UC Berkeley Department of Film and Media

Department of Film & Media UC Berkeley

People / Graduate Students

Current Students

Hannah Airriess

  • hmairriess@berkeley.edu
  • East Asian cinemas, Japanese film and cultural theory, media theory, technologies of travel, theories and histories of labor and work, global melodrama

Eliot Bessette


Eliot Bessette is a PhD candidate in Film & Media. His dissertation examines the philosophical relationship of fear and thought elicited by horror films and theatrical haunted house attractions, or "haunts." He is also a staff writer for Haunting.net, where he … More

Beth Bird

Jennifer Blaylock


Jennifer Blaylock is a Research Associate in Cinema Studies at Bowdoin College. She completed her PhD in Film & Media Studies in 2019. Her dissertation, Media/Fetish: A Postcolonial Archaeology of New Media and Africa, analyzes the history of media technology in anglophone Africa from the early … More

Harry Burson


Harry Burson is a PhD candidate in Film & Media with a Designated Emphasis in New Media. He is interested in immersive media technologies, histories of stereophonic sound, virtual reality, and sound art. He holds an M.A. in Film and Media from UC Berkeley and an M.A. in English from … More

Alex Bush

  • alex.b@berkeley.edu
    7403 Dwinelle
    Tuesday 3:00 - 4:00 pm, Thursday 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • Download CV (as a pdf)
  • Environmental humanities, media theory & historiography, modernity, photography, new media, data visualization
  • Advisor: Anton Kaes


Alex Bush is a PhD candidate in Film & Media and a 2017-18 Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Fellow. Her dissertation, "Cold Storage: A Media History of the Glacier," examines the role played by visual and communications media in bringing nature into a Western mode of historical thought. … More

Kaitlin Clifton Forcier


KC Forcier is a PhD candidate in Film & Media. She researches moving images at the intersection of contemporary art and computational media. Her dissertation focuses on the technological loop in moving image culture to map shifting notions of temporality in the digital age. She serves as … More

Lisa Jacobson

  • lisawj@berkeley.edu
    7403 Dwinelle
    Wednesday and Friday 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
  • Television, history and memory, seriality, reenactment, media theory, new media
  • Advisor: Mark Sandberg


Lisa Wells Jacobson is a PhD candidate in Film & Media focusing on contemporary American and German film and television. Her dissertation, "The Cold War, Rebooted," examines how recent serial television melodramas set in the Cold War reanimate the conflicts, ideologies, and … More

Tory Jeffay

  • tcjeffay@berkeley.edu
    7403 Dwinelle
    Thursday 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • documentary, new media, media theory, surveillance


Tory Jeffay is a PhD student in Film & Media. She is interested in the politics and aesthetics of nonfiction filmmaking, technologies of digital film production, and surveillant uses of digital media. She holds a B.A. in Film Studies from Yale University. Prior to coming to Berkeley, she … More

Dolores McElroy


Dolores is a PhD candidate in Film & Media with an M.A. in Film Studies from Columbia University and a B.A. in English (Film Track) from Colorado College. More

Renée Pastel

  • rlpastel@berkeley.edu
    7403 Dwinelle
    Tuesday 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm and Thursday 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
  • film and neuroscience, new/digital media, representations of war, memory and film, media politics and culture, film theory, television
  • Advisor: Linda Williams

Alina Predescu


Alina Predescu is a PhD candidate in Film & Media working on questions of ethics and aesthetics in documentary and nonfiction film. Her research explores concepts of ethnographic representation in nonfiction film, forms of perfomativity present in documentary film, and the interview as a … More

Jessica Ruffin

  • jessica.ruffin@berkeley.edu
    7403 Dwinelle
    Tuesday 1:00-3:00PM
  • media philosophy, spectatorship, aesthetics, intellectual history, critical theory, ethics, 'pre-cinema', early cinema, avant-garde, mysticism, temporality
  • Advisor: Anton Kaes


Jessica Ruffin a PhD student in Film and Media with a Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory. She holds a BA in Film and Media Studies from Stanford University (2007), an MA in Humanities from the University of Chicago (2008), where she focused on film theory and aesthetics, as well as an … More

Diana Ruíz


Diana Ruíz is a PhD candidate in Film & Media and holds a BA in Women's Studies and Arts of the Moving Image from Duke University. Her dissertation research on the US-Mexico border investigates developments in epistemic seeing across visual technologies, from photography's role in … More

Althea Wasow

Lida Zeitlin Wu


Lida Zeitlin Wu is a PhD candidate in Film & Media. She researches the history and theory of color technologies with a focus on digital media aesthetics. She has an MA in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley and a BA from the University of Chicago in Russian Literature and Visual Art. … More