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RIIFF 2008 Team

John R. Leo


John R. Leo, Professor of English studied literature, film, TV, and art history at Yale, Northwestern, and UCLA and teaches a range of undergraduate and graduate courses on film genres, TV studies, and theory (e.g. media and cultural studies, popular culture, and queer theory), areas in which he also researches and publishes. Frequently these interests impinge on each other, e.g. a course on film criticism and theory may focus on the nature of film audiences in relation to "popular" films in North America and Europe, 1945-present.

In recent years—and as a result of several Fulbright awards to Poland and Slovakia—Prof. Leo has offered a variety of courses on the general topic "The Cold War and Film." These tend to examine historically and critically Central Eastern Europe (former Soviet bloc + USSR) film output in such genres as melodramas, WW2 combat films, and documentaries. They also bring together such issues as filmmaking and history, Socialist Realism as a film aesthetic, "nation-building" and film, perestroika and "investigative" filmmaking, and of course representation and gender. Other courses he teaches include "Hollywood Masculinities and Popular Film since 1950" (e.g. gangster, teenpix, action, porn) and "The Discourses of Television" (commodified audiences, postmodern styles and subjects, etc.). He also teaches comparative literature studies and interdisciplinary courses in 19thth- and 20th-century British and US literatures

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