Arthur Knight
Masthead image


I've worked at William & Mary since 1993. I'm trained as a film and literary scholar and a lot of my teaching and research continues to focus on film and literature.

For instance, some of the courses I offer most regularly are "Film & Authorship: The Cinema of Spike Lee" and "Contemporary Literature," along with courses like "Introduction to Film & Media Studies" and "Cinema and the Modernization of U.S. Culture" (as an intro to American Studies). My most recent publications are essays on how race relations appeared in and affected American film in the late 1950s and on Sidney Poitier's rise to movie-stardom in the 1960s. (You can get more details on my research and teaching by going here.)

But since I'm privileged to work in an interdisciplinary context--moving back and forth between American Studies, English, Film Studies & Media Studies in my teaching, which involves both undergraduate and graduate students with widely varying interests--my own interests are diverse and expanding. 

My current book project is called "Black Star: A Cultural History of African American Fame" and I'm designing a course on "post-cinema" studies, thinking about one on comics and graphic novels, and refreshing my course on "American Performance Cultures."  At the same time, I am also exploring the use of case studies and local evidence and knowledge in cultural history by collaborating with students on an on-going research project--Williamsburg Documentary Project--and with Film Studies scholars from around the world on the History of Moviegoing, Exhibition, and Reception (HoMER) Project.

I've also done a lot of adminstrative work at William & Mary, chairing both American Studies and Film & Media Studies at various points and serving twice as American Studies' Director of Graduate Studies and once as its Director of Undergraduate Studies.  I served on the Provost's Curriculum Review Steering Committee, which developed William and Mary's new general education curriculum and called for the founding of its new Center for the Liberal Arts.  I currently serve on the Board of W&M's excellent Swem Library and as a consultant and producer for W&M's annual Global Film Festival.  

My main adminstrative work is serving as the Arts & Sciences Faculty Facilities Coordinator.  In that role, I work to ensure that my colleagues and our students have the facilities we need--a task that can run the gamut from solving modest (but irritating and distracting) problems of facilties maintenance to major building projects to campus master planning.  It's a cool job.