Karen Beckman

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Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe Professor of the History of Art
209 Jaffe Building

Karen Beckman is the Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe Professor of Cinema and Modern Media in the department of the History of Art. As Advisor to the Arts for the University, she is coordinating a university-wide arts initiative. She is also currently serving the Diversity Search Advisor for the Humanities. She is the author of Vanishing Women: Magic, Film and Feminism (Duke UP, 2003); Crash: Cinema and the Politics of Speed and Stasis (Duke UP, 2010), and is now working on a new book, Animation and the Contemporary Art of War.

She has co-edited two volumes: Still Moving: Between Cinema and Photography with Jean Ma (Duke UP, September 2008) and On Writing With Photography (Minnesota UP, 2013) with Liliane Weissberg, and is also the editor of Animating Film Theory (forthcoming, Duke UP), which explores the history of film theory's engagement (and lack of it) with animation. Her articles address a range of subjects, including feminism and terrorism, death penalty photography, the animated documentary, and the relationship between cinema and contemporary art. For several years she served as a senior editor of the MIT journal Grey Room, and is now a member of its editorial board. 

Courses taught include: Introduction to Film Theory (CINE 103), Film Theory (ARTH 593), Cinema and Photography (ARTH 793; CINE 392), Race, Sex and Gender in Early Cinema (ARTH 793), Women and Film (CINE 208), Film History (CINE 101), The Road Movie (ARTH 291), Paul Strand (ARTH 301), and The Art of Animation (ARTH 793). She is a member of graduate groups in the departments of German and English, and a faculty affiliate of the LGBT center.

In 2013-14, she will be the topic director of the Penn Humanities Forum. The topic is "Violence": http://humanities.sas.upenn.edu/topics13.shtml.