Eugenie Brinkema’s research in film and media studies focuses on violence, affect, sexuality, aesthetics, and ethics in texts ranging from the horror film to gonzo pornography, from the body of films dubbed “New European Extremism” to the viral media forms of terrorism. Professor Brinkema’s articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals including Angelaki, Camera Obscura, Criticism, differences, Discourse, The Journal of Speculative Philosophy, The Journal of Visual Culture, Qui Parle, and World Picture. Her first book, The Forms of the Affects, published with Duke University Press in 2014, won honorable mention in the Modern Language Association First Book Prize. Her current project, Algebras of Sensation, explores the theoretical potential of radical formalism in relation to horror and love.
Professor Brinkema received her Ph.D. in 2010 from Brown University’s Department of Modern Culture and Media; while at Brown, she received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Albert Spaulding Cook Prize in Comparative Literature, and the Joukowsky Outstanding Dissertation Award. In 2012, Professor Brinkema was awarded the James A. and Ruth Levitan Award for Excellence in Teaching in the School for Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at MIT. From 2012-2013, she was a fellow at the Susan and Donald Newhouse Center for the Humanities at Wellesley College.
Read Professor Brinkema’s Literature Profile and her featured interview in “Viewing Death: Disturbing new genre of snuff films create an ethical paradox”
Film Theory; Violence and Extremity; Embodiment and Affect; Critical Theory and Psychoanalysis; Continental Philosophy; Gender and Sexuality Studies
My first book, The Forms of the Affects (Duke UP, 2014), offers a forceful corrective to the emphasis on embodiment and experience in affect theory, arguing that that attention to form, structure, and aesthetics enables a fundamental rethinking of the study of sensation. I invent a mode of criticism that locates affects in the details of textual construction, ultimately arguing for the speculative potential of a stance of radical formalism. Read the Preface.
My second book, Algebras of Sensation, is comprised of two volumes bound together—The Order of Death in Horror and Love and Measurement. The Order of Death in Horror confronts questions of violence and finitude in the affect-laden field of horror, arguing that the unlikely couple of horror and philosophy rely on equally stark formalisms in order to make claims about violence and ethics. This project severs all relations between horror and bodies (those wounded on screen; those affected in the theater), breaking a bond to the Latinate horrēre, whose emphasis on bristling hairs has determined a theory of negative affect as sensorial and experiential. The minor claim of the book is that an overreliance on thinking bad affect from the point of view of the body has blinded theorists to horror’s potential for a “low formalism.” But the larger claim is that horror deploys systems of abstract forms—the alphabet, the ordinal, the grid, sequence, blankness, diagram, cartography—in order to formalize an ethics of finitude. The companion work, Love and Measurement, takes the implication for the formality of affect to its culminating point, redescribing love as consisting of an abstraction of form, locating amatographic articulation in the restrictions of the geometric, that which describes a brutal, uncompromising measurability of the world.
The Forms of the Affects. Duke University Press. (March 2014).
Read the Preface here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/205213866/The-Forms-of-the-Affects-by-Eugenie-Brinkema
MLA First Book Prize, honorable mention. Citation: “The Forms of the Affects is a dazzling exploration of cinematic technique as it pertains to the theory of the affects, enriched throughout with careful reference to philosophy and psychoanalysis. Eugenie Brinkema’s book is beautifully crafted at the level of the sentence and formidable in its overarching argument for the formal composition of emotion. Exhilarating and important, The Forms of the Affects is a work of mature intelligence and great imagination.”
“Irrumation, the Interrogative: Rhythm & Description & Pornography,” Polygraph (Duke).
“Introduction to Dossier: Horror and the Aesthetics of Landscape,” Screen (Oxford University).
“Strangers by Lakes: 1 or 2 or 4 or 5 or 10,” Screen (Oxford University).
“Spit * Light * Spunk: Larry Clark, an Aesthetic of Frankness,” The Abject Objection: Theories of Graphic and Comedic Violence, ed. Nicholas Sammond and Margaret Hennefeld (volume under review).
“On no longer being loved: 11 formal problems related to method,” special issue Cinematic Affect, ed. Anne Rutherford, The Cine-Files 10 (2016). http://www.thecine-files.com/brinkema2016/
“Violence and the Diagram; Or, The Human Centipede,”dossier The Clamor of the Visible, qui parle 24.2 (2016): 75-108.
“Introduction: A Genreless Horror” and “Design Terminable and Interminable: The Possibility of Death in Final Destination,” special issue: The Design and Componentry of Horror, ed. Caetlin Benson-Allott and Eugenie Brinkema, Journal of Visual Culture 14.3 (2016): 263-266; 298-310.
“Rough Sex,” in Porn Archives, eds., Tim Dean, Steven Ruszczychy, and David Squires (Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press) 262-283.
“A Mother is a Form of Time: Gilmore Girls and the Elasticity of In-finitude,” Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture 34.1 (2012): 3-31.
“e.g., Dogtooth,” World Picture 7, distance (2012). (Link to http://www.worldpicturejournal.com/WP_7/Brinkema.html)
“Nudity and the Question,” in The Blackwell Companion to Fassbinder, ed. Brigitte Peucker (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011). [PDF]
“Critique of Silence,” The Sense of Sound, special issue of differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies 22 (2 and 3), ed. Rey Chow and James A. Steintrager (Duke UP, 2011).
“Laura Dern’s Vomit, or, Kant and Derrida in Oz,” Disgust and Spectatorship, special issue of Film-Philosophy 15.2, ed. Tina Kendall (2011). (Link to http://www.film-philosophy.com/index.php/f-p/issue/view/22)
“Burn. Object. If.” World Picture 5, special issue on sustainability (2011). (Link to “Burn. Object. If.” on World Picture Journal)
“Rot’s Progress: Gastronomy According to Peter Greenaway,” differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies, ed. Ellen Rooney and Elizabeth Weed (Duke UP, 2010).
“How to Do Things with Violences: Benny’s Video,” in The Blackwell Companion to Michael Haneke, ed. Roy Grundmann (Blackwell, 2010), 354-370. [PDF]
“The Fault Lines of Vision: Rashomon and The Man Who Left His Will on Film,” in Rape in Art Cinema, ed. Dominique Russell (Continuum, 2010), 27-40.
“To Cut, to Split, to Touch, to Eat, as of a Body or a Text: Secretary and Dans ma peau,” Shadows of Cruelty: Sadism, Masochism & the Philosophical Muse, special issue of Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities 14.3, ed. Frida Beckman and Charlie Blake (Routledge, 2009), 131-146.
“Browning. Freak. Woman. Stain.” in The Cinema of Tod Browning: Essays of the Macabre and Grotesque, ed. Bernd Herzogenrath (McFarland, 2008), 158-173.
“Psychoanalytic Bullshit,” The Journal of Speculative Philosophy 21.1 (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2007), 61-79.
“‘Not to scream before or about, but to scream at death’: Haneke’s Horrible Funny Games,” in Caligari’s Heirs: The German Cinema of Fear after 1945, ed. Steffen Hantke (Scarecrow Press, 2007), 145-159. [PDF]
“A Title Does Not Ask, but Demands That You Make a Choice: On the Otherwise Films of Bruce LaBruce,” Criticism 48.1 (Wayne State University Press, 2006), 95-126.
“Celluloid is Sticky: Sex, Death, Materiality, Metaphysics (in Some Films by Catherine Breillat),” Women: A Cultural Review 17.2 (Routledge, 2006), 147-170.
“Rape and the Rectum: Bersani, Deleuze, Noé,” Camera Obscura 58, 20.1 (Duke University Press, 2005), 33-56.
“Pleasure in/and Perversity: Plaisagir and Liliana Cavani’s Il portiere di notte,” Pleasure, special issue of The Dalhousie Review 84.3 (Dalhousie Press, 2004), 419-439.
CMS.796 Major Media Texts: Strong Sensations (Fall 2016)
Subjects taught in recent years:
21L.011 The Film Experience (Fall 2016)
21L.011 The Film Experience (Fall 2017)
21L.024 Literature & Existentialism (Fall 2017)
21L.706 Studies in Film: The Contemporary Horror Film (Spring 2015)
21L.706 Studies in Film (Spring 2017)
CMS.796 Major Media Texts: Forms of Love (Fall 2014)