John Trafton, PhD

PhD, Film Studies

Lecturer in Film Studies

Building/Room: Rianna 106A

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Biography

My work focuses on the ways that film and media engages with the past, proposes new ideas about national identity, and reconstructs cultural memory. My recent book, The American Civil War and the Hollywood War Film, looks at three pre-cinema forms used to capture the Civil War--large scale paintings, photography, and the diaries and epistolary of soldiers--and how their representational codes have a distinct presence in war films, even contemporary ones. Recently, I have written on cinematic depictions of the Civil War in the twenty-first century, issues of trauma in Revisionist Westerns, and the cinematic remapping of the American frontier in recent drug war/border conflict films. Currently, I am writing about the relationship between American film and the city of Los Angeles, focusing on the independent and marginalised voices that critique its glittering image. This project is the foundation for my forthcoming course "Los Angeles and Cinema."