I am a Senior Lecturer in Screen at Deakin University, Melbourne. In this capacity, I have served as Associate Head of School, Partnerships & International (2019) and Director of Entertainment Production (2016-2018). I previously taught at the Victorian College of the Arts (2009-2013), the Università Cattolica, Milan (under the direction of Francesco Cassetti), and was the inaugural Lecturer in Film in the Drama Department, University of Manchester (2000-2003).
I am an award winning academic with interests ranging from 19th to 21st century film and media practices. I have published more than 70 articles that explore transnational media and the pioneering importance of women in media industries. My two books, 'Seeing Sarah Bernhardt: Performance and Silent Film' (Illinois, 2015; winner of Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2016) and 'Researching Women in Silent Cinema: New Findings and Perspectives' (co-editor, Bologna, 2013), position women at the centre of global new media industries.
I am currently working on an interdisciplinary project about the importance of actresses to the emergence of transnational film. I received a Harry Ransom Fellowship at the University of Texas (Austin) and a Bill Douglas Museum, University of Exeter Visiting Scholar Award to develop this project. Some of this research was published in an issue I co-edited of 'Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film' ('The actress-manager', Summer, 2018). In 2019–and in partnership with Prof. Richard Abel–I programmed a Mistinguett series of films for the Pordenone Silent FIlm Festival. In 2020 we will further develop this program.
My interest in women and media is fed by my ongoing work in archives. With Prof. Jill Matthews (ANU), I edited an issue of Feminist Media Histories (UC Press) entitled ‘Archives and Archivists.’ In this issue we explore the impact that digital archives have on media practices. I developed a section called 'Archivists Speak' where l interview leading female archivists and ask them to reflect on the relationship between digital media, gender and the archive.
I am also chief investigator of the project 'Guglielmo Giannini: film, theatre and political activism in twentieth century Italy' (see: http://giannini.deakin.edu.au/about-the-collection). This is a bilingual and interdisciplinary Omeka archive that enables the development of knowledge via online content. I organized a conference, 'Guglielmo Giannini: Entertainment and Political Activism', to be held at the Università Statale, Milan, between 3-5 March, 2020, to consolidate this work. Because of COVID-19 it will instead be hosted online in October.
I received my PhD on scholarship under the direction of Carlo Ginzburg, Peter Wollen, Vivian Sobchack and Teshome Gabriel in Critical Studies at the School of Film, Theatre & TV, UCLA, in 1999. During this period I was also the recipient of the Charles Boyer Award for study in Paris (Sorbonne, Paris III, 1997-1999, under the direction of Sam Weber). My MA (also on scholarship) was received in 1995 from UCLA (1993-1995).
Harry Ransom Center Research Fellowship in the Humanities