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Cynthia Chris

Professor & Chair

Cynthia Chris joined CSI’s Department of Media Culture in 2004. Her research interests include media history and regulation, gender and sexuality, and critical animal studies. Her most recent book is The Indecent Screen: Regulating Television in the Twenty-First Century (Rutgers University Press, 2019). She is also author of Watching Wildlife (University of Minnesota Press, 2006), and she co-edited Media Authorship with David Gerstner (Routledge, 2013) and Cable Visions: Television Beyond Broadcasting (NYU Press, 2007). Her most recent book, Crab, is a contribution to Reaktion's Animal series, published in 2021:

Dr. Chris has contributed to edited volumes including The Craft of Criticism: Critical Media Studies in PracticeKeywords in Media StudiesAnimal Life and the Moving Image, and Animals and the Human Imagination, as well as the journals Antennae, Art Journal, Camera Obscura, Communication Review, Television and New Media, and exposure. She has presented her work at international conferences sponsored by the Center for Twentieth Century Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, International Communication Association, Society for Cinema & Media Studies, Society for Science and Literature, American Studies Association, and Console-ing Passions: An International Conference on Television, Video, and Feminism. In 2019, Dr. Chris was a Visiting Fellow at the Humanities Research Centre at Australian National University in Canberra.

At CSI, Dr. Chris has taught undergraduate courses including Theories of Communication, Media Analysis, Media Regulation, Nonfiction Media, Screen Comedy, and History of Radio & Television, as well as, at the graduate level, Media History and Cinema & Gender. Dr. Chris and Dr. Matt Brim of CSI’s Department of English served as general co-editors of the journal WSQ (Women's Studies Quarterly), published by the Feminist Press at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, 2014-2016. Dr. Chris is an affiliated faculty member of the Film Studies Certificate Program and the Program in Women's and Gender Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center.


PhD, University of California, San Diego

MA, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

BFA, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Scholarship and Publications

Crab (London: Reaktion, 2021). Animal Series.
The Indecent Screen: Regulating Television in the Twenty-First Century (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2019)
Watching Wildlife (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006)

Co-edited Volumes
Media Authorship (New York: Routledge, 2013), with David A. Gerstner
Cable Visions: Television Beyond Broadcasting (New York: New York University Press, 2007), with Sarah Banet-Weiser and Anthony Freitas
Women, AIDS, and Activism by the ACT UP/NY Women and AIDS Book Group (Boston: South End Press and Toronto: Between the Lines, 1990)

Journal Articles
“Wounded: The Digital Animal and Death on Screen,” Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture 42, Winter 2017, 104-117.
“Surveying Videoscapes: The Politics of Distribution in Tiered Visual Economies” (with Jason Simon), Art Journal 74, no. 4 (Winter 2015): 7-20. 
“Queasy Questions About Media Violence,” Contexts 12, no. 3 (Summer 2013): 60-61.
“Censoring Purity,” Camera Obscura 79, v. 27, no. 1 (2012): 97-126.
“Can You Repeat That? Patterns of Media Ownership and the ‘Repurposing’ Trend,” Communication Review 9, no.1 (January-March 2006): 63-84.
“All Documentary, All the Time,” Television & New Media 3, no. 1 (January 2002): 7-28.

Book Chapters
“Authorship and Auteurism,” The Craft of Media Criticism, ed. M. C. Kearney and M. Kackman (New York: Routledge, 2018), 109-121.
“Author,” in Keywords for Media Studies, ed. L. Ouellette and J. Gray (New York: New York University Press, 2017), 21-23.
“Subjunctive Desires: ‘Becoming Animal’ in Green Porno and Seduce Me,” in Animal Life and the Moving Image, ed. L. McMahon and M. Lawrence (London: British Film Institute, 2015).
“Boys Gone Wild: The Animal and the Abject,” in Animals and the Human Imagination, ed. A. Gross and A. Vallely (New York: Columbia University Press, April 2012), 152-173. 


The Indecent Screen by Cynthia Chris

Contact Information

Office: Building 1P Room 226B
Office Hours

By appointment.