This is where I write about stuff.
Looking critically at music, film, art, tourism, and the all-American theme park.
Film and Media Theory
Archival Power and the Future of the Diegetic Documentary
Becoming Robots: Man with a Movie Camera as Technocratic Evolution: In a Russian industrialist's fantasy, Vertov's "Man with a Movie Camera" (1929) imagines a world with mechanically perfect humans.
The Dissonant Universes in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"
The Documentary in the Age of Digital Reproduction
Towards a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow: Retrofuturism in Disney's "Carousel of Progress"
Bridging a Sea of Discord: The Vulgar Modernism of Disney’s Music Land
"For The Unexpected is Always Upon Us:” The Politicization, Reflexivity, and Futurism in Berio’s “Sinfonia”
The Life at the End of the Hall: In a 2015 paper, MIT physicist Jeremy England discusses why life on earth isn't such an anomaly. In fact, we probably should have seen it coming. Published for Synapse Magazine, 2015.
I have designed and taught the following courses as part of Oberlin College's Experimental College (ExCo) department:
A History of Animation is a course about the technical and narrative developments of the animated film, all the way from the zoetrope through vaporwave. As we walk through 20th century history, we will pay close attention to the mechanized history and cultural theory behind some of the world’s most critically important animations. Students will complete this course with both a considerable knowledge of technical film and a more nuanced understanding of the sheer magic and profundity of the animated form.
Theme Park Theory is a course about how theme parks convey narrative, and how themed design has influenced global popular culture. During the semester, we will analyze the history and theory behind some of the world’s most famous themed spaces and relate their development to the large-scale historical movements that surrounded their production. Not only will students complete the course with a considerable knowledge of design and narrative theory, but will better understand the artistic importance of theme parks, and why a study of media is culturally vital.
Principles of Sound Design is an intensive introduction to the world of digital audio. Every week, we will complete an interesting, hands-on project designed to teach a particular set of tools— everything from digitally recreating the reverb patterns of Finney Chapel to synthetically processing birds from the Oberlin Arboretum. By the end of the course, students will have an excellent working knowledge of professional audio techniques as well as an understanding of the theories and concepts that underly the importance of sound in media.
Hitchcock and the 20th Century is an intensive introduction to the media of the Master of Suspense, as well as a discussion on how films can serve as historic artifacts of the time of their creation. During the semester, we will analyze some of Hitchcock's most controversial work and relate it to the large-scale historical movements that surrounded their production.