise Mok


“Pizza Rat: Redefining Authenticity in the Age of Fake News”

by Jason Potel


“Under the Bi(g) Top: An Investigation into the Bisexual Vantage in ‘Circus Cinema’”

by Ayal Prouser


“Extinction/Representation: Cinematic Aporias of Multispecies Ethics”

by Nicholas Rueda-Sabater


“Ecuadorian First Wave: 2006-2016”

by Manuel Alejandro Salas


“Embody Against the Machine: IMAX, Being Meditated, & The Newness of ‘New’ Media in the Digital Age”

by Elizabeth (Kallie) Kallmeyer Strode


“Tyrannical Images and Performative Rituals: Stalin’s Cult of Personality in Soviet and Post-Soviet Cinema”

by Anri Vartanov


“International Film Festival as Testimony: Power Encounter in the Mainland-Chinese Cinematic Discourse during 1980s and 1990s”

by Tian Wang


“Let Your Soul Stand Cool: The Concept of Cool in the Cinema”

by James Hunter Alan Wham


“Post-Revolutionary Iranian Melodrama: The Trajectory from the 1980s Conformist Melodrama to the Post-1997 Subversive Melodrama”

by Siavash Yansori


“Post-Nationalized Cinema in China: A Comparison of Public and Private Film Companies”

by Lin Zhang


Class of 2017


“Voice Figure(s) ReTOONing: Geospeechifications in the Voices-Work Of Mel Blanc’s Commercial Vitality”

by Ian Arthur Adams


“Let Me Tell You Where I Have Been: The Voice of Single Mothers in Rakhshan Bani-Etemad’s Films”

by Tania Ahmadi


“007 Both Shaken and Stirred: Evolving Structures of Seriality in the James Bond Franchise”

by Nicholas J. Bollinger


“The Film that Rattled the Machine: Another Look at Soviet Horror in Viy (1967)”

by Mary M. Foley


“Neverland Nui Loa: Inauguration of the Image Regime of Hawai’i as America’s Pacific Playground”

by Briand A. Gentry


“School Shootings in a Post-Columbine Cinema: Bowling for Columbine and Elephant

by Catherine Haas


“From on working girl to another:” The Representation of Female Employment in Screenland Film Fan Magazine During World War II”

by Megan Heatherly


“Possessed Technology: Visual Spectacles in Post-Mao Popular Cinema”

by Yiyang Hou


“Ideological Longing for Hopeful Defeat: National Policy Films in Colonial Korea Revisited”

by Haneul Lee


“Framing and Re-Framing: The Black Nerd Character in Contemporary African American Cinema”

by Julie Majerus


“Cinema’s Trepidatious Screen: Obscuring Abortive Bodies and Reproductive Identities with the Female Grotesque”

by Anne Moore


“One Last Movie: Creating the Filmic Ghost Through the Reconstruction of Our (His)stories”

by Alejandra Rosenberg


“Hitchcock, Herrmann, and Torn Curtain

by Mauri J. Sumén


“Cinema as Poetry: Through the Prism of Chinese Poetics”

by Jiyuan Tian


“Gilles Deleuze and the Generous Documentary”

by Joseph Wofford


“A National Cinema in Search for a Nation: The Manchuria Film Association”

by Xinyi Zhao


Class of 2016


"The Untitled Natalie Wood Communist Fan Magazine Project"

by Chandler Taylor


“Making and Marketing of a ‘Sellebrity’ Auteur - Christopher Nolan”

by Peter G. Bell 


“Expanding Irish Cinema: Globalization, Transnationalism, and the Moving Image in Ireland”

by Patrick Brodie


“Negotiating Italian Whiteness: American Silent Cinema Revised”

by Joseph Coppola 


“Assembling Digital Fragments: Collage and Found Footage in Chinese Independent Documentary”

by Yiwei Fan


“Cinema and its Discontents: The Politics of Contemporary Moving Image Exhibition in the work of Hito Steyerl and Omer Fast”

by Jessica Fletcher


“For Unrestricted Use Anywhere: The Exposure of 28mm and the Complexities of Maintaining Its Visibility”

by Hannah Greenberg 


“Expanding Narrative Realms: Genre and Exhibition in the Work of Eija-Liisa Ahtila and Cecelia Condit”

by Jessica Ann Hough  


“Screening The ‘New Woman’ in Late Colonial Period Korean Films: Modern Girls, Good Wives, Wise Mothers”

by Andrew Sanggyu Lee 


“Desire and Devotion: A Darshan Way of Looking in the Work of Sanjay Leela Bhansali”

by Dinesh Pasrasurum 


“The Bijou of the South: Milton Starr’s Influence on African-American Motion Picture Exhibition”

by Allie Mackenzie Roberts 


“Whatever Happened to Wanda? Barbara Loden’s Unique Vision of Women’s Cinema”

by Emily Bahr-de Stefano 


“From (Representing) The Others to (Embracing) The Impossible: On Contemporary Spanish Anglophone Cinema and (Trans)nationalism”

by Johnny Gustavo Herrera Taboado 


“Documenting the Unrepresentable: Reenactment from a Distance”

by Michael Tacca 


“Trauma as Allegory: The Cinematic Representation of the Chinese Cultural Revolution in Postmodern China”

by Xiangran Yang 


“A Voice of Militancy: New Atheist Documentaries and the War on Religion”

by Zizhao Zhang 

Class of 2015
“‘You Must Be Caligari’: Depictions of Mental Illness in Film Form”
by Amanda Brzezowski
Jessica Charle, “Sci-Fi Bodies: Bodily Representations in American Science Fiction”
by Jessica Charle
“Moments of Encounter: Slow Cinema at the Museum”
by Huei-Yin Chen
“Moving Pictures, Moving People:
Screening Films to Immigrant
     Audiences on Ocean Liners, 1926”
by Carolyn Condon-Jacobs
“Defining ‘Tartan Asia Extreme’: Towards the Construction
     of a Cinematic ‘Moment’!”
by Emily Damron
“Fashion as Performance: Brigitte Bardot and Audrey Hepburn”
by Lana Ghandour         
“What If It Had Been Three Women?
Exploring Anja Breien’s Wives as a
     Feminist Challenge to John Cassavetes’s Husbands
by Ingrid Synneva Holtar
“The Long Take as a Reaction to the Past in Contemporary Romanian Cinema”
by Samuel Littman
“‘Age of the Chick Flick in Chinese Cinema’: Postfeminism and Hollywood-style
     Chick Flicks in Postsocialist China”
by Danning Ma
“Jean-Louis Comolli’s Secret Life as a Jazz Critic/Redistributing the Common
     Community and Rethinking the Relationship Between Art and Politics” 

 Matthias Mushinski
“Finding Herself: Iranian Women Onscreen by Abbas Kiarostami & Jafar Panahi”
by Bebe-Negar Nodjomi
“Cuba: The Female Face of the Revolution; Sara Gomez, the First Female
     Cuban Filmmaker”
by Catalina Rayo
“Looking for Berthe Dagmar:
 A Case Study of the Mythology of the
     Femme Nouvelle in France”
by Aurore Spiers
“The Surveillance Gaze in Red RoadZero Dark ThirtyAfterschool and Caché
by Mads Wølner Voss
“Propaganda Film Reassessed: Different Readings of Eternity in the
     Perspective of Production”
by Tong Wang
“From Pornography to Pedagogy Cruising’s Changing Gay Critical Reception”
by James Weaver
Class of 2014
“Confusing Boundaries: Two Films by Leslie Thorton and Desmond Horsfield”
by Giampaolo Bianconi

“Trans-Porn: Fandom, Stardom, and Pornographic Film in East Asia Region”
by Jianqing Chen

“Mistaken Faces in Floating Places: Identities of the ‘Ocean Liner Film’
     in Classic Hollywood”  
by Stephanie Gross

“Intermediality and Image: The Art of Agnès Varda’s Cinécriture
by Averi Gutierrez

“Selfishly in ‘Love’?: The Collaboration of Tanaka Noboru and Miyashita Junko”
by Mio Hatokai

“Queering Québec: Québécois Identity and Contemporary Québécois Queer Cinema”
by Jemma Hinkly

“A Tracing of Pure Cinema: From the French Avant-Garde of the 1920s to
     Contemporary Cinema”
by Nadia Ismail

“Apocalypse Noir: Apocalyptic Narratives and Temporal Dislocation Within the
     Modality of Film Noir”
by Peter Labuza

Bon papa? Visualizing the Memory of the Belgian Congo at Home and Abroad”
by Kristin Poppé Nissen

“Giallo in Venice: Constructing a City of Crime”
by Greta Nordio

“Director’s Directors Directing Director’s Directors: An Inquiry Into the Roles of Auteur
     Directors Acting in Other Auteur Directors’ Films”
by Clare Richardson

“Recut Trailers as Queer Remix”
by Vera Salm

“The Ignorant Filmmaker: Asghar Farhadi Under the Rancièrian Spell of Pedagogy”
by Sophie Soghomonian

“Truth and the Exonerative Documentary”
by Madelyn Sutton

“Cities and Screens: How New Media Influence Our Experience of the Cities”
by Nazish Tazeem

“What Happens When the Thing that Made You Dies?: Parental Loss and Girlhood in
     Contemporary Black American Cinema”
by Aramide A. Tinubu

“Remapping the Journey: A Post-Classical Reading of Life of Pi
by Hsiu-an Wan
“A Cultural Comparative Study of Contemporary People’s Republic of China (PCR) and
     Japanese Cinema: Moral Schema, Narrative and Youngsters (1990-2013)”
by Le Yin

“Rethinking the Cultural Identity of Chinese 1980s’ Generation: Analyzing Found of a
 As a New Paradigm”
by Bingqiao Zhou
Class of 2013
“Erik Barnouw and The Global Documentary”
by Andrew C. Beck

“You Want to See Me Tap Dance?: Quirk and Postfeminism in Contemporary American
by Sarah Dunn
“The Same But Different: Content Distribution and Web 2.0”
by Simon Hewitt
“Mani Kaul’s Polycentric Modernisms: Towards a Dialogical Model of Assessment”
by Zain Jamshaid
“Moral Tales: The Deviant Fun of Anthology Horror Films”
by Sonia Lupher
“‘The Mind is a Whore:’An Erotics of Consciousness in the Writing of Susan Sontag”
by Emma E. Myers
“Armenians’ Presence in the Pre-Revolution Iranian Cinema: Two Significant Moments
(1900-1932) and (1948-1965)”
by Garineh Nazarian
“The Indoor Apocalypse: Last Night and English Canadian End of the World Cinema”
by Jordan Osterer
“The Jig’s Not Up: A Critical Investigation of the Hollywood Song-and-Dance Man”
by Kate Saccone
“Performance and Seduction in Remediated Opera”
by Julia Katherine Sirmons
“An Endangered Cinematic Experience: Stop Motion Animation and Digital Imaging in
Visual Effects”
by Katherine Stryker
“A ‘Fatal Kink’: On Parker Tyler’s Queer Criticism”
by Benjamin H. Turkus
Allochtonenfilm: Representing Dutch Immigrant Narratives on Screen”
by Diantha Vliet
Class of 2012
Somos lo que hay, ‘New Mexican Cinema’ and Other Symptoms of Forgetfulness”
by María Cristina Alemán
“‘I Die, Therefore I Am:’ ‘Suicide Narratives’ in Israeli and American Cinema”
by Neta Alexander
“The Reality Effect: The Special Effect and Cinematic Representation”
by Depaulo Vincent Bariuan
“Attempting Freedom: The Israeli Essay Film”
by Daniel Caron
“The Postwar Moment: Art Cinema Culture in the United States, 1963-1975”
by Ricky J. D’Ambrose
“My, What a Small Camera You Have: The Anxiety of Technological Change in the American Rape-Revenge Film"
by Katherine L. Gray
“Bergson’s Challenge: Theorizing a ‘Non-Cinematographic’ Cinema”
by Jeremy Heilman
“The Future of the Chinese Imagination: Aftereffects of Duplication in the Chinese Film Industry”
by Jane V. Hsu
“Make Way for Yesterday: Evasions of Old Age in American Cinema”
by Steven D. Mears
“Embodied Ideology(s): The International Star-Image as a Conduit of Cultural Convergence”
by Jivan Nagra
“Shooting the Star: The Bond Between Star Image and Cinematographic Style”
by Frank Ombres
“‘Enough of Mozzhukhin!’ or, ‘Ivan the Great’: The Star Image of Ivan Mozzhukhin in Soviet Russia
and France in the 1920s”
by Viktoria (Vika) Paranyuk
“Financial Derivatives and The Social Network
by Jonathan Robbins
“The Cultural Representation of Aishwarya Rai: Star Image and Identity in Contemporary Indian Cinema”
by Tarini Sridharan
“Trans-Nordic Cinema: The Interwoven Histories of Nordic National Cinemas”
by Pétur Valsson
Class of 2011
“Lost Girls and Drop-Outs: Women on the Margins of International Cinema (1966-1976) A Study of Yesterday Girl,
Black Girl, Wanda, and Iracema
by Livia Bloom
“The Sophisticated New Yorker and American Cinema”
by Diane Camina
“Cinetext: The Visible Word”
by Bethany Anne Czerny
“The Sick on Display: Aberrantification of Patients and Exploitation of the Body in London Missionary Society Films”
by Linnéa Hussein
“From Charlot to Hulot: The Comic Body in Space”
by Alessandra Luciano
“Passionate Failure: A Framework for the Diva on Film”
by Delores McElroy
“Shock the System: Emancipating the Image of the Black Subject Through L.A.Rebellion Films”
by Diamond McNeil
“Retaining and Assimilating Queerness: The Politics of the New Queer Cinema Crossover”
by Marc Newman
“If You Have Nothing Nice to Say, Come Sit Next to Me: Queering Star Scandal History”
by Zack Oleson
“Challenging the Myth of Authenticity via the Native Image”
by Alece Oxendine
“Permanent Negations: Towards ‘The Revolutionary’ in Chilean Revolutionary Cinema (1970-1973)”
by José Miguel Palacios Del Valle
“The Holodrama: A Dialectic of Historicized Pathos and Action. A Comparative Study of Czechoslovak
and Hollywood Holocaust Narratives”
by Rachel Schaff
“Dangerous Liaisons: The Gay International Arrives in Palestine”
by Joseph S. Valle
“The Bicycle ‘Thieved:’ Reconsidering Italian Neo-Realism in Philosophical Landscapes”
by Neil Vercellin
“Yellow Subjectivity Under Yellowface: Mapping Chinese Performance Through The Curse of Quon Gwon
by Mengqian Xie
Class of 2010
“Post-Colonial African Cinema: Confronting the Challenge of Globalization”
by Cheiku B. Camara
“Discovery of Women: Filmic Representation of Modern Girls in Chosun Cinema During the Japanese Occupation Period”
by Eun Jeong Choi
“Early African-American Female Filmmakers”
by Aimee Dixon
“Myopia Diagnosed: Rendering Subjectivity to the Children in the Sertão
by Bruno Guaraná
“Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle: Digestion and Assimilation in Asian-American Cinema”
by Abraham Kim
“Moral Ambiguity in Contemporary Art House Cinema”
by Terry S. Kim
“Mission Possible: From Art to Business. The Transitional Period in Russian Film Industry (end of 1980s-2009)”
by Elena Lakomkina
“Empire of (Lecto)Signs, Vol. 1: Gesture as Post-Deleuzian, Omnidirectional Potentiality”
by Jason R. LaRivière
“The Influence of Aristophanes on Greek Film Comedy: 1948-1968”
by Nefeli Lygerou
“The Absence of Sex in a Pornographic Context: The Nature of Explicit Content in Post-War
American Avant-Garde”
by Vera Ryzhik
“Afghan Cinema: A Visual Culture Constituted by Foreign Gain”
by Carson Smith
“Film Star Persona: The Manliness, Sexual Rebellion and Technique of Montgomery Clift”
by Jyn Van Putten
“Contesting and Reordering Contemporary Greek Society Through Film Syntax: An Examination of the Heterotopic
Approach to Filmmaking Through a Close Analysis of Hostage and Correction
by Diana Wade
“Why Does China Not Have Its Own Hayao Miyazaki?: A Close Analysis of the Contemporary Chinese
Animated Film Industry”
by Yunyi Wang
“The Myth, the Meaning, the Memory: A Barthian Analysis of Michael Jackson’s Star Image”
by Molly Wedgewood
Class of 2009
“‘Never Let the Camera Catch Me Acting’: Lillian Gish as Actor, Star, and Theorist”
by Annie Berke
“The Two Double Agents in Lust, Caution: Ang Lee and the Female Spy”
by Ti-Kai Chang
“Commercializing and Capitalizing: The Route to Industrial Business (Chanye) for the Chinese Motion Picture”
by Yuan Chen
“A Journey From Cinema 16 to YouTube”
by Michaela C. Downs
“Sex Isn’t Sexy: Catherine Breillat and the Pornodramatic Narrative”
by James Hansen
“Fandom Fabrication and the Fascinating Youth: A History of the Paramount Pictures School”
by Matthew Hipps
“On the Verge of Explosion: Korean Melodrama, Kim, Ki-Young’s The Housemaid
by Song Jegal
“Mapping Manhatta and the Uncharted Terrain of Early American Avant-Garde Film”
by Maria Lund
“Posing as a Pansy: The Fauxmosexual Fantasy in Film”
by Richard “Chad” Newman
“Towards an Undie Cinema: Philosophy for the Development of an Emancipated Pedagogy and Practice of Cinema”
by Michelle Serieux
“The Portuguese Colonial Collection: The Empire and its Colonies”
by Verónica Spratley
“The Eye Altered: The Cinema of the Magic Lantern”
by Artemis Willis

Columbia University and New York City


Columbia University School of the Arts is located on the vibrant Upper West Side of Manhattan, in the Morningside Heights neighborhood. Riverside Park runs along the Hudson River one block to the west; Central Park lies a half-mile south; and Morningside Park rises to meet campus from the east. Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue, the main streets bordering campus, are lined with cafes, restaurants, bookstores, street vendors, pickup chess games, food carts, shops and delis, while the residential blocks just north and south of campus boast impressive brownstones and tree-lined quiet. The subway sits at exactly the main gate to campus, 116th Street and Broadway, making New York’s world-renowned museums, exciting Broadway and Off-Broadway theatres, film centers, galleries, cultural foundations, poetry houses and literary hubs a Metrocard swipe away.


Students find housing in Morningside Heights, surrounding Manhattan neighborhoods and boroughs, and the greater New York area. Columbia University Apartment Housing consists of a limited number of apartment shares, dormitory-style rooms and one-bedroom, studio and family units for which priority is given to couples and families. This housing is primarily located within walking distance of the campus in the Morningside Heights neighborhood.


From a one-room classroom with one professor and eight students, Columbia University has grown to include more than 4,000 faculty members and 23,000 students. Since 1901, 82 of Columbia’s alumni and current or former faculty have received the Nobel Prize. Today Columbia is what President Lee Bollinger has called "the quintessential great urban university"—attracting students and faculty from 150 countries to engage with each other and with the cultural, scientific, and business enterprises that make New York City one of the most exciting cities in the world.


Columbia includes three undergraduate schools, thirteen graduate and professional schools, and a school of continuing education.


The School of the Arts is housed in Dodge Hall on Columbia’s historic, neoclassical campus in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan. In addition to the School, Dodge Hall is home to Miller Theatre, the LeRoy Neiman Center for Print Studies, the Department of Music, and the Gabe M. Weiner Music and Arts Library. The other 21 libraries of the university, as well as countless research centers and institutes, are all at students’ disposal.