Rebecca Sheehan



Department | Cinema and Television Arts

Personal Website |

Phone | 657-278-8288

Email |

Office | CP 650-20

Office Hours | Th 1-4PM

Degree and University Ph.D. Comparative Literature and Cinema Studies - University of Pennsylvania, 2008| M.A. Comparative Literature and Cinema Studies - University of Pennsylvania, 2005 | B.A. Comparative Literature - Stanford University, 2001

Rebecca A. Sheehan, Ph.D. is a Professor of Cinema Studies in the Department of Cinema and Television Arts at California State University, Fullerton. Professor Sheehan teaches courses in World Cinema, Border Cinema, American Film History, Experimental and Avant-Garde Cinema, Documentary Cinema, Alfred Hitchcock's films, and Writing about the Moving Image.

Her book, American Avant-Garde Cinema's Philosophy of the In-Between (Oxford University Press, 2020) addresses the intersections between post-WWII American Avant-Garde cinema and the emerging field of Film-Philosophy. She is currently working on her second monograph, Cinema's Laocoön: Film, Sculpture, and the Virtual, which examines how sculpture and cinema have historically interfaced, paying particular attention to sculpture's role in Gilles Deleuze's conception of the virtual in the "time-image," and looking at the relationship between sculpture and virtual reality.

Sheehan's interest in the capability of form to effectuate critical thought and action through media is also the premise for her book, Border Cinema: Reimagining Identity Through Aesthetics (Rutgers University Press, 2019), co-edited with Monica Hanna (CHIC), which examines how post-digital shifts in cinematic aesthetics have registered and intervened in a globalized understanding of the world and how such aesthetic shifts have helped shape evolving conceptions of national and individual identity.

Sheehan has work published or forthcoming on diverse topics in film studies and film theory including philosophies of embodiment and women's experimental cinema, 19th century sculpture and early cinema, the influence of Chris Marker on the Brothers Quay, epistolary cinema, the contemporary biopic, and the influence of Kenneth Anger on Nicholas Winding Refn, and border "docugames."


B.A. in Comparative Literature, Stanford University, 2001  

M.A. in Comparative Literature and Cinema Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 2005  

Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Cinema Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 2008

Select Publications

  Border Cinema: Reimagining Identity Through Aesthetics , co-edited with Monica Hanna (Rutgers University Press, 2019) 

American Avant-Garde Cinema's Philosophy of the In-Between , (Oxford University Press, 2020)  

"Give me a body then...": (In)corporated Thinking in the Cinema of Menken, Deren and Arledge," forthcoming in  Cinéma et Cie, vol. 34 (2020)  

"Biker Boys, Muscle Cars, Hollywood Men: Fetish Filmmaking and the Revision of Masculinity in Scorpio rising  and Drive,"  Film Studies, vol. 21 (Autumn 2019), pp. 65-82.

 "Epistolary Form and the Displaced Global Subject in Recent Films by James Benning and Jem Cohen,"   Área Abierta, 19(3), 2019, pp. 363-381.

“Serious Games: Empathy in Action at the Virtual Border,” in   Latinx Ciné: Filmmaking, Production, Consumption in the 21st Century, edit. Frederick Aldama (University of Arizona Press, 2019) 

“Undocumated: Documentary Animations Unsettled Borders,” in  Border Cinema: Reimagining Identity Through Aesthetics, edit. Monica Hanna and Rebecca Sheehan (Rutgers University Press, 2019)  

“The Renewed Encounter with the Everyday: Stan Brakhage and the Ethics of the (Extra)ordinary,”  Stan Brakhage: The Realm Buster, edit. Marco Lori and Esther Leslie (Indiana University Press, 2017)  

“A Series of Surfaces: The New Sculpture and Cinema,”19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century,  volume 22 (Summer 2016).

  “Facebooking the Present: The Biopic and Cultural Instantaneity,” in   The Biopic in Contemporary Film Culture, edit. Belén Vidal and Tom Brown (Routledge Press, 2014).

  “The Disembodied Wound of The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes: The Brothers Quay’s ‘homage’ to Chris Marker,”   Discourse   vol. 32.3-4 (Fall 2013). 

“Picturing a Film Philosophy: Stan Brakhage, Ludwig Wittgenstein and the Renewed Encounter with the Everyday,”  Screen, 53.2 (Summer 2012).  

“The Time of Sculpture: Film, Photography and Auguste Rodin,”  Screening the Past  (Issue 29, Nov. 2010), edit. Sam Rohdie and Des O’Rawe.

  “Competing with ‘the barbarous clangour of a gong:’ Why ‘Theme of the Traitor and the Hero’ begins in ‘Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen,’”   Journal of Modern Literature   (JML), issue 32.3, Spring 2009.