Susan Dever

Susan Dever teaching a class in front of green screen

Susan Dever

Associate Professor
PhD, Stanford University

The subjects of Dr. Susan Dever’s recent scholarship and practice—Eastern philosophy and film art—continue to inform a series of new Cinematic Arts courses in Contemplative Cinema and Visual Epistemologies. The ever-changing “EveryDay Art: Mindfulness for Moviemakers and Other Poets,” plus all the different iterations of “Celluloid Buddhas,” have garnered high marks from “group/independent study” students discovering, through the combined practice of secular sitting meditation and interdependent cinematic art-making of all sorts, what it means to be an artist.

Published: Celluloid Nationalism and Other Melodramas: From Post-Revolutionary Mexico to FinDe Siglo Mexamerica (Suny Series, Cultural Studies in Cinema/Video & Suny Series in Feminist Criticism and Theory)

Celluloid Nationalism and Other Melodramas looks at representation and rebellion in times of national uncertainty. Moving from mid-century Mexican cinema to recent films staged in Los Angeles and Mexico City, Susan Dever analyzes melodrama’s double function as a genre and as a sensibility, revealing coincidences between movie morals and political pieties in the civic-minded films of Emilio Fernández, Matilde Landeta, Allison Anders, and Marcela Fernández Violante.

These filmmakers’ rationally and emotionally engaged cinema-offering representations of indigenous peoples and poor urban women who alternately endorsed “civilizing” projects and voiced resistance to such totalization-both interrupts and sustains fictions of national coherence in an increasingly transnational world.