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Faculty Biography - Therese Grisham

Faculty Biography - Therese Grisham

Therese Grisham


B.A. University of Washington
M.A. University of Washington
Ph.D. University of Washington

Room 2430 Des Plaines

Personal Statement

Therese Grisham came to film slowly, finally realizing she had a passion and aptitude for the moving image when she was in graduate school in English at the University of Washington. There, she discovered definitively, with the encouragement of her mentors, that what was missing for her from written texts was a strong visual dimension. Her discovery only made sense, since she comes from a family of stage and film actors, directors, set designers, and puppeteers, and has had a life-long immersion in the visual and performing arts. 

 After her Ph.D., she received a Fulbright fellowship to teach American literature at the University of Dresden in former East Germany. She quickly seized the opportunity to change her field to film studies, for which her fellowship was renewed. For her third year at the University of Dresden, she received a teaching and curriculum development award in film studies from the German government, which gave her a Visiting Professorship. 

Throughout her work, whether in literature, visual art, or film, Grisham has been devoted to teaching from feminist and gender studies perspectives, and researches women filmmakers, writers, and artists. For the past few years, she has committed herself to open-access projects on and off the Internet, believing that scholarly work should be open to public use and free for everyone around the world. Since 2010, she has served on the Editorial Board and as Consulting Editor for the critically acclaimed, multilingual,  open-access film journal, La Furia Umana ( from Milan, Italy. There, she has led and participated in roundtable discussions and curated dossiers written by film critics and filmmakers on topics such as movies in the digital age ("post-cinematic affect") and on women filmmakers such as Kelly Reichardt, Ida Lupino, and Claire Denis. She serves also on the Editorial Committee of desistfilm ( from Lima, Perù, which publishes essays on a variety of experimental and underground films as well as more mainstream fare. Currently, she is curating a dossier, including one of her own essays, on German filmmakers Ulrike Ottinger and Werner Schroeter. Aside from her focus on women in film, Grisham specializes in classical Hollywood, digital-age American film, and the national cinemas of Germany and Italy. She has given public lectures and radio talks on some of these topics for the Goethe Institute, the Chicago International Film Festival, Casa Italiana, and WBEZ's Worldview. Her book on early cinema in Chicago, with William F. Grisham, is forthcoming from the Niles Essanay Film Museum. For future publication, she is writing a monograph with Julie Grossman on films directed by Ida Lupino. 

Grisham participated in the Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference in Chicago in March, 2013, delivering a paper on Martin Scorsese's Hugo on a panel called "Post-Cinematic Affect: Theorizing Digital Movies," with the participants from her roundtable discussions published by La Furia Umana. Her essay, "Complicity and Subjectication in Fassbinder's 'I Only Want You to Love Me,'" was published in the inaugural paper edition of La Furia Umana.

Alumni Profile

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Not many people have the opportunity to perform with Academy Award winners. Former acting student Bud Jones did.



July 24
Incomplete (I) grades from spring 2014 semester for which faculty have not submitted final grades will become an "F" after this date.*

July 31
Classes end.

August 4
Faculty grading due.

August 4
Second summer interim classes begin.

August 18
Faculty return for fall 2014 semester.

August 22
Second summer interim classes end.

August 25
Fall 2014 semester classes begin.

August 28
Second summer interim faculty grading due.

September 1
Labor Day holiday. College closed.

September 21
Last day to submit proof of residency, business service agreements and chargebacks/joint agreements.

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