Prof. Mary Ann Doane

September - December 2011

Mary Ann Doane, is George Hazard Crooker Professor of Modern Culture and
Media at Brown University. During 1996-1997 and 1998-2000, she was also Chair of the
Department of Modern Culture and Media. She has served on the Executive Board of the
Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women and has held visiting teaching
positions at New York University and the University of Iowa. In 1994, she was Frederic Ives
Carpenter Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago. A specialist in film theory, feminist
theory and semiotics, Doane holds degrees from Cornell University (B.A. English, 1974) and
the University of Iowa (M.A. Speech and Dramatic Art, 1976; Ph.D. Speech and Dramatic
Art, 1979).

Fields of research

Film theory; feminist film studies; cultural theory; media theory; psychoanalysis; semiotics;
photography; television (the televisual representation of catastrophe); digital media.

IKKM Research Project

Cinematic Scale, Perspective and the Modern Sublime

The philosophical and aesthetic concept of the sublime has historically been associated with notions of boundlessness, awe, terror and infinity, linking subjectivity and affect to concepts of spatial dimension. The figuring of the cinema as »bigger than life« connected it to an aesthetics of magnitude as well as concepts of ineffability and unspeakability. This lecture links the structuring of space in the cinema, particularly the uses of perspective and the close-up, to the problematic of the modern subject’s relation to cognition, location, and totality.