Elaine Roth

Elaine Roth

Professor of Film Studies

Contact Information

Office Location: Wiekamp Hall, Room DW3133
Office Phone: (574) 520-4224

Go Here for current Office Hours


University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
Ph.D. in American Literature and Film Studies, 1999

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
M.A. in English

Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA
B.A. in English

In my teaching and my writing, I work to identify the quiet politics of the dominant form of cultural expression of our time: the movies. Because of this goal, I focus on popular U.S. films, like Erin Brockovich (2000), that reach large audiences, but I’m also interested in experimental films, like the films of Matthew Barney, that affect mainstream cinema from the sidelines. As a result, I’ve studied directors who make both popular and experimental films, such as U.S. director Steven Soderbergh and German director Tom Tykwer (who directed Run, Lola, Run [1998]).

I believe that a careful examination of any text -- literary or cinematic -- can lead to a heightened understanding of the culture and moment that produced it. Describing – simply describing! – a sequence in a film allows us to see that material differently, to understand the film more fully, and hopefully to see the world through a slightly enhanced lens. At least that’s always one of my goals in a film studies class and in my scholarship.

Areas of Interest

U.S. cinema; film genres; experimental film; cultural studies

Recent Publications

“Elisabeth Sanxay Holding,” American Authors (Scribner’s, Farmington Hills, MI:  2012):  119-137.

Review of Soldiers' Stories: Military Women in Cinema and Television since World War II by Yvonne Tasker.  Journal of American History (Oxford University Press) 99.  2012: 644-645.

“In Pursuit of Subjectivity:  An Interview with Tom Tykwer.”  Co-author Heather Addison.  Quarterly Review of Film and Video (Routledge) 27.3, 2010:  169-177.

Motherhood Misconceived

Motherhood Misconceived: Representing the Maternal in U.S. Films, Collection: co-edited with Heather Addison and Mary Kate Goodwin-Kelly. (SUNY Press, 2009.)

“’Who’s Your Favorite Indian?’: Sherman Alexie’s Adaptations,” in The Process of Film Adaptation: Voices from Page to Screen, ed. Jack Boozer. (University of Texas Press, 2007)

“Black and White Masculinity in Three Steven Soderbergh Films,” Genders 43 spring 2006 (

“Momophobia: Incapacitated Mothers and their Adult Children in 1990’s Films,” Quarterly Review of Film and Video 22.2, 2005: 189-202.


Film Studies committee, chair
Women’s Studies committee
English Department Graduate Studies committee

Courses Taught at IUSB

L680 Special Topics: Film and Genre
D501 Popular Genres: Sentimental Literature and Film Melodramas
C310 Film Adaptations of Literature
W302 Screenwriting
C290 Survey of U.S. Film History: Origins to Mid-Century
W260 Film Criticism
C253 U.S. Black Filmmakers
W250 / Women’s Studies 240 Writing in Context: Women in U.S. Film
C190 Introduction to Film Studies
L150 Representative American Writers
W131 Elementary Composition
T 190 Literary and Intellectual Traditions: The War Film and Novel


Fulbright Senior Lecturing Award, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain, Spring 2011
Faculty Colloquium on Excellence in Teaching (FACET), March 2006.
IUSB Trustees’ Teaching Award, May 2005, May 2013.