Curriculum Vitae

James M. Steffen

Film and Media Studies Librarian
Continuing Appointment, Rank III
Robert W. Woodruff Library
Emory University
Atlanta, GA 30322
Phone: (404) 727-8107
jsteffe@emory.edu
www.jamesmsteffen.net
Home address available
upon request

EDUCATION

Emory University, Doctor of Philosophy (Liberal Arts, Film Studies Certificate), May 2005

Emory University, Master of Arts (Film Studies), May 1995

University of Nevada at Las Vegas, Bachelor of Arts (English), May 1991

DISSERTATION

“A Cardiogram of the Time: Sergei Parajanov and the Politics of Nationality and Aesthetics in the Soviet Union.” Committee: David Cook (Director, Film Studies), Angelika Bammer (Graduate Institute of Liberal Arts), Matthew Payne (History) and Karla Oeler (Film Studies).

The dissertation examines the figure of Sergei Parajanov (1924-1990), one of the leading post-WWII Soviet film directors, in terms of the political implications of nationality and aesthetics in his biography and creative output. The controversies surrounding Parajanov’s reception as a cultural figure in the USSR reflect underlying tensions and contradictions within the multinational Soviet state.

ACADEMIC PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE & FELLOWSHIPS

Emory University, Film and Media Studies Librarian, Woodruff Library, Continuing Appointment, Rank III, 2006-present. Duties include: research consultations, bibliographic instruction, and online guides to library resources; shaping growth of library’s media collections and services.

Emory University, Visiting Assistant Professor, Film Studies Department, 2005-2006. Taught “Introduction to Film,” “French New Wave” and “Contemporary Film Theory.”

Emory University, Film Studies Departmental Liaison, Woodruff Library, 2003-2006. Duties included: research consultations, classroom instruction, and online guides to library resources; ordering books and videos to support teaching and research for the Film Studies department; coordinating A/V preservation projects.

Emory University, Interim Circulation and Reserves Manager, Heilbrun Music and Media Library, 2002-2003. Oversaw daily operations and supervised student assistants.

PUBLICATIONS

Books & Monographs

The Cinema of Sergei Parajanov (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2013).
Series: Wisconsin Film Studies. A Mellon Slavic Studies Initiative Book. (This book is part of an initiative for publishing first books by scholars in the fields of Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.)
Pre-order on Amazon; publication date October 15, 2013.

Articles & Other Publications

“Kyiv Frescoes: Sergei Parajanov’s Unrealized Film Project.” KinoKultura Special Issue 9: Ukrainian Cinema (December 2009), online. URL: http://www.kinokultura.com/specials/9/steffen.shtml

Book review of Looking Past the Screen: Case Studies in American Film History and Method. Film International Vol. 7, No. 6 (2009), 79-80.

“The Poetry of Objects: Sergei Parajanov’s Collage Aesthetic” and “Sergei Parajanov: a biographical sketch.” In Sergei Parajanov, Off Camera: Collages, Assemblages, and Objects. Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, 2003. (Exhibition catalog.)

“From Sayat-Nova to The Color of Pomegranates: notes on the production and censorship of Parajanov’s film” and Appendix of translated documents. Armenian Review (double issue) Vols. 47/48, Nos. 3-4/1-2 (2001/2): 105-185.

Book review of Sergei Parajanov, Seven Visions, trans. Guy Bennett. Film Quarterly Vol. 54, No. 1 (Fall 2000): 60-61.

“Parajanov’s Playful Poetics: On the ‘Director’s Cut’ of The Color of Pomegranates.” Journal of Film and Video, Vol. 47, No. 4 (Winter 1995-96): 17-33.

CONFERENCE ACTIVITIES

Individual Presentations

“Makharashvili was here”: Negotiating Georgian and Soviet Identity in Rezo Chkheidze’s The Father of a Soldier (1965). Paper delivered at Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies annual conference, November 2011, Washington, DC.

Ilya Muromets (1955) and the introduction of widescreen film in the Soviet Union. Paper delivered at American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies annual conference, November 2009, Boston, MA.

Invited presenter, The Color of Pomegranates: the Film That Might Have Been. Paper delivered at academic symposium The Cinema of Sergei Paradjanov, Harvard University, November 2007, Cambridge, MA.

Film Style and the mythic past in Soviet poetic cinema. Paper delivered at American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies annual conference, November 2003, Toronto, Canada.

Parajanov and the problem of Ukrainian nationalism. Paper delivered at American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies annual conference, November 2002, Pittsburgh, PA.

Kiev Frescoes: Sergei Parajanov’s unrealized film project. Paper delivered at Northeast Modern Language Association annual conference, April 2002, Toronto, Canada.

Group/Panel Presentations

Panelist, Designing for Open Access, Society for Cinema and Media Studies annual conference, March 2013, Chicago, IL (forthcoming).

Panelist, Religion, Spirituality, and the Nation State in Central Asian Cinema, Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies annual conference, November 2012, New Orleans, LA.

Panelist, Digital Methodologies for Screen Histories: Performing Research in the 21st Century. Society for Cinema and Media Studies annual conference, March 2012, Boston, MA.

Panel discussant, Experimental Film and New Media. Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies annual conference, November 2010, Los Angeles, CA.

Invited panel discussant, Sexuality, Identity, Ideology. Screened Sexuality: Desire in Russian, Soviet, and Post-Soviet Cinema (academic symposium), Columbia University, October 10– 11, 2008.

Panelist, Video Acquisitions: the State of the Art, American Library Association midwinter convention, January 2007, Seattle, WA.

Chair, Soviet Montage Theory Revisited. American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies annual conference, November 2003, Toronto, Canada.

TEACHING ACTIVITIES

Teaching in Credit Courses

Seminar in History: East European Film (FILM 503), Graduate seminar. Department of Film and Media Studies, Emory University, Fall 2012. Instructor of record.

Historiography of Film and Television (FILM 506), Graduate seminar. Department of Film Studies, Emory University, Spring 2008. Instructor of record.

Contemporary Film Theory (FILM 382), Undergraduate course. Department of Film Studies, Emory University, Spring 2006. Instructor of record.

Introduction to Film (FILM 270), Undergraduate course. Department of Film Studies, Emory University, Spring 2006, Fall 2005, Spring 2005 and Fall 1998. Instructor of record.

National Cinemas: French New Wave (FILM 395), Undergraduate course. Film Studies Program, Emory University, Fall 2005. Instructor of record.

Visual Culture (IDS 216), Undergraduate course. Interdisciplinary Studies Program, Emory University, Spring 2002 and Spring 1998.

The Politics of Identity (IDS 213) Undergraduate course. Interdisciplinary Studies Program, Emory University, Fall 2001, Spring 2000, and Fall 1999. Instructor of record.

National Cinemas: Hollywood Cinema of the 1970s (FILM 395), Professor David Cook, Film Studies Program, Emory University, Fall 1997. Teaching Assistant.

Teaching in Non-Credit Courses & Guest Lectures

Guest lecture, introduction to film Never Give a Sucker an Even Break and Cobra Woman, Emory Cinematheque, March 20, 2013.

Cinematic Montage and Narrative Techniques, guest lecture for MUS 380: Myth, Narrative and Multimedia, Professor Yayoi Everett, February 2, 2012, Emory University.

Georges Franju’s The Blood of Beasts, guest lecture for IDS 200: Interdisciplinary Foundations, Senior Lecturer Peter Wakefield, October 27, 2011, Emory University.

Sound in The Color of Pomegranates, guest lecture for FILM 504: Seminar in Theory: Film Sound, Professor Karla Oeler, October 3, 2011, Emory University.

Conducting Historical Research in Film Studies, guest lecture for FILM 506: Methods in Film and Media Studies, Lecturer Eddy Mueller, September 20, 2011, Emory University.

Guest lecture, introduction to film Letter From an Unknown Woman, Emory Cinematheque, March 25, 2011, Emory University.

The Color of Pomegranates, guest lecture for FILM 502: Seminar in Genre/Criticism: Problems of Adaptation, Professor Karla Oeler, February 2, 2011, Emory University.

The Color of Pomegranates as Global Cinema, guest lecture for FILM 395: National Cinemas: Global Cinema, instructor Kevin Cryderman, January 27, 2011, Emory University

Conducting Interdisciplinary Research, guest lecture for IDS 491R: Liberal Studies Senior Seminar, Senior Lecturer Peter Wakefield, October 21, 2010, Emory University.

Sergei Parajanov, guest lecture for RUSS 373: The Russian Avantgarde, Professor Juliette Apkarian, March 8, 2010, Emory University.

Guest Lecture, introduction to film Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, Emory Cinematheque, March 26, 2010, Emory University.

Guest Lecture, introduction to film Written On the Wind, Emory Cinematheque, February 13, 2010, Emory University.

Guest lecture and discussion for film Alexandria, Why? Middle East Film Festival, Georgia State University, March 14, 2008. With Ahmed Abdel Meguid (Department of Philosophy, Georgia State University), at invitation of Middle East Institute, Georgia State University.

The Color of Pomegranates: the film that might have been. (Expanded version of 2007 Harvard symposium paper.) Russian and East European Studies Program (REES), November 2007, Emory University.

The Life of Objects: Material Culture in the Films of Sergei Parajanov. Guest lecture to accompany gallery exhibit Sergei Parajanov, Off Camera: Collages, Assemblages, and Objects, Zimmerli Art Museum, April 2003, Rutgers University.

Gallery lecture and panel discussion for exhibit, Nonconformist Art: Works of the Soviet Republic of Georgia from the Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection, February 25, 2000, St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT & CONTINUING EDUCATION ACTIVITIES

Learning Outcome Assessment Track. ACRL Immersion, November 10-14, 2010, Nashville, TN.

Pedagogy Seminar, Emory Center for Teaching and Curriculum, May 14-28, 2008, Emory University. Led by Professor Marshall Gregory, Butler University.

User Rights at Risk in Video and Film: Issues for Media Librarians. (Preconference), Video Round Table, American Library Association, June 22, 2007, Washington, DC.

HONORS & AWARDS

Jury Member, Paradjanov Prize, Tbilisi International Film Festival. Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia, October 2006.

Emory Internationalization Fund Dissertation Research Grant. Conducted research on filmmaker Sergei Parajanov in Moscow (Russia), Kiev (Ukraine) and Yerevan (Armenia), September 2000– February 2001.

Departmental Teaching Fellowship, Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts, Emory University, 1999-2000 academic year.

Emory Internationalization Fund Summer Research Grant. Conducted pre-dissertation research for eight weeks in Yerevan (Armenia) and Tbilisi (Georgia), Summer 1998.

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS

Society for Cinema and Media Studies

Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies

American Library Association

Association of College and Research Libraries

RESEARCH LANGUAGES

Written and spoken proficiency: Russian.

Reading knowledge: French, Ukrainian and Georgian.

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5 Responses to Curriculum Vitae

  1. Richard Leigh says:

    Hi – I’ve just read your Parajanov issue of the Armenian Review.(I discovered its existence at the recent festival about him at the NFT in London. Can you tell me when your book is likely to appear? The more I learn about “Colour of Pomegranate/Pomegrataes/Sayat Nova/etc, the more confused I become! I’m not clear, for example, about the extra bits on the DVD by Levon Grigorian, which I was lucky enough to find in the NFT shop. Some bits look as if they might be early versions (with different actors) of some scenes, other bits look more like excised parts of the final film. And so on…. To say nothing of the rest of his career. I look forward very much to reading your book when it’s published.
    All the best
    Richard Leigh

  2. James Steffen says:

    Thanks for your note! It’s been a challenge juggling the huge amount of material I have to work with, but I think I’ve found a solution. At this point I see it as two books – a shorter monograph on his films and a full biography. I’m doing the “films of” book first. I’d like to hold off on the biography until I can access some more archives, including hopefully his KGB file.

    There were a number of scenes that Parajanov shot which didn’t make it into the final cut of the film, including those Grigorian included in his documentary. Some may have been cut due to censorship, but probably most were cut because they didn’t turn out the way Parajanov wanted or because they didn’t fit into the film as it was taking shape. However, the footage is uniformly striking and deserves to be more widely seen. It would be great to include the footage as a supplement to a DVD special edition of the film. I describe the outtakes in more detail in my book chapter on “Pomegranates.” Remarkably, about 4 hours worth of outtakes from the film were shown on Italian TV a few years back. The Parajanov Museum in Yerevan also beautiful color production stills of most, if not all of the discarded scenes.

  3. Fernanda Maia Campos says:

    Hello

    I am writing a thesis on the power of cinema as a resonant body (in mobilising experience, established codes and categories that form and inform subjectivity and our relationship to otherness) through the films of Sergei Parajanov . I am very interested in reading your work, however, don’t seem to be able to access it. Are you able to help me?
    Kind Regards, Fernanda

    • James Steffen says:

      Hello Fernanda,

      The research I’m doing on Parajanov focuses more on the political and social context in which he worked, including the notion of “poetic cinema” in the Soviet Union. The special issue that I edited for The Armenian Review can be purchased here:

      http://www.armenianreview.org/Fortyeightvolume.htm#one

      You can also find my essay on the unfinished film Kyiv Frescoes in the online journal KinoKultura:

      http://www.kinokultura.com/specials/9/steffen.shtml

      If you have access to Proquest Dissertations and Theses Full Text at your institution, you can find my dissertation there. However, I am revising it substantially for the forthcoming book.

      • Fernanda Maia Campos says:

        Hello James

        Thank you for your reply. I’ll be visiting Emory University in September. If you are available, I would like to meet with you.

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