Rick Warner


Greenlaw 439
(919) 962-4048

Assistant Professor

Kenan Fellow

Faculty Fellow, Institute for the Arts and Humanities, Fall 15

Affiliate faculty in Global Studies

My scholarship and teaching investigate the history of film style in a global context. My approach to cinema is interdisciplinary and comparative, with an eye to how film, literature, and other media interrelate. I am particularly interested in the philosophical and reflective capabilities of cinema, hence my focus in recent publications on forms such as the essay film and “contemplative cinema.” My courses at Carolina, whatever their topic, show students how to critically engage with and write about moving images (and sounds) with precision, clarity, and nuance. My aim is not merely to expand students’ knowledge and appreciation of film history but also to improve their perceptual acuity – that is, their audiovisual literacy – and to show them how the expressive resources of cinema and other media participate meaningfully in larger cultural and political conversations. 

Professional Experience

Assistant Professor, Department of English and Comparative Literature, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2012-)
Visiting Lecturer, Department of English, University of Pennsylvania (2011-12)
Visiting Lecturer, Department of English, Carnegie Mellon University (2008)


Editorial Work:

The Film-Philosophy Reader, co-edited with Gregory Flaxman and Elena Oxman, forthcoming.

True to the Spirit: Film Adaptation and the Question of Fidelity, co-editor and contributor with Colin MacCabe and Kathleen Murray. Oxford University Press, 2011.

“The Late Work of Jean-Luc Godard,” guest editor and contributor, special issue of Critical Quarterly 51, no. 3 (October 2009).

Selected Articles and Chapters:

“Restyling Suspense in Modern Cinema: Nicholson’s ‘Imploded’ Performance in Antonioni’s The Passenger.” In Great Film Performances, vol. I, edited by Murray Pomerance and Kyle Stevens. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming 2017.

“Essaying the Forms of Popular Cinema: Godard, Farocki, and the Principle of Shot-Countershot.” In The Essay Film: Dialogue, Politics, Utopia, edited by Caroline Eades and Elizabeth Papazian, 28-66. London: Wallflower, 2016.

“Godard’s Stereoscopic Essay: Thinking in and with Adieu au langage.” In The Global Auteur: Politics and Philosophy in 21st Century Cinema, edited by Seung-hoon Jeong and Jeremi Szaniawski, 61-78. New York: Bloomsbury, 2016. 

"Filming a Miracle: OrdetSilent Light, and the Spirit of Contemplative Cinema," Critical Quarterly 57, no. 2 (2015): 46-71.

“The Cinematic Essay as Adaptive Process,” Adaptation 6, no. 1 (2013): 1-24.

“Contempt Revisited: Godard at the Margins of Adaptation.” In True to the Spirit: Film Adaptation and the Question of Fidelity, edited by Colin MacCabe, Kathleen Murray, and Rick Warner, 195-213. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.

“Go-for-Broke Games of History: Chris Marker Between ‘Old’ and ‘New’ Media.” Post Script: Essays in Film and the Humanities 24, no. 1 (2009): 14-26.

“Shocking Histoire(s): Godard, Surrealism, and Historical Montage.” Quarterly Review of Film and Video 25, no. 1 (2008): 1-15.

Current Book Projects:

A Form that Thinks: Godard and the Cinematic Essay -- an intensive study of one the most dynamic and enduring forms of intellectual filmmaking

Contemplative Visions: A Certain Tendency in Global Cinema -- a critical account of the emergence and continuation of "contemplative" film aesthetics since World War II

Courses (current and planned):

CMPL 143 History of Gobal Cinema

CMPL 144 Film Culture: Global Art Cinema Since 1960 

CMPL 240 Introduction to Film Theory

CMPL 280 Film Genres (Suspense Thriller; Comedy)

CMPL 375 New Wave Cinema: Its Sources and its Legacies (survey of new wave cinemas across Western and Eastern Europe, North America, Latin America, and East Asia) 

ENGL 380 New Hollywood: American Cinema of the 1970s

ENGL 381 Cinema and Literature

CMPL 382 Film and Nature

ENGL 389 Film Directors (Hitchcock; Welles/Kubrick; Marker/Godard/Resnais/Varda)  

ENGL 410H Documentary Film

CMPL 420 Film, Photography, and the Digital Image

CMPL 463 Cinema and Surrealism

CMPL 484 Cinematic Uses of the Essay Form 

ENGL 680 Film Theory and Pedagogy 

ENGL 881 Cinemas of Thought: Essayistic and Contemplative Traditions since 1945

Interdisciplenary Connections 

Advisory board, Global Cinema Studies

Affiliate faculty, Curriculum in Global Studies


Hire Date: 2012


Ph.D. English with Certificate in Film Studies, University of Pittsburgh (2010)

M.A. Film Studies, Emory University (2004)

B.A. English, Georgetown College (2000)

Research Groups and Interests

Comparative Literature
Group IX - Critical Theory and Cultural Studies
Group VII - American Literature from 1900 to the Present