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Joseph Coppola

B.A., English Literature (Honors), Rutgers University 

Minors: Cinema & Media Studies, Political Science, Philosophy 

Certificate in Creative Writing 

Thesis Title: The Link Between Voyeurism and Patriarchy in Hitchcock's Narrative Structure

Advisor: John Belton 


M.A., Film & Media Studies, Columbia University 

Thesis Title: Negotiating Italian "White Priviledge": American Silent Cinema Revised 

 Advisors: Jane Gaines, Rob King, John Belton 


As an undergradaute at Rutgers, my work combined a close analysis of Alfred Hitchcock's filmmaking technique, Andre Bazin's Ontology of the Photographic Image, and Judith Butler's notion of gender performance in order to analyze cinema as a worldwide aesthetic and industrial phenomenon that impacted radical changes in the professional and sexual identity of women in the Post-war era. Finding material links between technologies and larger cultural and industrial practices would prove to be the guiding impluse of my academic career. My MA thesis at Columbia highlighted how various cultural institutions such as vaudeville, the illustrated press, novels involving crime, early "view" films, and films starring George Beban and even Rudolph Valentino helped convey romantic and racialized represenations of Italians insisting on a high degree of anthropoligcal difference and racial primitivism. Ultimately, I explored how early motion pictures and related media worked through the tensions inherent in portraying the Italian immigrant as a racially inferior "other," while simultaneously granting them key cinematic privileges typically reserved for "white" communites. At Upenn, I seek to learn more about the status of literary studies in the context of globalized capitalism, the relationship between legal texts and cultural production, the Hollywood Studio System, Copyright Law, and how Media Institutions shape conceptions of race, gender, and nationality. 



Courses Taught

summer 2021

ENGL 091.910 World Film History to 1945  

fall 2020

spring 2020

ENGL 200.304 Italian Americans on Screen  

spring 2018

ENGL 305.403 Global Film Theory  

fall 2017