Homer B. Pettey

About Homer B. Pettey

Homer B. Pettey serves as the General/Founding Editor for three scholarly book series.  Global Film Studios and International Film Stars are current series for Edinburgh University Press.  Global Film Directors is a new series for Rutgers University Press.  He is also on the Editorial Board of the journal Adaptation (Oxford University Press).

            Global Film Studios (Edinburgh University Press) is a series of single-authored and edited volumes devoted to examining European, American, Latin American, African, and Asian film studios and their global influence. Each volume will address several studios representing an era (New Hollywood Studios), a regional intersection of production (Nordic Film Studios), a nation cinema (French Film Studios), a genre (Hong Kong Action Film Studios) or a style (Bollywood Studios).  Particular attention will emphasize the signature features of these studios, principal figures who created and sustained those definable studio elements, and technological advancements and innovations associated with or promoted by studios. Because of its multifaceted analysis and international scope, this series intends to open up the field of global studiography.

            For Global Film Studios, Vivian Lee (City University of Hong Kong) will inaugurate this series with a volume on The Other Side of Glamour: Hong Kong's Left-wing Studios, which is a much needed addition to East Asian film scholarship.   In summer 2016, Onookome Okome (University of Alberta) conducted research in Nigeria for a volume on Nollywood studios. Recently, he has secured a book contracts for Eva Redvall, Vilde Schanke Sundet, and Olof Hedling for a study of Nordic Studios and for Kimmo Laine on Finnish Film Studios.  Currently, he is working with scholars for proposals national studios in Iceland, Japan, South Africa, Honduras, Poland, Hungary, and Russia.

            International Film Stars (Edinburgh University Press) explores the cinematic and cultural impact of stars upon major European, American, and Asian film movements.  Each volume will address the history of specific performing artists and their influence upon defining new cinematic genres and styles.  Contributing scholars will take a materialist, context-oriented approach to evaluating how these performers produced the signature style for a director, studio, or national cinema, paying due attention to those forces, both within the industry and more widely, that led to the generic and stylistic recognition of these stars in international popular culture. Additionally, these volumes will address market strategies, film cycles, and audience appeal in terms of stars’ economic effect on cinema history.  This series intends to open up the field of international stardom far beyond conventional biographies by exploring the essential connection between performance and cinematic style. 

            For International Film Stars,  Murray Pomerance (Ryerson University) and Kyle Stevens (Colby College) will inaugurate this series with two volumes, Close-Up: Great Cinematic Performances, Volume I American Stars and Close-Up: Great Cinematic Performances, Volume II International Stars (2018).  Pettey has agreed to contribute chapters to these two volumes: on Katharine Hepburn's performances within performances in The Lion in Winter and on Victor Sjöström's dualistic portrayals in Bergman's Wild Strawberries.  R. Barton Palme (Clemson) and Julie Grossman (Le Moyen College) will contribute two volumes on Hollywood Noir, Major Performers and Headliners and Featured Performers. Future volumes include: Tiffany Gilbert, Anna Magnani and the World; R. Barton Palmer and Julie Grossman, Hollywood Noir: Major Performers and R. Barton Palmer and Julie Grossman, Hollywood Noir: Headliners and Featured Performers; Steven Rybin, Geraldine Chaplin: The Gift of Film Performance; Dorothy Lau, Chinese Stardom in Global Cyberculture; Jonathan Driskell, Film Stardom of Southeast Asia.

         Global Film Directors (Rutgers University Press) will explore cinematic innovations by prominent and emerging directors in major European, American, Asian and African film movements.  Each volume will address the history of a director’s oeuvre and its influence upon defining new cinematic genres, narratives, and techniques.  Contributing scholars will take a context-oriented approach to evaluating how these directors produced an identifiable style, paying due attention to those forces, both within the industry and national cultures, that led to global recognition of these directors.  These volumes will address how directors functioned within national and global marketplaces, contributed to and expanded film movements, and transformed world cinema.  By focusing upon representative films that defined the directors’ signatures, these volumes provide new critical focus upon international directors, with special attention to directors who are just emerging to prominence or whose work has been largely ignored in standard historical accounts.  This series, then, intends to open up the field of new auteurism studies beyond film biographies by exploring directorial style as influencing global cinema aesthetics, theory, and economics. 

            For Global Film Directors, five authors have agreed to write volumes for the series: David Desser (Illinois) on Korean director Lee Chang-dong; R. Barton Palmer (Clemson) on Irish director Lenny Abrahamson; Shelley Cobb (Southampton) on Australian director Gillian Armstrong; Joanne Bernardi (Rochester) on Japanese director Juzo Itami; Yingjin Zhang (UC San Diego) on Chinese director Zhang Yimou; and, Jim Leach (Brock) on Québécois director Denys Arcand.  A recent proposal will focus on the films of Cambodian director Rithy Pahn.

            With R. Barton Palmer, Professor Pettey co-edited two volumes on film noir for Edinburgh University Press, Film Noir and International Noir (2014), both of which are now in paperback editions (March 2015).  For those volumes, he contributed the following chapters: "The Noir Turn," "Hard-boiled Tradition and Early Noir," "The Noir Impulse," and "Early Japanese Noir."   With Palmer and Steven Sanders, he co-edited Hitchcock's Moral Gaze (SUNY, February 2017), for which he wrote a chapter, "Hobbes, Hume, and Hitchcock: the case of Frenzy."

          Professors Pettey and Palmer also published Rule Britannia!--Biopics and British National Identity (SUNY, October 2018).  Pettey wrote the introductory essay on the East End psychopathic, homosexual gangsters, the Kray twins, and biographical media.  He also wrote a chapter on "Elizabeth I's portraits and the life of visual culture."  Pettey and Palmer also have in production French Literature on Screen (Manchester, 2019).  Pettey will contribute an introductory essay on French authors fascination with cinema, and Pettey also contribute a chapter on "Elle (2016), rape, and adaptation." 

         In July 2018, Pettey published a collection on Cold War Film Genres (Edinburgh University Press, July 2018). This book considers often overlooked, but commercially profitable Hollywood films during that era and re-evaluates post-war bohemian and executive comedies, suburban satires, modernist family dramas, musicals, working-woman comedies, and influential jazz films.  His introduction will discuss many of these other trends, experiments, and boxoffice successes often ignored in cinema studies, as well as an analysis of the rock-and-roll film..  His chapter is devoted to the "Suburban Sublime."  

          Professor Pettey also has advance contracts for two other scholarly books. His single-authored work on The Legend of the 47 and Japanese Visual Culture (Palgrave, 2020) explores this national tale from its first kabuki staging and ukiyo-e depictions to its influence upon samurai and yakuza cinema, as well as graphic novels.  

          In August 2015, he received an advance contract from SUNY Press for a collection on Cinematic Disorders: Psychopathology on screen (2019).  He will also write the Introduction on the history of madness on screen and a chapter on representations of criminality on screen. 

          In late August 2016, Professor Pettey received notice of an adavnce contract from Manchester University Press for a collection of new scholarly essays on The Films of Costa-Gavras.  Beginning with his first political films, this collection will chart and re-examine Costa-Gavras's career from Un homme de trop (1967) to Le Capital (2012).  Costa-Gavras re-contextualizes political history as individual human drama and thereby involves his audience in past and contemporary traumas, from the horrors of the Second World War through mid-century international totalitarianism to the current global financial crisis.  In order to capture the feeling of a political era, Costa-Gavras employs cinematic techniques from La Nouvelle Vague for his early films, documentary-like re-enactments for crucial moments of political tension in his renowned thrillers, and state-of-the-art aesthetics and technology for his latest ventures.  For this collection, Professor Pettey has solicited scholars from a variety of disciplines and areas, including: trauma studies, Latin American political violence, Israeli-Palestinian rhetorical politics, contemporary immigration studies, and globalizations.

           To date, he has published, in production, or under advance contract ten peer-reviewed books on cinema and comparative literature. 

           He has published or is editing the work of nearly one hundred scholars from twenty-five countries.        

           He has several current book chapters: on typology and topography in Wyatt Earp biopics for William Epstein and R. Barton Palmer’s Invented Lives, Imagined Communities: Biopics and American National Identity (SUNY, June 2016); on Hitchcock’s American noirs for Jonathan Freedman’s Cambridge Companion to Alfred Hitchcock (Cambridge, July 2015); on violence, the Production Code, film noir for David Schmidt’s edited, two-volume collection on Violence in American Popular Culture (Praeger, November 2015); on adaptations of Liam O’Flaherty’s The Informer and the aesthetics of terrorism for Barton Palmer's Screening Modern Irish Drama and Fiction (Palgrave, 2016); on behavioral economics in Kubrick’s The Killing and Furukawa’s kenju zankoku monogatari (Cruel Gun Story) for Jim Leach and Jeannette Sloniowski’s Heist Films (Wayne State, 2017); on Michael Curtiz’s new Western aesthetic for Murray Pomerance’s Michael Curtiz (Texas, 2018); and, on Japanese avant-garde and the modern girl (moga) for the flagship volume for the new series Adaptation and Visual Culture for Palgrave/Macmillan (2017).

         In November 2015, Professor Pettey was invited to contribute a chapter to Alain Silver and James Ursini's Film Noir: Light and Shadow, for which he completed an essay on "Dmytryk's Crossfire and Homeland Insecurity," which is currently in press (March 2016).  For their recent book on Film Noir, he contributed a chapter on "Paleo Noir," a reflection on silent and very early sound noirs neglected by schorlars (2018).

         To date, he has published or under contract over twenty-five chapters in peer-reviewed scholarly books devoted to film and comparative literary studies.

            Currently, he is completing research for a single-authored book on Transnational Silent Film Archaeology (Edinburgh, 2019).  This work will provide case studies of prominent American and European contributions to the early creation of cinematic art and the development of the international film industry from the early 1900s to the end of the 1920s.  Articulating the interconnections and interdependencies between silent film aesthetics and the vicissitudes of the marketplace will be the primary focus.  In short, this book aims to reveal the complex, shifting commercial and artistic patterns that produced international silent film.

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Contact Information

Homer B. Pettey
Professor, Film and Comparative Literature
Telephone: (520) 626-0778
Office: 442 Modern Languages Bldg
Office Hours: Monday & Wednesday 2-3; 5-6
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences