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 PhD candidate in Film & Media. Her dissertation, "Media Machines: A Postcolonial Archaeology of New Media and Africa," analyzes the history of media technology in anglophone Africa from the early 1900s to the present. Each chapter describes a different technology when they … More

Harry Burson

  • harryburson@berkeley.edu
    7403 Dwinelle
    Monday & Wednesday 12:00-1:00PM, and By Appointment
  • sound studies, media archaeology, stereophony, immersion, virtual reality, new media, sound art
  • Advisor: Mary Ann Doane


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
    Wednesday 2:30-4:30PM
  • 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

Lisa Jacobson


Lisa Wells Jacobson is a PhD candidate in Film & Media working on contemporary American, German, and Russian film and television. Her dissertation, "History On Demand: The Cold War as Serial Television," examines how recent Cold War TV dramas locate the origin of current on-demand … More

Tory Jeffay


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
    Monday & Wednesday
    12:00-1:00PM, and By Appointment
  • 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
  • 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

  • lidazwu@berkeley.edu
    Tuesday & Thursday
  • color, media theory, aesthetics, television, memory studies and nostalgia, new media


Lida Zeitlin Wu researches the history and theory of color aesthetics and technologies with a focus on digital media. She is particularly interested in the relationship between color and memory after the digital (i.e. how digital color grading can nostalgically simulate or reference outdated … More