Department of Cinema and Media Studies and the College
Allyson Nadia Field’s scholarship investigates the functioning of race and representation in interdisciplinary contexts surrounding cinema. Her primary research interest is African American film, both silent era cinema and more contemporary filmmaking practices, and is unified by two broad theoretical inquiries: how film and visual media shape perceptions of race and ethnicity, and how these media have been and can be mobilized to perpetuate or challenge social inequities.
She is the author of Uplift Cinema: The Emergence of African American Film and the Possibility of Black Modernity (Duke University Press, 2015), which explores the emergence of Black filmmaking practices in the period prior to D. W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation (1915) and the proliferation of race cinema that began in the late teens.
Field received an AB in art history from Stanford University, an MA in film and television studies from the Universiteit van Amsterdam, and an AM and PhD in comparative literature from Harvard University. She was a Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow at the W. E. B. Du Bois Research Institute at Harvard University. Most recently, Field was a member of the faculty at the University of California, Los Angeles.