Kyle Stevens

Visiting Associate Professor

Kyle Stevens works on the history and theory of US film, television, and digital media. He is typically drawn to thinking about topics related to, or conditioned by, interpersonal structures of experience, such as humor, performance, sexuality, and listening. To that end, he has written about, among other things, romantic comedy, queer cinema, sitcoms, stardom, and headphones. His work often connects film and media studies to other disciplines, including queer theory, sound studies, performance studies, critical theory, affect theory, and ordinary language philosophy.

Kyle is the author of Mike Nichols: Sex, Language, and the Reinvention of Psychological Realism, co-editor of the two-volume collection Close-Up: Great Screen Performances, and editor of the The Oxford Handbook of Film Theory. His work has appeared in Critical Inquiry, Cultural Critique, Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, Screen, Critical Quarterly, New Review of Film and Television Studies, World Picture, as well as several edited collections.

He is contributing editor to Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture and was editor-in-chief of New Review of Film and Television Studies from 2015-2019.

Subjects taught the current academic year:

Subjects taught in recent years:

21L.011 Introduction to Film Studies (Spring 2020)

21L.433 Film Styles and Genres (Spring 2023)

21L.706 Studies in Film: Film Theory and Criticism (Spring 2023)

21L.706 Studies in Film: Cinematic Sound (Spring 2020)

Research Interests

The Oxford Handbook of Film Theory. Oxford University Press, forthcoming.

Close-Up: Great Cinematic Performances, 2 Volumes. Ed., with Murray Pomerance. Edinburgh University Press, 2018.

Mike Nichols: Sex, Language, and the Reinvention of Psychological Realism. Oxford University Press, 2015.

Articles and Chapters

“Stanley Cavell and The World Heard.” Forthcoming in a special issue of Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture edited by Daniel Morgan and Jennifer Fay.

“The Occupation of the Skull: Cinema, Sound, Headphones.” The Oxford Handbook of Film Theory. Ed. Kyle Stevens. Oxford University Press. (Forthcoming.)

“Romantic Comedy and the Virtues of Predictability.” New Review of Film and Television Studies, Guest ed. Maria San Filippo. Vol. 18, No. 1, 2020.

“Elaine May: Subverting Machismo ‘Step by Tiny Step’.” Forthcoming in The Other Hollywood Renaissance. Eds. R. Barton Palmer, Murray Pomerance, and Dominic Lennard. Edinburgh University Press.

“Michel Surreault in La cage aux folles.” Close-Up: Great Cinematic Performances, Volume 2: International. Eds. Murray Pomerance and Kyle Stevens. Edinburgh University Press, 2018.

“A Star is Dead: Barrymore’s Anti-Christian Metaperformance.” Hamlet Lives in Hollywood: John Barrymore and the Acting Tradition on Screen. Ed. Steve Rybin and Murray Pomerance. Edinburgh University Press, 2017.

“Queer Movements: Color, Performance, and Rhythm in John Huston’s Reflections in a Golden Eye.” John Huston as Adaptor. Ed. Wesley King and Douglas McFarland. SUNY Press, 2017.

“Clay, Ink, Documentary, Set: On Teaching Casablanca.” The Cine-Files. Issue 9. Fall 2015.

“Toward a Theory of Voice-Over through Brief Encounter.” World Picture Journal, Spring 2015.

“Ford Does Isherwood.” The American Isherwood. Ed. James Berg and Chris Freeman. Minneapolis: U. of Minnesota Press, 2014.

“Where Vanity Meets Volition: Technicity, Self-Monitoring, and the Comedy of Exasperation.” World Picture Journal, Summer 2014.

“Dying to Love: Gay Identity, Suicide, and Aesthetics in A Single Man.” Cinema Journal. Vol. 52, No 4. Summer 2013. pp. 99-120.

“Tossing Truths: Improvisation and the Performative Utterances of Nichols and May.” Critical Quarterly. Vol. 52, no. 3. October 2010. pp. 23-46.

“What a Difference A Gay Makes: Marriage in the Nineties Romantic Comedy.” Falling in Love Again: Romantic Comedy in Contemporary Cinema. Eds. Deborah Jermyn and Stacey Abbott. NY: I.B. Tauris Press, 2009.

Reviews and Other Scholarly Publications

“Bewitched by Olivia.” LA Review of Books. September 12. 2019

Can You Ever Forgive Me? and Marielle Heller’s Queer Art of Transparency. Adaptation. Vol. 12, No 1. March 2019. pp. 58–60.

“Wet Humor.” Critical Inquiry Blog In the Moment. September 17, 2018.

“Review: Annette Insdorf’s Opening Overtures.” Critical Inquiry. July 30, 2018.

To-camera commentary for release of The Fortune on Blu-ray. Powerhouse Films UK. 2017.

“Look at the Politics: On Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures.” The Journal of American History. Volume 104, Issue 1. pp 307–309.

Welcome to Night Vale’s Cecil Baldwin on Finding the Queerness in His Character.” Interview with podcast voice actor Cecil Baldwin. August 20, 2017.

“Suffering without Meaning: Augustín Zarzosa’s Recuperation of the Melodrama.” Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture. Vol. 37, Issue 3. Fall, 2015.

“Review: Film: A Sound Art by Michel Chion.” Film Criticism. Winter, 2011/12. Vol. XXXVI, p. 81-84.

“Review: New Queer Cinema: A Critical Reader.” Film Criticism. Fall/Winter, 2006. Vol. XXXI, p. 173-176.