Assistant Professor English
Before coming to Syracuse, Will Scheibel studied film at Indiana University (Ph.D., 2014), Northern Illinois University (M.A., 2008), and the University of Iowa (B.A., 2006). As an American film scholar, he works primarily in the studio and post-World War II periods of Hollywood history. Looking at film aesthetics through the twin lenses of classical cinema and modernist cultures, his research focuses in particular on how film authors and performers managed—and were managed by—aesthetic ideologies in the middle of the twentieth century. Director Nicholas Ray is the subject of his first two books: the monograph American Stranger (SUNY Press, forthcoming) and, with Steven Rybin, the anthology Lonely Places, Dangerous Ground (SUNY Press, 2014).
Currently, he is writing a book that assembles methods of performance, industry, and gender studies to examine the making and subsequent unmaking of Twentieth Century-Fox star Gene Tierney. Promoted by the studio’s chief executive, Darryl F. Zanuck, as "the most beautiful woman in movie history," Tierney was also one of the first film stars to battle the stigma of mental illness publicly. Through ways of viewing her film performances within their material determinants (studio production, public reception, and the star system), this project seeks to understand the paradoxical standards by which Hollywood defined and regulated feminine beauty during World War II and the years that followed.
Research and Teaching Interests
Film aesthetics, history, and criticism; film and media theory; Hollywood cinema of the studio and post war eras; American modernism, modernity, and mass culture; director/authorship studies; star/performance studies; film and literary genres; identity, difference, and representation in cinema