You are here: Jeffrey Middents

Back to top

Photograph of Jeffrey Middents

Jeffrey Middents NDG.CAS

PhD, Comparative Literature, University of Michigan MA, Comparative Literature, University of Michigan BA, English and Psychology, Dartmouth College

Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
• Jeffrey Middents studies and teaches film and world literature at American University in Washington, DC, specifically focusing on Latin American narratives from the 1960s to the present. He received his PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Michigan, and his BA in English and Psychology from Dartmouth College. His film-oriented courses cover a wide range of concepts, including national cinemas, genre, the auteur, stardom, film criticism, and short film. His book, Writing National Cinema: Film Journals and Film Culture in Peru (UPNE, 2009) investigates the historical place of cultural writing within a national discourse by tracing how Peruvian cinema was shaped by local film criticism. Professor Middents has also published essays – in print and video versions – on a variety of other topics, including documentary aesthetics in the work of Chilean filmmaker Particio Guzman, Peruvian director Luis Llosa’s films made under producer Roger Corman, the theoretical perspective espoused by Kathryn Bigelow’s Strange Days, the sense of place in contemporary Latin American cinema, movie stardom and “the indigenous” in the works of Dolores del Rio and Magaly Solier, the pedagogy of teaching “world cinema,” and the racial complexities of the television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He is currently working on a monograph on transnational auteurism and the work of Alfonso Cuarón.

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Selected Publications


Chapters in Collected Editions


Journal Articles


Video Essays

  • "Memories of C/Leo: On Auteurism and Roma." Mediático. December 24, 2018.
  • Birdman or, Fantasy Hopscotch, Not Played Very Often: Alejandro González Iñárritu and Julio Cortázar.” Mediático, September 18, 2017. Refereed.
  • “¿Por qué me miras así?: Magaly, Dolores and the Indigenous Icon.” [in]Transition Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies, March 20, 2016. Refereed.



Research Interests

  • Latin American Cinema
  • Transnational Cinema
  • Short Films
  • Subtitles   
  • Auteur and star studies  
  • Video essays/audiovisual criticism 
  • Metafiction/Metafilm
  • 20th Century Latin American fiction

Professional Presentations


  • “Netflix and Xochitl: Transnational Streaming Distribution and Non-English ‘Prestige Content.’” Part of a panel entitled “Global Latin American Film and Media: New Intersections of Aesthetics, Production and Distribution in the 21st Century.” Society for Cinema and Media Studies 2019, Seattle, WA, March, 2019.
  • “The National Auteur ‘Goes World’: Claudia Llosa and Aloft.” Part of a panel entitled “Transactions and Translations of World Cinema: Videographic Approaches.” Society for Cinema and Media Studies 2018, Toronto, Canada, March 17, 2018.
  • “Mi sueño es representar a la belleza de la mujer de mi estado: Framing Beauty in Latin American Cinema.” Encrucijadas 2017: The Digital Turn. Princeton, NJ, November 10, 2017.
  • “Ciudadano Cuarón: Transnational Auteurism and Mexican Cinema.” Part of a panel entitled “New Approaches to Transnational Mexican Cinema,” Latin American Studies Association 2017, Lima, Perú, April 30, 2017.
  • Presenter on workshop entitled “Latin American Film Studies and Digital Humanities,” Latin American Studies Association 2017, Lima, Perú, May 1, 2017.
  •  “‘My dream is to represent the beauty of the women from my State’: Latin American vs. World Cinema.” Part of a panel titled “Global Latin American Cinema: Politics, Aesthetics and Ethics,” Society for Cinema and Media Studies 2016, Atlanta, GA. April 1, 2016
  • “Out of One, Many: First-Year Student Research and The Contemporary World Cinema Project.” Part of a workshop titled “Video Essays in Transnational Cinema Studies,” Society for Cinema and Media Studies 2016, Atlanta, GA. March 31, 2016.
  • “Mi sueño es representar la belleza de mi estado: Latin American vs. World Cinema.” Part of a panel entitled “Globalization and Latin American Film: Politics, Aesthetics and Ethics,” Latin American Studies Association, San Juán, Puerto Rico, May 27-30, 2015.
  •  “Reading Between the Subtitles.” Part of a panel entitled “On Subtitles,” Society for Cinema and Media Studies 2015, Montréal, Canada, March 25-29, 2015.
  •  “The Movies That Become ‘World Cinema’ (And the Movies That Don’t).” Part of a panel entitled “World Cinema” organized by Dudley Andrew, ACL(x): Examine, Penn State University, September 28, 2013.
  • “Permanent Residents?: Contemporary Hollywood and the International Auteur.” Part of a panel entitled “Locating Transnational Hollywood,” Society for Cinema and Media Studies 2013, Chicago, IL, March 7, 2013.
  •  “Alfonso Cuarón as the Prisoner of Mex-kaban: The Transnational Auteur Meets the Franchise Film.” Part of a panel entitled “Styles of Global Authorship,” Society for Cinema and Media Studies 2012, Boston, MA, March 23, 2012.
  • “Y tu Thundercat también: Glocalization, National Cinema and Alfonso Cuarón.” Part of panel entitled “The Im/Possibility of National Cinema,” American Comparative Literature Association 2010, New Orleans, LA. April 2-5, 2010.
  • "In Lima, Like You: Confronting Peruvian National Cinema with Claudia Llosa's Madeinusa." Part of a panel entitled "What Remains: Contemporary Latin American Cinema," American Comparative Literature Association 2009. Cambridge, MA. March 26-29, 2009. Also proposed, organized and co-chaired panel (with Silvia Spitta).
  • "Ibermediating National Cinemas." Part of a panel entitled "Programa Ibermedia and Contemporary Latin American Cinema," Society for Cinema and Media Studies 2008. Philadelphia, PA. March 8, 2008. Also proposed, organized and chaired panel.
  • "Hablemos de cine(filia) peruana: Film Journals and National Cinema in Peru, Then and Now." Part of panel entitled "Trans/National Cinephilias," American Comparative Literature Association 2007. Puebla, Mexico. April 22, 2007.
  • "It's Not Easy Being Brown: Rita, Lena and The Muppet Show." Part of a panel entitled "Race on Television." Society of Cinema and Media Studies 2007. Chicago, IL. March 9, 2007.
  • "Babes in the Amazon, Ponch in the Andes: Roger Corman and Peruvian Cinema." Part of a panel entitled "Hollywood Business Practices and Latin American Cinema" at Society for Cinema and Media Studies 2006. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, March 4, 2006. Also proposed, organized and chaired panel.
  • "Peru Vs. the New Latin American Cinema: Hablemos de cine and the Viña del Mar Film Festivals of 1967 and 1969." Part of a panel entitled "Beyond La boca del lobo: Peruvian Cinema, Past, Present and Future" at Society for Cinema and Media Studies 2005. London, England, April 3, 2005. Also proposed, organized and chaired panel.
  • "Hablemos de Minnelli: A Peruvian Look at Some Came Running." Part of panel entitled "Hollywood por otros ojos: Film Spectatorship in Post-Revolutionary Mexico, Pre-Revolutionary Cuba and 1960s Peru" for ASA (American Studies Association) 2004, Atlanta, GA, November 12, 2004.
  • "A Sweet Vamp: Critiquing the Treatment of Race in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the American Musical Once More (with Feeling)." The Slayage Conference on Buffy the Vampire Slayer," Nashville, TN, May 28, 2004. Nominated for "Mr. Pointy" Award for Best Conference Paper.
  • "'Me moría': Aesthetics, Documentary and the Creation of Nostalgia in Patricio Guzmán's Chile, Obstinate Memory. "Thirty Years After Chile's 9/11", SUNY-Albany, October 10, 2003.
  • "Teaching Cinephilia." Society for Cinema Studies 2003, Minneapolis, MN. March 9, 2003.
  • "Este país es una basura: Cultural Politics and the Adaptation of Mario Vargas Llosa's La ciudad y los perros." Literature/Film Association Conference 2002. Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA, November 18, 2002.
  • "The Enigma of The Hire (" Society for Cinema Studies 2002. Denver, CO, May 24, 2002.

Work In Progress

  • Edited volume (with Tamara Falicov) of Jounral of Hispanic Cinemas of translations of contemporary critical work on Latin American cinemas.
  • Monograph on director Alfonso Cuarón
  • Monograph on short films as cinematic form vs. genre
  • "Exotic, Political and Buried Alive: Cahiers du cinéma and Latin American Cinema in 1974"
  • "vengAncha: How Mexican Filmmakers Accent the Margins of Dominant Cinema." Video essay completed in conjunction with Pamela Fernández, ACL(x) 2011.