CV Summary




Professor, Cinema, San Francisco State University, 1987-present, Director, Graduate Program in Cinema Studies, 1994-2001, 2002-2007.

Fanny Knapp Allen Chair of Art History and Professor, Visual and Cultural Studies Graduate Program, University of Rochester, 2001-2002.

Visiting Professor, Film Program, UC Berkeley, Spring, 2005; Critical Studies, School of Film, UCLA, 1998; Theater Arts; UC Santa Cruz, 1990-1993; Getty Research Institute Associate Scholar: 1999-2000.

Faculty member (Lecturer – Full Professor), Queen’s University, 1974-1987.

Other Visiting Profes­sorships: UC Santa Cruz Research Associate: Anthropology, 2000, Art History and Visual Culture, 1996-97, History of Consciousness, 1985; National Humanities Insti­tute, Canberra, Australia, 1989.


Juror, International Documentary Film Festival, Seoul, August 19-25, 2011; International Documentary Film Festival (IDFA), Amsterdam, Nov 17-26, 2010; It’s All True Festival, Sao Paolo, Brazil, April 7-18, 2010; Jihlava Documentary Film Festival, Jihlava, The Czech Republic, Oct. 25-Nov.1, 2009, San Francisco International Film Festival, Golden Globes, 1988, 89.

Advisor, School of Communications, American University,Advised on production of Honest Truths: Best Ethical Practices in Documentary Filmmaking (2009), a guideline based on scores of interviews with practicing filmmakers.

Consultant: 6 part history of documentary film, Lumiere Productions (2010- present); Wounded Knee and After, Kevin McKiernen, on Native American issues over the last 40 years (2011-present); Santiago y Santiago, Warren Haack, on Cuban music today (2012).

Advisory Board, Artists Rights Foundation and The Film Foundation, to develop a secondary school curriculum, “The Story of Movies,” 2000-2001.

Guest Curator, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 1996-98; Program Advisor, Asian Art Museum, 1989-1999.

Peer Review: National Endowment for the Arts, National Services, 1988, 1994.

Advisor, Thirteen-hour PBS/BBC series on American cinema produced by The New York Center for Visual Histor­y (aired in 1995).

Coordinator, First Soviet-American Film Scholars Conference, Moscow, 1989.

Expert Witness, (Arnold v. Fox Broadcasting), intellectual property case, successfully settled out of court.

Senior Consultant, American Film Institute: proposed comprehensive film education program for the United States; General Editor, AFI Film Reader series, 1984-1987.

External Program Evaluator, Brown University, University of Colorado, and U.C. Santa Cruz.

Editori­al Consultant, Duke, Indiana, MacMillan, Minnesota, Oxford, Princeton, Routledge, Temple, University of California, and other presses.

Editorial Board member: Canadian Journal of Film Studies, Visual Anthropology Review, Cinema Journal, Cine-tracts, Cineaste, Critical Studies in Mass Communication, Quarterly Review of Film and Video, Literature and Medicine and other journals.


President, Society for Cinema Studies, 1983-1985;  Past President, 1985-1987.

Acting Chair (1976-78) and Chair, Film Studies Department, Queen’s Universi­ty, 1978‑1985.

President, Board of Directors, 1976-77, 81-82, and Co-Founder, National Film Theater at Kingston, 1976 (a community-based cinematheque).

Chair, Department of Cinema, SF State University, 1987‑1990; Chair, Hi­r­i­ng, Pr­o­m­o­t­ion and Tenure Committee, SF State, 1993-95, 1997-2000, 2002-2005.


Ten Books: (Engaging Cinema: An Introduction to Film; Cinema’s Alchemist: The Films of Peter Forgacs; Introduction to Documentary; Maya Deren and the American Avant-Garde; Blurred Boundaries; Representing Reality; Ideology and the Image; Newsreel: Film and Revolution on the American Left, and the two-volume anthology, Movies and Methods (widely reviewed, volume one helped define modern film scholarship). 


More than 35 articles printed in anthologies; over eighty journal articles address topics from cybernetics (“The Work of Culture in the Age of Cybernetic Systems”) and visual anthropology (“The Ethnographers Tale”) to film history (“Documentary Film and the Modernist Avant-Garde”).


Over one hundred presentations including: Dialogues with Peter Forgacs (Sao Paolo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia; “Narrative Cinema” a two-week lecture series, Beijing, China; “Documen­tary Ethics,” Augsburg, Germany; “The Most Important Art,” Moscow, USSR; “Cybernetic Culture,” Keynote Address, First Nordic Film Confer­ence, Turku, Finland; “The Gulf War Text,” Yamagata Film Festival, Japan; “Documentary: A Fiction (Un)like Any Other,” a seven part lecture and film series, Humanities Research Centre, Canberra, Australia.

Film Critic, KUSP FM, National Public Radio. Occasional commentator on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition. Numerous film and book reviews.


Social Science and Humanities Research Council: 1) three year grant for research on postwar American culture, with matching grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.  2) multiple grants for the development of film study resources at Queen’s Uni­versity.

National Endowment for the Humanities: Research Fellowship, 1990-1991 and Summer Stipend, 1989, for work on Representing Reality.


Distinguished Teaching Award, San Francisco State University, 1999; Favorite Professor Award, UC Santa Cruz, 1992 and 1993.

Nominated for Alumni Teaching Award, Queen’s University, 1985.


Co-founder: Queen’s Film Archives, 1978 (a study collection and National Film Board depository).

Producer and director:  various short films and videos; Why We (Men) Fight shown at MOMA, 2012.