Rielle Navitski earned a PhD in Film & Media from Berkeley in 2013. Her thesis “Sensationalism, Cinema, and the Popular Press in Mexico and Brazil, 1905-1930” won the 2014 SCMS prize for Outstanding Dissertation and became the basis for her book Public Spectacles of Violence: Sensational Cinema and Journalism in Early Twentieth-Century Mexico and Brazil (Duke University Press). A finalist for the Theatre Library Association’s Richard Wall Memorial Award in 2018, the book explores how early films and the illustrated press in the two nations spectacularized violence, casting it as a sign of local modernity.
Navitski’s research interests include silent and early sound cinema in Latin America, the relationship between film and the illustrated press, and the ways cinema has been historically understood as high or low culture. She is currently at work on a book-length project entitled Transatlantic Cinephilia: Networks of Film Culture Between Latin America and France, 1945-1965, which examines how institutions of film culture (cineclubs, archives, festivals, specialized magazines, and film schools) that emerged in postwar Latin America in close contact with their French counterparts advanced French cultural diplomacy in the face of military defeat and decolonization while offering Latin America’s expanding middle classes social prestige through sanctioned forms of cultural consumption.
Her essays have appeared in Cinema Journal, Screen, Film History, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, Revista de Estudios Hispánicos, Revista Iberoamericana, and several edited collections. She is also the co-editor of the anthology Cosmopolitan Film Cultures in Latin America, 1896-1960 (Indiana University Press, 2017).