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Photo of Rick Warner, taken by Sarah Boyd

Associate Professor and Kenan Fellow

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)


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 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, political, and intellectual conversations.


To read more, visit my website


Books Select Articles and Chapters
  • “Audiovisual Rhythm and its Spectator: Moonlight as Example.” In The Oxford Handbook to Film Theory, edited by Kyle Stevens. New York: Oxford University Press, 2020.
  • “Kubrickian Dread: Echoes of 2001 and The Shining in Works by Jonathan Glazer, Paul Thomas Anderson, and David Lynch.” In After Kubrick: A Filmmaker’s Legacy, edited by Jeremi Szaniawski. New York: Bloomsbury, 2020.
  • “Malick’s Emergent Lyricism in Badlands and Days of Heaven.” In The Other Hollywood Renaissance, edited by R. Barton Palmer, Murray Pomerance, and Dominic Lennard. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2020.  
  • “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.

Teaching Awards

  • Johnston Teaching Excellence Award, 2020


  • Schwab Academic Excellence Award, Institute for the Arts & Humanities, 2018
  • Institute for the Arts & Humanities Faculty Fellowship, Fall 2015
  • Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship, Annual Penn Humanities Forum, University of Pennsylvania, 2011-12
  • Andrew W. Mellon Dissertation Fellowship, 2009-10
  • Richard Tobias Dissertation Fellowship, 2008-09
  • University of Pittsburgh Center for International Studies Travel Grant, 2006

Courses Taught:

  • CMPL 143 History of Gobal Cinema
  • CMPL 144 Film Culture
  • 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 251 Film Performance and Stardom
  • ENGL 323 American Films of the 1970s
  • ENGL 324 Creating the Video Essay
  • ENGL 380 Film History
  • ENGL 381 Cinema and Literature
  • ENGL 389 Film Directors (Hitchcock/Kubrick)
  • 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

Curriculum Vitae / Resume