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Director of Film & Video Studies, Purdue University

Lance Duerfahrd received his Ph.D in Comparative Literature from Yale University and his BA from Brown University. He is an Associate Professor of English with specialization in film and photographic study and 20th century literature.

He is the author of The Work of Poverty: Samuel Beckett’s Vagabonds and the Theater of Crisis. Recently he has published articles on German actor Klaus Kinski (“The Fiendship of Klaus Kinski and Werner Herzog” in The Blackwell Companion to Werner Herzog, 2012); B pictures (“B is for Belief” in The Films of Joseph H. Lewis,Wayne State University Press, 2012), the BP oil spill-cam video and photographs of Edward Burtynsky (“A Scale That Exceeds us” in Imaginations: Journal of Cross-Cultural Image Studies and "For your Glasses Only: The Stewardesses and Sex in Three Dimensions" (Public: Art /Culture/ Ideas, 47).

Lance has published articles on the films of Ed Wood, The Marx Brothers, and the work of documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman. His research in film has been featured in the national and international news media. Lance has been a featured guest on National Public Radio (NPR), the CBC network, BBC news, Chicago Public Radio, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, The Economist, New York, and

He is currently completing a study of the function of background actors in movies titled Extras: The Peripheral Life of Cinema and a textbook, titled Learning from Film: A Book of Questions, proposing new methods for creatively connecting students to the study of cinema.


  • –present
    Director of Film & Video Studies, Purdue University