Fellow: Awarded 1993
Field of Study: Film, Video and Radio Studies
Competition: US & Canada
Richard Abel earned his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California. After many years of teaching in the English Department at Drake University, where he also directed an undergraduate Cultural Studies program (1990-1993) as well as the Center for the Humanities (1996-2000), he came to the University of Michigan in 2002 as the Robert Altman Collegiate Professor of Film Studies and served as Chair of the Department of Screen Arts & Cultures (2005-2009). From 1987 to 1989, he was President of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies.
Mr. Abel’s essays have appeared in dozens of book collections and journals, including Cinema Journal, Screen, Film Quarterly, Quarterly Review of Film and Video, Sight & Sound, FilmHistory, Historical Journal of Film Radio and Television, Studies in French Cinema, and French Cultural Studies. His books include French Cinema: The First Wave, 1915-1929 (Princeton, 1984); French Film Theory and Criticism, 1907-1939: A History/Anthology, in two volumes (Princeton, 1988); The Ciné Goes to Town: French Cinema, 1896-1914 (California 1994); Silent Film (Rutgers 1996); The Red Rooster Scare: Making Cinema American, 1900-1910 (California, 1999), and Americanizing the Movies and “Movie-Mad” Audiences, 1910-1914 (California, 2006). With Rick Altman, he co-edited The Sounds of Early Cinema (Indiana, 2001); with Giorgio Bertellini and Rob King, he co-edited Early Cinema and the “National” (John Libbey, 2008). He also served as general editor of the Encyclopedia of Early Cinema (Routledge, 2005), the revised edition of which was published in paperback in January 2010. His next projects include Menus for Movie Land: U.S. Newspapers and the Movies, 1911-1916 and a multivolume edition on Early Cinema in Routledge’s series Critical Concepts in Media and Cultural Studies.