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Robert Altman Collegiate Professor of Film Studies
Office Location(s): 6419 North Quad
Abel has taken a circuitous route to become a historian of silent French and American cinema: an undergraduate in forestry and wildlife management and then English, a doctoral student in Comparative Literature, and a partly self-trained professor of cinema studies and cultural studies. He came to the University of Michigan in 2002 as the Robert Altman Collegiate Professor of Film Studies and served as Chair of the Department of Screen Arts & Cultures from 2005-2009.
Abel's essays have appeared in dozens of journals (including Cinema Journal, Screen, Film Quarterly, Film History, Sight & Sound, French Cultural Studies, and Studies in French Cinema). His books include French Cinema: The First Wave, 1915-1929 (Princeton 1984); French Film Theory and Criticism, 1907-1939: A History/Anthology, in two volumes (Princeton 1988); The Ciné Goes to Town: French Cinema, 1896-1914 (California 1994); Silent Film (Rutgers 1996), The Red Rooster Scare: Making Cinema American (California 1999), and Americanizing the Movies and “Movie-Mad” Audiences, 1910-1914 (California 2006). With Rick Altman, he co-edited The Sounds of Early Cinema (Indiana 2001); with Giorigio Bertellini and Rob King, Early Cinema and the “National” (John Libbey 2008); he also served as general editor of The Encyclopedia of Early Cinema (Routledge 2005/2010). His forthcoming book is Menus for Movie Land: Newspapers and the Emergence of American Film Culture, 1913-1916.
Awards and Honors:
Screen Arts and Cultures
6330 North Quad105 S. State St.
Ann Arbor, MI