The Oberlin Lectures in English and American Literature proudly presents Tom Gunning, University of Chicago, on Why Cinema Has Not Yet Been Invented: or Taking the Digital in Hand.
Professor Tom Gunning, Edwin A. and Betty L. Bergman Distinguished Service Professor of Art History and Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago, works on problems of film style and interpretation, film history, and film culture. His published work has concentrated on early cinema and on the culture of modernity from which cinema arose (relating it to still photography, stage melodrama, magic lantern shows, and wider cultural concerns such as the tracking of criminals, world expositions, and spiritualism).
His concept of the “cinema of attractions” has tried to relate the development of cinema to forces other than storytelling, such as new experiences of space and time in modernity, and an emerging modern visual culture. His book D.W. Griffith and the Origins of American Narrative Film traces the ways film style interacted with new economic structures in the early American film industry and with new tasks of storytelling.
His book on Fritz Lang deals with the systematic nature of the director's oeuvre and the processes of interpretation. He has written on the avant-garde film, both in its European pre-World War I manifestations and the American avant-garde film up to the present day. He has written on genre in Hollywood cinema and on the relation between cinema and technology. The issues of film culture, the historical factors of exhibition and criticism and spectator's experience throughout film history are recurrent themes in his work.