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B. Ruby Rich | Film+Digital Media / Social Documentary at UC Santa Cruz

B. Ruby Rich

B. Ruby Rich

Professor, Social Documentation
Documentary film and video, post-9/11 culture, new queer cinema, feminist film history, Latin American and Latino/a cinema, U.S. independent film and video, the essay film, the politics of film festival proliferation and the marketing of foreign films in the U.S.
Office: 831-459-2428
Education and Training: 
B.A. Yale College
Research Interests: 

B Ruby Rich has come to academia after a long career in film exhibition, film festival curating, film and cultural journalism, philanthropy, and public funding.  Her prior positions include stints as Associate Director of the Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Director of the Film Program, and later of the Electronic Media and Film Program, at the New York State Council on the Arts; and Adjunct Professor of Film Studies, Rhetoric Department, University of California, Berkeley.  In addition to a National Endowment for the Arts critic's fellowship early in her career, Prof. Rich has received the 2006 Distinguished Career Achievement Award from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, the 2007 James Grubner Award for outstanding LGBT scholarship from Yale University, and a 2007 Camargo Foundation fellowship and residency.  In 1995-96, she served as Rockefeller Fellow in the Humanities at NYU's Center for Media Culture and History, and in 1992, she was in residence as Distinguished Visitor at The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.  

As a critic and journalist, Prof. Rich has written for many years in the popular, alternative, and scholarly press.  Her book, Chick Flicks: Theories and Memories of the Feminist Film Movement, was published by Duke University Press (1998); a new volume on the "New Queer Cinema" is in progress.  She has published in Signs, GLQ, Feminist Studies, Feminist Review, Film Quarterly, Iris, JumpCut, and Cinema Journal, where she was guest editor for a special section on documentary.  Her early articles appeared in The Chicago Reader and Village Voice, as well as the NY Times, Mirabella, Elle, Time Out NY, Heresies, Chrysalis, and numerous other outlets.  During the 2000s, she published work in The Nation, The Guardian (London), SF Bay Guardian, sf360, and continued to publish in Sight and Sound.  In the LGBT press she has written for OUT and The Advocate and served on the founding editorial board of GLQ where she was the initial film review editor.  

She is a Contributing Editor for Film Quarterly, is on the editorial advisory board of Camera Obscura and a member of the international editorial board for the Film Classics series, published by British Film Institute and Pangrave/Macmillan; previously, she was on the editorial board of Ccinema Journal and remains, in an inactive role, on the masthead of JumpCut, now eJumpCut.  In Spanish, she has published in La Regla Rota, Debata Feminista, El Amante, and serves on the international advisory board of Secuencias.  

Prof. Rich also participates in radio and television as a commentator, while frequently appearing in independent documentaries. She was international film commentator for The World in its early years on NPR and weekly commentator on film for The Arts Today on the CBC (Canadian public radio).  Occasionally, she can be heard on BBC World Service or News Hour, on ABC (Australian public radio), or local services.  In television, she has appeared as on-camera correspondent for KQED/PBS, the Sundance Channel, and the Independent Film Channel.  She won an Emmy for her work in Independent View, a KQED-produced series on independent film that was broadcast nationally and internationally.  

Prof. Rich has participated in film festivals as curator, juror, or journalist.  In 2002, she served as International Programmer for the Toronto International Film Festival where she presented the world premiere of Whale Rider.  In the early years of the Sundance Film Festival, she served on the Selection Committee and later on its Advisory Committee.  In 1988, she curated its tribute to Argentine cinema.  She has served as juror for both the Sundance and Toronto festivals, as well as for the Oberhausen, Guadalajara, Sydney, and Havana film festivals.  She has also collaborated on many documentaries.  

Documentary interviews (recent): Feelings Are Facts (on Yvonne Rainer), in production For The Love of Movies by Gerald Peary, 2009 It Came From Kuchar by Jennifer Kroot, 2009 Bloodwork (on Ana Mendieta) by Richard Move, 2008 Projecting the Body by Walter McIntosh (Australia), 2008 Fabulous!, Independent Film Channel, 2006 In The Company of Women, Independent Film Channel 2004.  

Documentary consultant (recent): Regarding Susan Sontag by Nancy Kates, in production Calavera Highway by Renee Tajima-Peña, 2008.  

Current research interests are focused on the history of the New Queer Cinema, the status of film festivals as loci of film culture, and an inquiry into shifting modes of documentary in the internet age.  She continues to follow Latin American cinema, in particular the work of Patricio Guzman and Lucrecia Martel.  She has written the DVD notes for Lucrecia Martel's La Cienaga as well as the Criterion rerelease of Rob Epstein's The Times of Harvey Milk.  

Selected Publications: 

"Dark Thoughts Fill TIFF's Lightbox" sf360.org, September 18, 2011
http://www.sf360.org/?pageid=13826

"Between Two Worlds Places Politics of Speech in Spotlight," sf360.org, August 5, 2011
http://www.sf360.org/?pageid=13739

"We Are All Made of Stars in Patrico Guzman's Universe," sf360.org, May 12, 2011
http://www.sf360.org/?pageid=13580

"Park City Remix," Film Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 3, pp. 62-65, 2011

"Toronto's New Lightbox Offers Transcendence," sf360.org, September 16, 2010

"Ghosts of A Vanished World," The Guarding (London), January 16, 2009
http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2009/jan/16/harvey-milk-gus-van-sant

"Brokering Brokeback: Jokes, Backlashes, and Other Anxieties," Film Quartely, 60:3, March 2007, ps. 44-48

"Documentary Disciplines: An Introduction," Cinema Journal 46:1, Fall 2006, and Guest Editor for "In Focus: Documentary" special section.  

"Darwin's Man in Africa: Documentarian Huber Sauper fishes for the truth about globalization and its discontents," L.A. Weekly, Febraru 9, 2006
http://www.laweekly.com/2006-02-09/film-tv/darwin-s-man-in-africa

"My Other, My Self: Lynn Hershman and the Reinvention of the Golem," in The Art and Films of Lynn Hershman Leeson, Meredith Tromble, Ed. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006), pp. 159-168.  

"The New Homosexual Film Festivals," GLQ: Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, 12:4, Summer 2006. 

"Bomb Culture" (on Hany Abu-Assad's Paradise Now), Sight & Sound, April 2006, pp. 28-30.  

"Hello Cowboy" (Brokeback Mountain), The Guardian (London), September 23, 2005
http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2005/sep/23/3

"The Price of Modernity" (on Anna Mae Wong), SF Bay Guardian, March 3, 2004
http://www.sfbg.com/38/23/cover_annamaywong.html

"Day of the Woman" (on Kill Bill 2), Sight & Sound, June 2004.  

"To Read or Not To Read: Subtitles, Trailers, and Monolingualism," in Subtitles: On Foreignness of Film, ed. Ian Balfour and Atom Egoyan (Cambridge/Toronto: MIT Press/Alphabet City Press, 2004), pp. 154-169.  

"After the Fall: Cinema Studies Post-9/11," Cinema Journal, 43(2), 2004, pp. 109-115.  

"The Long Road: Isaac Julien In Conversation With B. Ruby Rich," Art Journal, 61(2), Summer 2002, pp.51-64.  

Delphine Seyrig: Variations on an Enigma: The Billy Rose Tribute to Delphine Seyrig, monograph for the Museum of Modern Art, New York City, October, 2002.  

"Back to the Future," (Film After 9/11), The Nation, October 15, 2001, pp. 44-45.  

"Mexico at the Multiplex: Amores Perros, Spy Kids," The Nation, May 14, 2001, pp.34-37.  

"Gleaners Over Gladiators: The Gleaners and I," The Nation, April 9, 2001, pp. 33-36.  

"Queer and Present Danger," in American Independent Cinema: A Sight and Sound Reader, Jim Hillier, Ed. (London: British Film Institute, 2001), pp. 114-18.  

"Queer and Present Danger," Sight & Sound, March 2000, pp. 22-25

"Collision, Catastrophe, Celebration: The Relationship between Gay and Lesbian Film Festivals and their Publics," GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 5(1), January 1999, pp.79-84.  

"An/Other View of New Latin American Cinema," in New Latin American Cinema, Volume One: Theory, Practices, and Transcontinental Articulations, Michael T. Martin, Ed. (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1997), pp. 273-97.  

"The Party Line: Gender, and Technology in the Home," in Processesd Lives, Jennifer Terry and Melodie Calvert, Eds. (London/NYC: Routledge, 1997), pp. 221-232.