Alan Williams

Professor of French
Graduate Director

Office: AB 4180, CAC

Office Hours: Wednesdays and Thursdays 1:30 - 3:00 PM
Phone: (848) 932-3796

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



B.A., University of Washington
M.A., University of Washington
Ph.D., SUNY Buffalo

Fields of Research:

Film history:  theories of spectatorship; economic history; study of film genres; the influence of social events & configurations of filmmaking

I work primarily in the field of film history, defined very broadly. I try to tie together ways of studying cinema that are normally considered distinct: theories of spectatorship, economic history, study of film genres, the influence of social events and configurations on filmmaking, and so on. I am particularly interested in crisis points in film history--"overdetermined" moments where striking changes at apparently different levels occur in a relatively brief space of time. These include (for French cinema) the transition from "silent" cinema to the talkies, the German Occupation, the years of the nouvelle vague and, most recently, the time of the final negotiations of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

Books (click on image for details):






Other Publications:

Graduate Courses:

  • French Cinema of the Occupation
  • Cinema Between the World Wars
  • Writing Film History
  • Film Theory
  • Theories of Realism
  • French Stars and Genres

Undergraduate Courses:

  • French Film in French
  • French Film in English
  • Senior Seminar in Cinema Studies
  • French Cinema and the Novel
  • French Cinema and the Theater
  • Aspects of French Literature

Program Connections:

Cinema Studies
Comparative Literature