Benjamin Strassfeld

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Ben Strassfeld

Doctoral Candidate

Phone: 734-764-0147

  • Fields of Study
    • Educational cinema
    • Orphan films
    • Film criticism
    • Film exhibition practices
  • About

    Ben received his B.A. in American Studies at Brandeis University, his M.A. in Cinema Studies at New York University, and is now in his fifth year as a Ph.D. candidate in the Screen Arts and Cultures department here at the University of Michigan. His work has appeared in Velvet Light Trap and is forthcoming in Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television.

    Ben is currently working on his dissertation, "The Detroit Model: Race, Sexuality, and Censorship, 1950-1979." The dissertation charts the history of the legal mechanisms used by Detroit in its censorship of film and literature, moving from the obscenity-based approach of the 1950s up through the city's monumental 1972 zoning law dispersing adult businesses. This history if looked at in tandem with the efforts of church groups, neighborhood associations, and residents to initiate and enforce media censorship, with this grassroots antiporn activism examined through the lens of urban and race studies.

  • Education
    • M.A. in Cinema Studies, New York University, 2011
    • B.A. in America Studies, Brandeis University, 2009