Michael Curtin

Department of Film and Media Studies


Michael Curtin is the Duncan and Suzanne Mellichamp Professor of Film and Media Studies with affiliated appointments in Global Studies and East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies. He is also lead professor of the Mellichamp Global Dynamics Initiative and associate researcher at the Center for Sociological and Political Research in Paris. Curtin is co-founder and former co-director of the Media Industries Project of the Carsey-Wolf Center. Before joining UCSB, he was director of Global Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and director of Cultural Studies at Indiana University. He has also held teaching or research appointments at Northwestern University, Renmin University, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Institute of Ethnology at Academia Sinica, and the Center for the Humanities at Wesleyan University. Curtin’s research and teaching focus on media globalization, cultural geography, industry and policy studies, and creative labor. His books include: Precarious Creativity: Global Media, Local Labor (University of California Press, 2016); Distribution Revolution: Conversations about the Digital Future of Film and Television (University of California Press, 2014), Reorienting Global Communication: Indian and Chinese Media Beyond Borders (University of Illinois Press, 2010), The American Television Industry (British Film Institute/Palgrave, 2009), and Playing to the World’s Biggest Audience: The Globalization of Chinese Film and TV (University of California Press, 2007). Curtin is currently at work on Media Capital: The Cultural Geography of Globalization and Voices of Labor in the Age of Global Media. He is co-editor of Media Industries, the Chinese Journal of Communication, and the British Film Institute’s International Screen Industries book series.

Bishnupriya Ghosh

Department of English


With a doctorate from Northwestern University, Bishnupriya Ghosh is Professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she teaches postcolonial theory and global media studies. Much of her scholarly work interrogates the relations between the global and the postcolonial; area studies and transnational cultural studies; popular, mass, and elite cultures. While publishing essays on literary, cinematic, and visual culture in several collections and journals such as boundary 2, Journal of Postcolonial Studies, Public Culture and Screen, in her first two books, Ghosh focused on contemporary elite and popular cultures of globalization. When Borne Across: Literary Cosmopolitics in the Contemporary Indian Novel (Rutgers UP, 2004) addressed the dialectical relations between emerging global markets and literatures reflexively marked as “postcolonial,” and Global Icons: Apertures to the Popular (Duke UP, 2011) turned to visual popular culture as it constitutes the global. Research is underway for a third monograph, The Unhomely Sense: Spectral Cinemas of Globalization that tracks the relations between globalization and cinematic/post-cinematic images.

Apart from these works that directly address the question of the “global” in contemporary mediascapes, in the last three years, Ghosh has turned to risk and globalization—or, rather, how the risk media globalize technoscientific rationality. The shift began in 2008-9 with the research collaboration, “Speculative Globalities” that met at the UCHRI (The University of California Humanities Research Institute). Drawing on this seed project, a group of faculty at University of California, Santa Barbara, convened a series of conferences, screenings, readings, and discussion groups in 2010-2012. In turn these ventures have led to several individual and collaborative projects, including a co-edited (with Bhaskar Sarkar) collection on Media and Risk , a residency at Cornell University's Society for the Humanities (with its 2012-13 theme, Risk@Humanities (link sends e-mail)), and a single-authored short monograph (The Virus Touch: Living with Epidemics). Interrogating modular globally scalable risk instruments, programs, and institutions, Ghosh turns to a comparative study of living-with-risk in the United States, South Africa, and India. Much of her recent work explores human-virus encounters more widely treated in The Virus Touch.

Patrice Petro

DIrector of the Carsey Wolf Center, Department of Film and Media Studies

Patrice Petro, PhD, is Professor of Film and Media Studies and Dick Wolf Director of the Carsey-Wolf Center and Presidential Chair in Media Studies. She is the author, editor, and co-editor of eleven books, including After Capitalism: Horizons of Finance, Culture, and Citizenship (with Kennan Ferguson, 2016), Teaching Film (with Lucy Fischer, 2012), Beyond Globalization: Making New Worlds in Media, Art, and Social Practices (with A. Aneesh and Lane Hall, 2011), Idols of Modernity: Movie Stars of the 1920s (2010), Rethinking Global Security: Media, Popular Culture, and the ‘War on Terror’ (with Andrew Martin, 2006), Global Currents: Media and Technology Now (with Tasha Oren, 2004), Global Cities: Cinema, Architecture, and Urbanism in a Digital Age (with Linda Krause, 2003), Aftershocks of the New: Feminism and Film History (2002), Truth Claims: Representation and Human Rights (with Mark Bradley, 2002), Fugitive Images: From Photography to Video (1995), and Joyless Streets: Women and Melodramatic Representation in Weimar Germany (1989).  Most recently, she has completed a volume entitled The Routledge Companion to Cinema and Gender (with Kristin Hole, Dijana Jelaca, and E. Ann Kaplan) which was released in 2017. She served two consecutive terms as President of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS), the US’s leading professional organization of college and university educators, filmmakers, historians, critics, scholars, and others devoted to the study of the moving image.

Cynthia Stohl

Department of Communication


Cynthia Stohl has been a member of the Department of Communication since January 2002. Prior to joining the UCSB faculty she was the Margaret Church Distinguished Professor and Head of the Department of Communication at Purdue University. Professor Stohl’s work connects several areas in organizational and group studies. She is concerned with the relationships among internal and external communication processes as they are manifest in global collaborations. Her early research focused upon communication networks and issues of quality in global manufacturing groups and has extended to exploring the changing communication partnerships amongst workers, management, communities, and civic and multinational organizations. Her most recent work addresses a diversity of network and collective action organizations in the global context focusing specifically on the role of new communication technologies in contemporary organizing.   She is a Co-Principal Investigator on a National Science Foundation Grant titled “ Technological Change and Collective Association: Changing Relationships Among Technology, Organizations, Society, and the Citizenry” and an co- investigator on a Marsden Foundation grant studying new media and the Global Social Justice Movement in New Zealand.

Professor Stohl has been the featured speaker at universities and international conferences throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Her research and teaching in organizational communication have been recognized for excellence by university and national associations.  The author of over 75 books and articles Professor Stohl has been the recipient of several research awards, including the 1995 National Communication Association’s Best Book Award, and over 15 top paper awards. Last year she became the first communication scholar to receive the International Communication Association’s Outstanding Article Award two years in a row, 2007 and 2008 Also the recipient of several outstanding teaching awards, her excellence in teaching was most recently recognized in 2006 when she became one of UCSB's "Primo Professors" and in 2007 when Professor Stohl was awarded the UCSB Distinguished Teaching Award.

Charles Wolfe

Department of Film and Media Studies


Charles Wolfe's research and teaching interests include international film history and theory; American cinema and cultural history; documentary film and photography; historiography; archival studies; comedy performance; voice in cinema; and film sound. He is the author of two books on the films of director Frank Capra and has published widely on various aspects of the history of commercial, independent, and documentary filmmaking in the U.S. With Edward Branigan, he co-edits the American Film Institute's Film Reader Series, which to date has published 30 volumes of new critical essays on topics of contemporary concern in film, television, and new media studies.

A member of the Board of Directors of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies from 2006 to 2009, Wolfe also has served as a consulting scholar for the New York Center for Visual History's American Cinema Project, as a member of the AFI’s Academic Advisory Council, and as a Rockefeller Fellow at the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research. Wolfe received the Outstanding Pedagogy Award from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies in 2011, and is a past recipient of a Distinguished Teaching Award from the UCSB Academic Senate. He chaired the Department of Film and Media Studies from 1994 to 1998, and served as Associate Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts in the College of Letters and Science at UCSB from 2003 to 2008.