Ph.D. Birkbeck College, University of London (Film), 2004
M.A. University of Western Ontario (Art History), 1999
B.A. University of Western Ontario (Political Science and Visual Arts), 1997
After Film: Cultural Memory in Contemporary Cinematic Art
This project analyzes how contemporary artists’ explorations of “the cinematic” – as a concept transformed by the digital age – contribute to the discourse of the cinema. Specifically, my research focuses on how artworks designed to imagine future possibilities for cinema also often critically reflect on cinema’s past and, in particular, its role in shaping cultural memory. This research aims to further our understanding of how contemporary art practices offer critical insight into the social impact of both digital and analog technologies of representation as well as how certain artists perform a kind of film theory through their work.
The Fifties in the Cinematic Imagination: 1970 to the Present
This research is concerned with the various ways in which the Fifties (as a construct that is somewhat mythic, largely nostalgic and, to a point – I would argue – historical) has been mobilized in films released since the 1970s. My research into the social, cultural and political implications of this construct is motivated and structured by several interconnected questions: What sort of entity is this category we call the Fifties? How do we begin to make sense of something that pervades so many aspects of life? Something recognizable, identifiable and thus generating a degree of consensus about what it is, but at the same time rife with contradiction and ambiguity. Something fluid, evolving, and existing in multiple forms and used in the service of multiple agendas. How do we circumscribe the Fifties, or justify the parameters used to include its constituent parts? And if indeed a working definition or general ontology is possible, how might we set about assessing its functions and significance, historically and historiographically speaking? Part of this project involves identifying and analyzing some of its key manifestations including the ‘Lounge Fifties’, ‘McCarthyite Fifties’, ‘(Meta)cinematic Fifties’, ‘Levittownesque Fifties’, etc.
Sprengler, C. “Complicating Camelot: Nostalgia and Deliberate Archaism in MadMen” in Scott F. Stoddart ed. Reading MadMen: A Critical Anthology, McFarland. (forthcoming)
Sprengler, C. “The Future of History in Dennis Potter’s Cold Lazarus”, in Tobias Hochscherf and James Leggott, eds. British Science Fiction Film and Television, McFarland. (forthcoming)
Sprengler, C. Screening Nostalgia: Populuxe Props and Technicolor Aesthetics in Contemporary American Film (Oxford and New York: Berghahn Books, 2009)
Sprengler, C. "Memory and Exile in the Bill Douglas Trilogy," Cultures of Exile: Visual Dimensions of Displacement, ed. Wendy Everett and Peter Wagstaff. Berghahn Books, 2004.
2005 Marina Folescu, “On Stillness and Movement in Videos by Bill Viola, Mark Lewis, and Stacey Lancaster”, MA
2005 Brendan Fernandez, “The Kenyan Safari Lodge: Fantasizing about an Authentic Vacation Culture” (co-supervision), MFA
2006 Iuliana Strambeanu, “Cinematic Experiments in Multimedia Installations by Janet Cardiff, Doug Aitken, and Pierre Huyghe” (supervisor), MA
2007 Dagmara Genda, “Identity and Exile” (co-supervision), MFA
2008 Rima Puteris, “The Absent Body: Ana Mendieta and Janine Antoni”, MA
2009 Sonja Peters, “At the Scene, On the Screen, and Beyond: Experiences and Representations of Coney Island in Early Twentieth-Century Photography and Film”, MA
In progress Stephanie Radu, MA
In progress Caitlin Shaw, MA, Film Studies