Marsha Gordon

Professor, English
Office: 257 Tompkins; 919-515-4164

Dr. Gordon is director of the Film Studies program. With the support of a National Humanities Center fellowship and an NEH Public Scholar Award, she published Becoming the Ex-Wife: The Unconventional Life & Forgotten Writings of Ursula Parrott (University of California Press) in 2023.  With Robert Kolker, she co-wrote the 5th edition of the introduction to film textbook, Film, Form, and Culture (Routledge, 2024).

Since joining the film studies faculty in 2002, she has taught such courses as 21st Century Documentary Filmmaking, Women and Film, Film History to 1940, 1950s American Film, Studio Era Hollywood, The Musical, and directors classes focused on filmmakers like Nicholas Ray, Douglas Sirk, Sam Fuller, Alfred Hitchcock, and Billy Wilder. 

Dr. Gordon has published and co-edited four other books: Film is Like a Battleground: Sam Fuller’s War Movies (Oxford UP, 2017); with Dr. Allyson Nadia Field, Screening Race in American Nontheatrical Film (Duke UP, 2019); with Dan Streible and Devin Orgeron, Learning With the Lights Off: Educational Film in the United States (Oxford UP, 2012); and Hollywood Ambitions: Celebrity in the Movie Age (Wesleyan UP, 2008). She has published articles in such journals as The American Archivist, Film History, The Velvet Light Trap, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Film Quarterly, Cinema Journal, and The Moving Image. She also co-directs short art-focused documentaries that have won awards and played at festivals in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

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Jennifer Hessler

Assistant Professor, English
Office: 250 Tompkins; 919-515-9740

Dr. Hessler teaches in Film Studies and in the Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media PhD program. Her research integrates history and digital media theory, focusing on television content, programming, and distribution; the way audience data is collected and used; and how audiences interface with media technologies and platforms. Her current book project, Surveilling the Viewer: Audience Measurement Technologies from Audimeter to Big Data (under contract with MIT Press) tracks the historical evolution of audience measurement technologies and their increasing amalgamation with the cybernetics industries, including how that evolution was shaped by the viewers’ more-or-less consistent cooperation in the task of being measured.

Dr. Hessler has a PhD in Film and Media Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her work has been published in the Journal of Cinema and Media Studies (forthcoming), Television and New MediaParticipations: Journal of Audience Reception Research, the Velvet Light TrapMedia Fields journal, and Flow, as well as in numerous edited book collections. She has been on the steering committee of the Television Studies Special Interest Group at the Society of Cinema and Media Studies and served as a graduate student juror for the Peabody Television Awards. She has also worked on the editorial staffs of Camera Obscura: Feminism, Media, and Culture and Media Fields journal.

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Tommy Jenkins

Lecturer, English
Office: 111 Tompkins

Tommy Jenkins studied film at Columbia University and Fiction Writing at North Carolina State University, where he earned his MFA in 2007. He is the author of a graphic novel, Drawing the Vote (Abrams Books, 2020), and co-author of Writing Movies (Bloomsbury, 2008). Mr. Jenkins’s short fiction has appeared in The Raleigh Review and Gut Cult magazine; his short films have screened at film festivals and Come Back to the Five and Dime, Buster Keaton, Buster Keaton (1998) won best comedy at the Polo Ralph Lauren/New Line Columbia Film Festival. Mr. Jenkins teaches screenwriting.

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Andrew R. Johnston

Associate Professor, English
Office: 230 Tompkins; 919-515-4150

Dr. Johnston teaches in the Film Studies Program and is the Associate Director for the PhD program in Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media. His research and teaching areas include film history and theory, animation, avant-garde film, color aesthetics, media archaeology, and areas of the digital humanities such as the history of computational technologies and digital archives. His recent book, Pulses of Abstraction: Episodes from a History of Animation (University of Minnesota Press, 2020), is a theoretical and historical investigation of abstract animation in cinema and computational media from the 1950s through the 1970s. Examining a rich array of techniques—including etching directly onto the filmstrip, immersive colored-light spectacles, rapid montage sequences, and digital programming—Pulses of Abstraction uncovers important epistemological shifts around film and related media. He has also written a series of articles about the historical development of Computer-Generated Imagery from the 1960s through the 1980s and methods of archiving and transcoding these works on contemporary platforms. His current research investigates the history of Artificial Intelligence from the mid-twentieth century.

Dr. Johnston has a PhD in Cinema and Media Studies from the University of Chicago. In addition to his book, his research on film history, aesthetic theory, media archaeology, and avant-garde film has appeared in books and journals such as Animating Film Theory, Color and the Moving ImageAnimation: Behind the Silver Screen, and Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture, and the forthcoming edited volume Hardwired Temporalities: Media Infrastructures and the Politics of Digital Time.
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John Paul Stadler

Assistant Professor, English
Office: 212 Tompkins; 919-513-8057

Dr. Stadler teaches in the Film Studies Program and in the PhD program in Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media. His research and teaching centers on the role of film and media in shaping modern notions of difference, particularly with regard to gender and sexual identities. His current project Pornographesis: Sex, Media and Gay Culture explores how adult media have influenced queer social, cultural, and political life through a series of shifting--and often conflicted--attachments. Not only are adult media among the first to depict queer longing without resorting to mere connotation, but also, their adoption of new technologies provides a potent lens for understanding our current media landscape and imagining its future. 

Dr. Stadler holds a PhD in the Program in Literature from Duke University and a MFA in fiction writing from the University of Colorado, Boulder. His scholarship has appeared in SynoptiqueDeep MediationsPorn StudiesFeminist Media Histories, The Journal of Cinema and Media StudiesPolygraph, Art + Documentation, and Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media. In addition, his fiction chapbook Prehistoric was published by The Cupboard Pamphlet. He serves as the faculty advisor to Wolfpack Pictures, the film collective and screening series run by MA Film Studies students.  

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Anu Thapa

Assistant Professor, English
Office: 248 Tompkins; 919-513-6593

Dr. Thapa teaches in Film Studies and in the Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media PhD program. Her research and teaching areas include film and media history and theory, South Asian cinemas, digital humanities, as well as postcolonial and decolonial theory. Her current book project explores special effects as the locus where religion and technology intersect in cinema.

Dr. Thapa has a PhD in Film Studies from the University of Iowa. Her works have been published in NECSUSCrossCurrents, and Cinéma&Cieand other edited collections and journals.

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Natalie Bullock Brown

Teaching Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies
Office: 1911 Building 107B

Natalie Bullock Brown is a teaching assistant professor at North Carolina State University, and a documentary filmmaker. She is currently working on her first feature length documentary film as a director, which explores the white beauty standard and its impact on Black women and girls. She is also a producer for award-winning filmmaker Byron Hurt’s PBS documentary HAZING, which was released in September 2022. Natalie is a contributor and guest for the monthly program #BackChannel, for which she provides pop culture on WUNC radio’s The State of Things. She also serves as strategist for the organization Working Film’s StoryShift initiative, which develops praxis and best practices for ethical, accountable documentary storytelling.

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Patrick FitzGerald

Associate Professor, Art & Design
Office: 276 Tompkins; (919) 515-4129

Professor FitzGerald's multimedia work has been exhibited across the United States and Japan. As director of the IntelliMedia Initiative for the College of Design at NCSU, FitzGerald's research and teaching span the full range of multimedia production, from digital video to interactive 3D animation.  Professor FitzGerald has received national and international awards for his digital illustrations. He teaches Digital Imaging (ADN 219) and an Animation Seminar (ADN 289).

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Nathaniel Isaacson

Assistant Professor,
World Languages and Cultures
Office: Withers 208

Nathaniel Isaacson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, where he teaches courses in Chinese language, Chinese cultural studies, literature and cinema. His research interests include Chinese science fiction, intellectual history, and visual culture. Nathaniel's current research focuses on science fiction cinema and cultural production in the post-Mao era. His forthcoming article, "Media and Messages: Blurred Visions of Nation and Science in 'Death Ray on a Coral Island,'" which examines the many media incarnations of Tong Enzheng's post-socialist Sci-Fi thriller, will appear in Simultaneous Worlds: Global Science Fiction Cinema.

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Jorge Marí

Associate Professor,
World Languages and Cultures
Office: Withers 217

Jorge (Jordi) Marí is professor of contemporary Iberian socio-environmental cultural studies, film, and literature at North Carolina State University. His books include Tracing the Borders of Spanish Horror Cinema and Television (Routledge, 2017), Ventanas sobre el Atlántico: España-EE.UU. durante el postfranquismo (Universitat de Valencia, 2011), and Lecturas espectaculares: el cine en la novela española desde 1970 (Libertarias, 2003). He has taught and lectured widely in the US, Canada, France, and Spain, and has authored numerous book chapters and articles on socio-environmental cultural studies, film, literature, historical memory, music, and other topics in journals such as MLN, Revista de Estudios Hispánicos, Letras Peninsulares, Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies, Arbor, España Contemporánea, Studi Ispanici, and many others. He has also published numerous journalistic essays in media outlets such as CTXT, Veggie's World, and Dr. Marí has won the University Outstanding Teacher Award, the Alumni Association Outstanding Teaching Award, and the Poole Award for Excellence in Teaching, and in 2019 was inducted into the Academy of Outstanding Teachers at NC State University.  He is currently working on a monograph on eco-pedagogical approaches to Iberian film studies.

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Runlei Zhai

Assistant Teaching Professor,
World Languages and Cultures
Office: Withers 226

Runlei Zhai is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of World Languages and Cultures. She teaches courses in Chinese language, Chinese cultural studies, and Chinese cinema. Her research interests include Chinese Film Studies, Eco-Cinema, and Environmental Humanities in Asia. She has published articles and books in both English and Chinese. Her most recent article is “From Jiang Rong to Jean-Jacques Annaud: An Ecological Rewrite of Wolf Totem” in Chinese Environmental Humanities: Practices of Environing at the Margins published by Palgrave MacMillan in 2019. Her current project focuses on eco-apocalypse in contemporary Chinese Cinema.