Adam Lowenstein

  • Professor

Adam Lowenstein works on issues relating to the cinema as a mode of historical, cultural, and aesthetic confrontation. His teaching and research link these issues to the relays between genre films and art films, cinema and digital media, the politics of spectatorship, and the construction of national cinemas (with particular attention to American, Australian, British, Canadian, French, Israeli, Italian, and Japanese cases). His areas of interest range from surrealism to trauma studies to Frankfurt School film and cultural theory.

He is especially invested in horror studies, and is the Director of Pitt’s Horror Studies Working Group as well as a board member of the George A. Romero Foundation. He played a central role in the acquisition of the George A. Romero Collection for Pitt’s Horror Studies Archive, an initiative that continues to grow through the University Library System’s Department of Archives and Special Collections.

He has held visiting professorships at Columbia University, New York University, and Tel Aviv University, and received a Macgeorge Fellowship from the University of Melbourne. He has been interviewed on questions of cinema and culture for the New York Times, Adam Simon’s documentary The American Nightmare, and elsewhere. Adam was recently awarded a Global Academic Partnership Grant from Pitt’s Global Studies Center to build a Global Horror Studies Archival and Research Network.

Representative Publications

Shocking Representation: Historical Trauma, National Cinema, and the Modern Horror Film (Columbia University Press, 2005).

Dreaming of Cinema: Spectatorship, Surrealism, and the Age of Digital Media (Columbia University Press, 2015).

“Jordan Peele and Ira Levin Go to the Movies: The Black/Jewish Genealogy of Modern Horror’s Minority Vocabulary,” in Jordan Peele’s Get Out: Political Horror, ed. Dawn Keetley (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2020), 101-113.

“A Detroit Landscape with Figures: The Subtractive Horror of It Follows,” Discourse 40.3 (Fall 2018): 358-369.

“The Jewish Cronenberg: A Cinema of Therapeutic Disintegration,” New Review of Film and Television Studies 15.2 (May 2017): 131-140.

“A Cinema of Disorientation: Space, Genre, Wheatley,” Critical Quarterly 58.1 (April 2016): 5-15.

“The Giallo/Slasher Landscape: Ecologia del delitto, Friday the 13th, and Subtractive Spectatorship,” in Italian Horror Cinema, eds. Stefano Baschiera and Russ Hunter (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016), 127-144.

“Feminine Horror: The Embodied Surrealism of In My Skin,” in The Dread of Difference: Gender and the Horror Film, second edition, ed. Barry Keith Grant (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2015), 470-487.

“Buñuel’s Bull Meets YouTube’s Lion: Surrealist and Digital Posthumanisms” in Animal Life and the Moving Image, eds. Michael Lawrence and Laura McMahon (London: British Film Institute/Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), 58-71.

“Spaces of Violence: History, Horror, and the Cinema of Kiyoshi Kurosawa,” in Killer Images: Documentary Film, Memory and the Performance of Violence, eds. Joram ten Brink and Joshua Oppenheimer (London and New York: Wallflower Press/Columbia University Press, 2012), 136-151.

“A Reintroduction to the American Horror Film,” in The Wiley-Blackwell History of American Film (4 vols.), eds. Cynthia Lucia, Roy Grundmann, and Art Simon (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), vol. 4, 154-176.

A Dangerous Method: Sight Unseen,” Film Quarterly 65.3 (Spring 2012): 24-32.

“Spectacle Horror and Hostel: Why ‘Torture Porn’ Does Not Exist,” Critical Quarterly 53.1 (April 2011): 42-60.

“Living Dead: Fearful Attractions of Film,” Representations 110 (Spring 2010): 105-128. Special forum on Fear Beyond the Disciplines, eds. Jan Plamper and Benjamin Lazier.

“The Surrealism of the Photographic Image: Bazin, Barthes, and the Digital Sweet Hereafter,” Cinema Journal 46.3 (Spring 2007): 54-82.