Dr Lisa Trahair

Senior Lecturer

BA (Honours Class 1, University Medal), PhD Syd.

School of the Arts & Media

Contact

+61 2 9385 5011
226, Level 2 Robert Webster
Kensington Campus
Fields: Cinema Studies, Film, Television and Digital Media, Poststructuralism, Psychoanalytic Philosophy

Lisa Trahair is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies.

Shortly before completing my PhD at the University of Sydney, I was appointed Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland (1996) and one year later took the position of (interdisciplinary) Co-ordinator of Film Studies for the Faculty of Arts. In 1999, I returned to Sydney to UNSW where I currently teach and research.

My primary research focus is on how popular and avant-garde artefacts make use of the image both as a source of aesthetic pleasure and to contemplate, and thus formulate ideas about, reality. My area of expertise is film studies and within that film comedy and film and philosophy. My book The Comedy of Philosophy: Sense and Nonsense in Early Cinematic Slapstick was published by SUNY in 2007. I continue to publish in the areas of comic performance, contemporary European cinema, and film and philosophy. Forthcoming projects include Understanding Cinematic Thinking: Film-Philosophy in Bresson, von Trier and Haneke, co-written with Gregory Flaxman and Robert Sinnerbrink, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, (expected publication in 2019) and Second Nature: Comic Performance and Philosophy, co-edited with Josephine Gray, Rowman & Littlefield, 2020. In the latter part of 2019 I will be visiting scholar at the University of Amsterdam.

As well as being the recipient of many Faculty research grants, I have been the first chief investigator on two interdisciplinary ARC Discovery projects. The first of these grants (DP0450596) was with Professor Jim Davis, now in Theatre Studies at Warwick University, for the project “The Framing and Staging of Comic Performance in the Nineteenth and Early 20th Centuries”. The second (DP1092889) was an interdisciplinary collaboration with Assoc. Professor Robert Sinnerbrink (Philosophy, Macquarie University) and Associate Professor Gregory Flaxman (Comparative Literature, University of North Carolina) entitled “Film as Philosophy: Understanding Cinematic Thinking”. In 2009 I was awarded a UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Goldstar Award ($30,000) for this project. I have also received grants in the past from the University of Sydney and the NSW Film and Television Office.

With the second ARC Grant I co-founded the Cinematic Thinking Network (currently over 100 members) and hosted 5 workshops on related topics at UNSW. These involved contributions from both Australian and international scholars from post-graduate level to eminent professors. Two of these workshops resulted in special issues of international journals co-edited by me and Robert Sinnerbrink: Cinema and/as Ethics, Substance 45:3, 2016; Special Dossier: Cinematic Thinking, Screening the Past, 38, 2013. In addition, I co-edited with Lisabeth During Belief in Cinema: Themes after André Bazin, a special issue of Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities 17:4, 2012.

At UNSW I have held numerous administrative positions, from being the Dean’s delegate on the then COFA Faculty Board, to contributing to appointment committees and promotion committees (for both the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the Faculty of Science). I have been the school representative on the FASS Standing Committee and the FASS Honours Working Party. I have held the positions of Film Studies Convenor, School Honours Convenor and School Research Convenor.

Publications

    Books

    • Trahair L, 2007, Comedy of philosophy, the: Sense and Nonsense in Early Cinematic Slapstick

    Book Chapters

    • Trahair LM, 2017, 'Aberrant Movement and Somatography in the Hysterical Films of Roméo Bosetti', in Woodward A; Jones G (ed.), Acinemas: Lyotard's Philosophy of Film, Edinburgh University Press, pp. 180 - 180
    • Trahair L, 2012, 'Jean- François Lyotard', in Film, Theory and Philosophy: The Key Thinkers, pp. 222 - 232
    • Trahair LM, 2012, 'Godard and Ranciere: Automatism, Montage, Thinking', in Ross A; Deranty J-P (ed.), Jacques Ranciere and the Contemporary Scene: The Philosophy of Radical Equality, edn. Original, Continuum, London, pp. 43 - 66
    • Trahair LM, 2011, ''The General (C. Bruckman, B. Keaton, 1926)'', in Gandini L (ed.), Is Cinema Americano Attraverso I Film, edn. Original, Carocci, Rome, pp. 25 - 39
    • During L;Trahair L, 2008, 'Film theory', in Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory, edn. 1, pp. 166 - 195, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ywcct/mbn009
    • Trahair L, 2007, 'Film theory', in Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory, edn. 1, pp. 165 - 185, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ywcct/mbm018
    • Trahair LM, 1999, 'Fool`s gold: metamorphosis in Buster Keaton`s Sherlock, Jr.', in Falling for you: essays on cinema and performance, edn. Original, Power Publications, Sydney, Australia, pp. 209 - 244
    • Trahair LM, 1991, 'For the Noise of a Fly', in The Illusion of Life: Essays on Animation, Power Publications, Sydney, pp. 182 - 208

    Journal articles

    Conference Papers

    • Trahair LM, 2005, 'Lights, Camera, Editing: Understanding Film', in English Association English Teachers` Conference 2005, English Association English Teachers` Conference 2005, University of Sydney, NSW, presented at English Association English Teachers` Conference 2005, University of Sydney, NSW, 05 March 2005

    Other

Teaching and Supervision

ARTS1060 Introduction to Film

ARTS1062 Hollywood Cinema: Industry, Aesthetics, Technology (Convenor)

ARTS2063 National Cinemas (Convenor)

ARTS2064 Film Genres (Convenor)

ARTS3062 Aspects of Film History: Film as Philosophy (Convenor)

Honours and prizes

Grants and Awards

  • ARC Discovery Project 2010-2013 ($147,000) 'Film as Philosophy: What is Cinematic Thinking?' with Dr Robert Sinnerbrink (Macquarie University) and Dr Gregory Flaxman (University of North Carolina)
  • UNSW Vice Chancellor's Goldstar Award 2009 ($30,000)
  • ARC Discovery Project 2004-2006 ($80,000) ‘The Staging and Framing of Comic Performance in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries’, with Professor Jim Davis.
  • Residency at Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, France. University of Sydney, 2004.

Grants

GRANTS AND PRIZES AWARDED

Faculty Research Collaboration Seed Grant 'Caligari's Grandchildren' ($15,000) with Julian Murphet, Helen Groth, Sean Pryor, Erin Brannigan, Robert Buch, James Phillips, Chris Danta, John Attridge

School Research Grant 2016 ($1810), Project title: Understanding Cinematic Thinking.

School Research Grant 2015 ($850), Project title: Cinematic Thinking Network Symposium: Deleuze and Cinema

School Research Grant 2014 ($3127), Project title: Cinematic Thinking Network Symposium: Cinema’s Realisms

School Research Grant 2011($2000), Project title: Cinematic Thinking and Carl Theordor Dreyer’s Ordet

Australian Research Council Discovery Project Grant (DP 1092889), ‘Film as Philosophy: Understanding Cinematic Thinking, 2010-2013 ($147,000). First Chief investigator with CI Dr Robert Sinnerbrink (Macquarie University) and PI Dr Gregory Flaxman (University of North Carolina).

UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Goldstar Award ($30,000), ‘Film as Philosophy: An Investigation of a New Interdisciplinary Field’, 2009.

UNSW Travel Grant for Society for Media Studies Conference, Vancouver, 2006.

UNSW Travel Grant for Screen Studies Conference, Glasgow, 2005.

Humanities Research Program Teaching Release Fellowship ($30,000), University of New South Wales, 2005.

Residency (and $5000 travel grant) at Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, France. University of Sydney, 2004.

Australian Research Council Discovery Project Grant (DP0450596) ‘The Staging and Framing of Comic Performance in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries’, 2004-2006 ($80,000). With Professor Jim Davis.

UNSW Travel Grant for Philosophy and Aesthetics Conference, University of Essex, 2003.

UNSW Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Research Grant ‘Comic Performance in Sennett Slapstick’ ($2000), 2003.

UNSW Humanities Research Program Teaching Release Fellowship ($23,000), 2002.

UNSW Travel Grant for What’s Left of Theory? Conference (Cultural Studies Association of Australia), Hobart, 2001.

UNSW Travel Grant for the International Association for Philosophy and Literature Conference in Vico Equense and Naples, Italy, 1999.

UNSW Travel Grant for the International Association for Philosophy and Literature Conference at University of California, Irvine, 1998.

Sponsorship from the New South Wales Film and Television Office to present paper at the 1995 Society for Cinema Studies Conference in New York.

University of Sydney Travel Grant to present paper at the Society for Cinema Studies Conference in New York. 1995.

Commonwealth Post-Graduate Scholarship holder, 1989-1992.

University Medal 1987.

Mary Makinson Prize, Fourth Year Fine Arts, University of Sydney, 1987.

Engagement and Professional contributions

  • Founding member of Cinematic Thinking Network
  • Member of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies
  • 2011-2019Cinematic Thinking Network Director
  • 2010-2019ARC Assessor
  • 2018-Review Panel for Bachelor of Art Theory Program, Art & Design, UNSW
  • 2018-Referee forHegel Studies
  • 2018-Book proposal reviewer for Palgrave
  • 2016-Manuscript Reader for SUNY
  • 2016-Research referee for tenure application, University of Toronto
  • 2015-Convener of film stream for the Australasian Society for Continental Philosophy Conference, UNSW, December
  • 2015-Referee for Empedocles—European Journal for the Philosophy of Communication
  • 2011-2015 Conference Organiser for 5 Cinematic Thinking Workshops (2011 Cinematic Thinking, 2012 Thinking Cinematically before Deleuze, 2013 Cinema and/as Ethics, 2014 Cinema’s Realisms,2015 Deleuze and Cinema)
  • 2009-2010 School representative, Honours Working Party, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
  • 2009 Honours Convenor for Media, Film and Theatre and Performance Studies.
  • 2009 School Representative, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Standing Committee
  • 2006 Invited speaker: Australia Research Council Discovery Project Workshop, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
  • 2005-2006 Promotions Committee (Level A to Level B) Faculty of Science
  • 2005-2007 School Representative, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Research Committee
  • 2004 Invited participant: University Level B to Level C Promotion Workshop
  • 2000-2004 Representative for the Presiding Member of the Academic Board at the College of Fine Arts, Faculty Board Meetings
  • 2003 Film Studies Convenor
  • 2001-2003 School Representative, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Standing Committee
  • 2001-2003 Promotions Committee (Level A to Level B) Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
  • 2001 Appointment Committee, Lecturer in Film Studies
  • 2000 Appointment Committee, Lecturer in Film Studies
  • 1999-2002 School of Theatre, Film and Dance Honours Convenor
  • 1998 Appointment Committee, 3 Lecturing positions in Media, UNSW
  • Referee for the following journals Screening the Past, Fibreculture, Screen, M/C Journal, Cultural Studies Review, Deleuze Studies, Australian Feminist Studies,Bulletin de la Société Américaine dePhilosophie de Langue Française, Angelaki, Convergence, Form/Work
  • Thesis examiner, University of Melbourne, La Trobe University, UNSW, University of Canterbury, University of Western Sydney, University of Sydney

Related links

Other information

Ph.D and MA Research Supervisions (past and current)

  • Richard Smith, The Traffic in Images: Deleuze’s Cinema Books and the New Action Image (2003) (Faculty Thesis Prize)
  • Roger Dawkins, Deleuze’s Cinema Books and the Semiotics of Charles Sanders Peirce (2006) (School nominee for Faculty Thesis Prize)
  • Jenny Breukelaar, The Powers of the False: A New Look at Noir (2007)
  • Kimberley Tyrrell, Whiteness and Contemporary Monstrosity (2008)
  • Deborah Klika, Australian Television Comedy (2010)
  • Sean Mosely, The Australian Classification System: Practices and Policies Regarding Adult Animated Films (2011)
  • Sharon Mee, The Pulse in Cinema (2017) (School nominee for Faculty Thesis Prize)
  • Keyvan Manafi, Facing Images: Ethics, Realisms, and the Cinematographic Eye(2018)
  • Nitin Vengurlekar, Resistive Choreographies in Contemporary Dance-Theatre and Film: The Visual Strategies of Pina Bausch and Jacques Tati (current)
  • Vanessa Alexander, Reawakening: Female Comedy (current)
  • Albert Alba, Farce, (current)

Co-Supervisons (completed)

  • Teresa Rizzo, From the Cinematic Apparatus to the Cinematic Assemblage (2004)
  • Hamish Ford, Negativity and Time in Modernist Cinema (2005)
  • Megan Carrigy, Performing History, Troubling Reference: Troubling the Screen Re-enactment (2011) (Faculty Thesis Prize)
  • Gabriella Lowe, ‘Virtual Reality: Reframing the Cinema in the Digital Era’

Supervision areas (future)

  • Deleuze’s cinema books, cinematic comedy, cinema and psychoanalysis, French cinema, film aesthetics, early cinema, the horror film, animation, film and philosophy, semiotic approaches to cinema, theories of vision and the image, cinema and technology.