Film, Media & Visual Studies

The department of Romance Studies plays a key role in defining the growth of Visual Studies research and teaching at Duke. Our department contributes perhaps most importantly by countering two all too common traps in this exciting field: presentism and Eurocentrism. From a course on “Dante and the Afterlife of the Book: From the Digits of Scribes to the Digital” to a seminar on contemporary theories of visual culture from Latin America, our research and teaching expands the field backward and forward in time and across the hierarchies that shape the geopolitics of knowledge according to old colonial maps. Avant-garde cinema from transnational Surrealism to the late work of Jean-Luc Godard exploring the digital media share the academic stage with queer, Latina performace artist Nao Bustamante, as well as projections of French soccer champion Zinedine Zidane onto the Arc de Triomphe. Research and teaching in film, media, and visual studies in Romance Studies are grounded in broad theoretical concerns about modernity, coloniality, and postmodernity; representation, figuration, and abstraction; politics, ethics, and aesthetics; new technologies in text and image; race, gender, and visuality; and globalization and culture. It is only right, given the intellectual and artistic traditions at the core of the department, that we enjoy the presence of prominent practitioner-theorists such as Ariel Dorfman and Anne Garréta among our faculty, and scholars who publish in mainstream mass media as well as analyze its products. Faculty members curate and collaborate with contemporary artists and practitioners as much as they write about their work. They also collaborate with Duke Visual Studies Initiative and Program in Arts of the Moving Image.

We welcome applications for PhD students interested in working in these areas, and encourage interested applicants to contact directly the faculty members most relevant to their research.

Fredric Jameson, Knut Schmidt Nielsen Professor of Comparative Literature

Office: 101 Friedl Bldg, 1316 Campus Drive Box 90670, Durham, NC 27708

Phone: (919) 684-4155

Knut Schmidt-Nielsen Professor of Comparative Literature, Professor of Romance Studies (French), and Director of the Center for Critical Theory. Professor Jameson received his Ph.D. from Yale in 1959 and taught at Harvard, Yale, and the University of California before coming to Duke in 1985. He...

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Michele Longino, Professor of Romance Studies

Office: 111 Language Center, Durham, NC 27708-0257

Phone: (919) 660-3121

Professor of French & Italian Studies, received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, and taught at Rice University before coming to Duke in 1989.  She is an early modern specialist on the French Classical age, 1650-1700. Her interests in the epistolary genre and in women's...

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Anne-Gaelle Saliot, Assistant Professor of Romance Studies

Office: 219A Language Center, Durham, NC 27708

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Helen Solterer, Professor in the Department of Romance Studies

Office: 217B Language Center, Durham, NC 27708

Phone: (919) 660-3118

My research focuses on pre-modern literatures and cultures in French, and other vernaculars.  I understand fiction in historical action, shaped not only by the eventfulness of its first era, but equally by that of others, including the critic’s contemporary one.  
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Antonio Viego, Associate Professor of Literature

Office: Director, Latino/a Studies 224 Friedl Building, Old Art Muse, East Campus, Durham, NC 27708-0001

Phone: (919) 668-2687

Latino Studies; Ethnic Studies; Queer/Lesbian/Gay Studies; Twentieth Century American Literatures; Critical Race Theory; Chicana Feminist Theory; Comparative Ethnicities; Lacanian Psychoanalytic Theory Full Profile »

Ariel Dorfman, Walter Hines Page Research Professor Emeritus of Literature

Office: 1316 Campus Drive, 101 Friedl Building, Durham, NC 27708

Phone: (919) 684-6605

Walter Hines Page Research Professor of Literature and Latin American Studies; has a Licenciatura in Comparative Literature from the Universidad de Chile, Santiago, 1965. He has taught at the Universidad de Chile, the Sorbonne (Paris IV) and the University of Amsterdam. His major publications...

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Anne Garreta, Research Professor of Literature

Office: 101D Friedl Bldg, Literature Program, Durham, NC 27708

Phone: (919) 668-5389

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Roberto Maria Dainotto, Professor of Romance Studies

Office: 219A Language Center, Durham, NC 27708

Modern and contemporary Italian culture. Publications include Place in Literature: Regions, Cultures, Communities (Cornell UP, 2000); Europe (in Theory) (Duke UP, 2007); The Mafia: A Cultural History (Reaction Books, 2015);  and the edited volume ... Full Profile »

Martin Eisner, Associate Professor in the Department of Romance Studies

Office: 07 Language Center, Durham, NC 27708

Phone: (919) 660-3129

Martin Eisner is Associate Professor of Italian Studies at Duke University and Director of Graduate Studies for both the Department of Romance Studies and the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. He specializes in medieval Italian literature, particularly the works of...

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Valeria Finucci, Professor of Romance Studies

Office: 219E Language Center, Durham, NC 27708

Phone: (919) 660-3119

Renaissance theater, epic, romance, and treatise; women writers, medical and literary understandings of the body, Venetian culture, Renaissance fashion, medicine in early modern Italy, New World's pharmacy, and psychoanalysis. Full Profile »

Esther Leah Gabara, E. Blake Byrne Associate Professor of Romance Studies

Office: 212 Language Center, Department of Romance Studies, Durham, NC 27708-0257

Phone: (919) 660-3100

Esther Gabara works with art, literature, and visual culture from modern and contemporary Latin America. Central issues in her research are the relationship between ethics and aesthetics, theories and practices of non-mainstream modernisms, and representations of race and gender. Her teaching... Full Profile »