Linda Williams
Professor of Film and Media, Professor of Rhetoric
Department of Film and Media, Department of Rhetoric
(510) 642-2174

Research Expertise and Interest

new media, film theory, pornography, melodrama, sex in cinema, popular genres, surrealist cinema, serial television


Linda Williams teaches courses on popular moving-image genres (pornography, melodrama, and "body genres" of all sorts). She has also recently taught courses on Oscar Micheaux and Spike Lee, Luis Bunuel,film theory, and "The Wire." Her books include a psychoanalytic study of Surrealist cinema, Figures of Desire (1981), a co-edited volume of feminist film criticism (Re-vision, 1984), an edited volume on film spectatorship, Viewing Positions (1993) and Reinventing Film Studies (co-edited with Christine Gledhill, 2000). In 1989 she published a controversial study of pornographic film entitled Hard Core: Power, Pleasure and the Frenzy of the Visible (second edition 1999). In 2001 Williams published Playing the Race Card: Melodramas of Black and White, from Uncle Tom to O.J. Simpson (Princeton). She has also editied Porn Studies, a collection of essays on pornography, (Duke, 2004). Her most recent book is Screening Sex (Duke, 2008). She is currently writing a book about "The Wire."

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