Mark J. Williams

Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies

Mark Williams received both of his graduate degrees in Critical Studies from The School of Cinema-Television at The University of Southern California. He has previously taught at USC, Loyola Marymount, UC Santa Barbara, and Northwestern. His courses at Dartmouth include surveys of U.S. and international film history, television history and theory, and new media history and theory. He has published in a variety of journals and anthologies, including Télévision: le moment expérimental (1935-1955); No Laughing Matter: Visual Humor in Ideas of Race, Nationality, and EthnicityConvergence Media History; New Media: Theories and Practices of Digitextuality; Collecting Visible Evidence; Dietrich Icon; Television, History, and American Culture: Feminist Critical Essays; and Living Color: Race, Feminism, and Television. He directed the Leslie Center Humanities Institute entitled Cyber-Disciplinarity. In conjunction with the Dartmouth College Library, he is the founding editor of an e-journal, The Journal of e-Media Studies. With Adrian Randolph, he co-edits the book series Interfaces: Studies in Visual Culture for the University Press of New England. He founded and has twice directed the Dartmouth off-campus program in Los Angeles for The Department of Film and Media Studies.  With Michael Casey, he received an NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant in 2011 to build the ACTION toolset for cinema analysis. In 2014 he received an award for Scholarly Innovation and Advancement at Dartmouth for directing The Media Ecology Project. In 2015 he received an NEH Tier 1 Research and Development grant with John Bell to build the Semantic Annotation Tool (SAT) for use in The Media Ecology Project. In 2016, with Lorenzo Torresani and the participation of The Internet Archive, he received a Knight Foundation grant to make film libraries more searchable and discoverable via software that will annotate speech, objects and actions in film. His book Remote Possibilities, a History of Early Television in Los Angeles, will be published by Duke University Press.

208 Black Family Visual Arts Center
HB 6194
Film and Media Studies
Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
B.A. University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana
A.M. University of Southern California
Ph.D. University of Southern California

Selected Publications

Journal of e-Media Studies, founding editor, ( .

Interfaces:Studies in Visual Culture, series co-edited with A Randolph, ( .

“Networking Moving Image History: Archives, Scholars, and the Media Ecology Project,” in The Arclight Guidebook to Media History and The Digital Humanities, Charles R. Acland and Eric Hoyt, eds. (2016)

"Passing for History: Humor and Early Television Historiography" in No Laughing Matter: Visual Humore in Ideas of Race, Nationality, and Ethnicity, Angela Rosentahl, David Bindman, and Adrian Randolph, eds. (2015) 176-200.

“A Child is Being Rescued: Television at the Threshold of the Real,” in Télévision: le moment expérimental (1935-1955), Gilles Delavaud et Denis Maréchal, eds. (2011) 202-213.

“Re-Wiring Media History: Inter-Medial Borders,” in Convergence Media History, Janet Staiger and Sabine Hake, eds. (2009) 46-56.

“Get/Away: Structure and Desire in Rancho Notorious” in Dietrich Icon, Gerd Germunden and Mary Desjardins, eds. (2007) 259-283.

“Real-time Fairy Tales: Cinema Pre-figuring Digital Anxiety,” in New Media: Theories and Practices of Digitextuality, Anna Everett and John Thornton Caldwell, eds. (2003) 159-178.

“History in a Flash: Notes on the Myth of TV ‘Liveness’,” in Collecting Visible Evidence, Jane Gaines and Michael Renov, eds. Visible Evidence Series, 6 (1999) 292-312.

“Entertaining ‘Difference’: Strains of Orientalism in Early Los Angeles Television,” in Living Color: Race, Feminism, and Television, Sasha Torres, ed. (1998) 12-34.

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Works in Progress

Remote Possibilities: A History of Early Television in Los Angeles, 1930-1952 (forthcoming, Duke University Press)

Passing for History: Humor and Early Television Historiography book manuscript.

“Re-Wiring Media History: Inter-Medial Borders"


ACTION: Audio-visual Cinematic Time-line Interaction, Organization, and Navigation (NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant, co-PI with Prof. Michael Casey)

Media Ecology Project, providing more and better scholarly access to historical media