RIIFF 2008 Team
John R. Leo
John R. Leo,
Professor of English studied literature, film, TV,
and art history at Yale, Northwestern, and UCLA and
teaches a range of undergraduate and graduate courses
on film genres, TV studies, and theory (e.g. media
and cultural studies, popular culture, and queer theory),
areas in which he also researches and publishes. Frequently
these interests impinge on each other, e.g. a course
on film criticism and theory may focus on the nature
of film audiences in relation to "popular"
films in North America and Europe, 1945-present.
In recent years—and as a result of several Fulbright
awards to Poland and Slovakia—Prof. Leo has
offered a variety of courses on the general topic
"The Cold War and Film." These tend to examine
historically and critically Central Eastern Europe
(former Soviet bloc + USSR) film output in such genres
as melodramas, WW2 combat films, and documentaries.
They also bring together such issues as filmmaking
and history, Socialist Realism as a film aesthetic,
"nation-building" and film, perestroika
and "investigative" filmmaking, and of course
representation and gender. Other courses he teaches
include "Hollywood Masculinities and Popular
Film since 1950" (e.g. gangster, teenpix, action,
porn) and "The Discourses of Television"
(commodified audiences, postmodern styles and subjects,
etc.). He also teaches comparative literature studies
and interdisciplinary courses in 19thth- and 20th-century
British and US literatures.