Dr. Michael Loren Siegel

Visiting Professor (2010-2011, 2011-2012)
Modern Culture and Media
Phone: TBD

Michael Loren Siegel works on international popular and art cinema, cinema aesthetics, capitalist urban geography, theories of space, place, and media, critical theory, and film and media studies pedagogy.

My dissertation, “Roma De Profundis: Post-Economic Miracle Rome and the Films of Dario Argento” concerns three films made by Dario Argento and set in Rome – L’uccello dalle piume di cristallo / The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970), Profondo rosso / Deep Red (1975), and Tenebre (1982). Using a form of symptomatic reading rooted in close formal and stylistic analysis along with extensive urban-historical research, I situate these three films within the urban history of Rome, conceiving each of these films as historical markers of the changing relationship between cinema, media, state power, and urban and global geography in Italian postmodernity. Using the language of popular filmmaking (and targeting an emergent suburban and home-based audience), Argento’s films track the emergent phenomenological and socio-spatial consequences of these new urban forms and media geographies. Roma De Profundis raises questions not only about Italian film and media history, but also, more generally, about urban and global space, national and transnational media, and film form as a bearer of urban and social meaning.

I am currently visiting faculty in Modern Culture and Media with a specialization in film studies. I have published on Italian neorealist cinema seen in the light of fascist power structures in Cinematic Rome (Troubadour Press), on the Rome of Dario Argento in Taking Place: Location and the Moving Image (University of Minnesota Press), and on Italian media convergence in the late career work of Michelangelo Antonioni (in Antonioni: Centenary Essays, BFI Press).

I am currently working on an essay that examines the New York City High Line in relation to the post-industrial history of the city, a history that is intimately connected to cinematic representation. I am also at the beginning stages of two projects: one on the concept of urban diaspora in the United States, and one on the Mexican filmmaker Carlos Reygadas.

I was (proudly) born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Ph.D., Modern Culture and Media, Brown University.
M.A., Modern Culture and Media, Brown University.
Bachelor of Arts, Film and Video Studies, University of Michigan.

In Visible Cities: Popular Cinema and Urban Experience Since 1960 (Fall 2010)
Psychos, Doctors, and Other Monsters: A Survey of the Horror Film (Spring 2011)
Film Authors and Authorship (Fall 2011)
Science Fiction Cinema (Spring 2012)