Paul Young received his PhD in English from the University of Chicago in 1998 for a dissertation about American cinema's historical representations of newer communications media. He has taught film and American literature at Georgia Tech, where he received the E. Roe Stamps Award for excellence in teaching in 2002, the University of Missouri, Colorado College, and Vanderbilt University, where he directed the Film Studies Program from 2004 to 2011. He has written two books, Frank Miller's Daredevil and the Ends of Heroism (Rutgers, July 2016) and The Cinema Dreams Its Rivals: Media Fantasy Films from Radio to the Internet (Minnesota 2006), and articles on such topics as American naturalist fiction and early cinema, video game genres, the black humor of Don DeLillo's novel White Noise, the historiography of film noir, the dawn of film sound, and the telegraphic imaginary of early film in journals and essay collections including Modernism/Modernity, Convergence, The Minnesota Review, The Wiley-Blackwell History of American Film (2011), and New Media, 1740-1915 (MIT Press 2003). His essay on the allegorical structure of Lois Weber's Hypocrites (1915) appeared in Cinema Journal 55.1 (2015).
His research and teaching focus on how particular uses of film, from formal and stylistic experiments to such conventions as genres and continuity editing, affect public debates about the medium's intrinsic nature. He has taught courses on the films of Alfred Hitchcock, controversial films and American mainstream film criticism, and the industrial city in cinema and fiction. Of late he has begun to explore the intermedia relationships between cinema, video, and comics. He regularly teaches a new course at Dartmouth called FS 41: Cinema and the Graphic Novel, which explores the intertwined histories of the two media through primary texts, critical essays, and student cartooning and storyboarding projects (no drawing experience required or expected).