John Trafton, PhD

Photo of John Trafton

PhD, Film Studies

Instructor in Film and Media Studies

Building/Room: Casey 430-02

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My work focuses on the relationship between film history and visual cultural. My 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. My forthcoming book, Movie-Made Los Angeles: The City of Angels and the Rise of American Film, explores how visual culture in Southern California from 1870 to 1930 contributed to the growth of American film’s primary host city. Drawing from archival research and the methodologies of Film Studies, Art History, and cross-pollinated disciplines, this book offers new perspectives on the symbiotic growth of the early motion picture industry and a city that had been marketed to the rest of the world through visual narration years before its first film studio.