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Alessandra Raengo

Associate Professor    
Education

Ph.D in Cinema Studies, NYU, 2006

Biography

Since receiving my PhD in Cinema Studies from New York University with a dissertation that focused on black vernacular theorizations of the visibility of race in American popular and visual culture, I have increasingly moved to a more theoretical approach to the intersection between race and the pictorial and digital turn. My main research question, for the past few years, has been how race – a visual system that still operates as a language of social relations – theorizes the ontology of images. Otherwise put, my research moves beyond concerns for how race is visually represented and focuses instead on how race represents the visual.  My work is therefore boldly interdisciplinary – spanning the fields of film studies, visual culture studies, critical theory, critical race theory, Marxist theory, and post-colonial theory – because race itself is a meta-disciplinary formation.  The book that reflects this research is titled On the Sleeve of the Visual: Race as Face Value and is forthcoming in Darthmouth College Press’s series Interfaces. It has grown out of a series of conference papers (at SCMS, CSA, ACLA, SSA, World Picture and more), essays (in Adaptation and forthcoming in Camera Obscura ) and book chapters (in In the Very Beginning/At the Very End, The Ages of Cinema. Criteria and Models for the Construction of Historical PeriodsFilm’s Thresholds, Beyond Blackface, and forthcoming in Contemporary Black Cinema and On Not Looking).

My previous work includes two co-edited volumes (with Robert Stam) on film adaptation from literary sources (Literature and FilmA Companion to Literature and Film) published by Blackwell and two multilingual volumes of Conference Proceedings of the Udine International Film Studies Conference (Italy) co-edited with Leonardo Quaresima and Laura Vichi on The Birth of Film Genres and The Bounds of Representation. Among the many scholarly translations I also translated and curated the Italian edition of Robert Stam, Robert Burgoyne and Sandy Flitterman-Lewis, New Vocabularies in Film Semiotics.

My graduate seminars – Race and Visual Culture, Race and Capital, Critical Visual Culture Theory – reflect the interdisciplinarity of my work.

Publications

On the Sleeve of the Visual: Race as Face Value (Dartmouth College Press, 2013).

“In the Shadow”, forthcoming in Camera Obscura.

“Shadowboxing: Lee Daniels’s Non-Representational Cinema,” in Contemporary Black Cinema, Mia Mask, (ed.) New York: Routledge, forthcoming

“Optic Black: Blackness as Phantasmagoria,” in Akil Houston (ed.), Beyond Blackface. Africana Images in the US Media. Kendall Hunt Publishing, 3rd edition, 2010.

“Life in Those Shadows! Kara Walker’s Post-cinematic Silhouettes.” In the Very Beginning/ At the Very End. Jane Gaines, Francesco Casetti, Valentina Re, (eds.), Udine: Forum, 2010.

Editorial

Dr. Raengo has co-edited (with Robert Stam) two volumes on film adaptation from literary sources (Literature and FilmA Companion to Literature and Film) published by Blackwell; (with Leonardo Quaresima and Laura Vichi) two multilingual volumes of Conference Proceedings of the Udine International Film Studies Conference (Italy) on The Birth of Film Genres and The Bounds of Representation. Among the many scholarly translations she has also translated and curated the Italian edition of Robert Stam, Robert Burgoyne and Sandy Flitterman-Lewis, New Vocabularies in Film Semiotics.