Katie Bird, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor specializing in film and media studies and digital media production
Katie Bird (PhD Film and Media Studies, University of Pittsburgh) is an Assistant Professor specializing in film and media studies and digital media production. Dr. Bird's research explores the history and discourse of technical filmmaking crafts in Hollywood including cinematography and editing and niche practitioners like Steadicam operators. Her historical, theoretical and ethnographic research overlaps with scholarship in film and media history, film theory, television studies, media industries, production cultures, labor history, women and gender studies, and cultural studies.
Dr. Bird is currently working on a book manuscript Embodied Hollywood: How Workers Made Their Labor Matter to the Movies, 1919-1985. Embodied Hollywood is a historical study of how technical workers in the Hollywood studio system turned manual labor into artistic craft and set the standards for an industry. The book makes the case that craft organizations, unions, and practitioners utilized images and the language of physical work to promote bodily labor’s impact on film style. Her next project focuses on the discourse and histories of US-based women camera operators and women's professional camera organizations from the 1970s to the 1990s.
Dr. Bird's work has been published in The Velvet Light Trap, Spectator, [in]Transition: The Journal of Videographic and Moving Image Studies, and is forthcoming in The Journal for Cinema and Media Studies(JCMS). Her videographic research (video essays) have been featured on the NEH funded website The Videographic Essay, on the curated video essay collection Audiovisualcy, as a “best practices” example on the video essay website Film Scalpel, and on the podcast Framing Media. Dr. Bird was also a previous recipient of a competitive Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) writing award.
Dr. Bird holds bachelor degrees in English and Film Production from Loyola Marymount University's School of Film and Television (Los Angeles, CA) and an MA in Literary and Cultural Studies from Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA). Prior to Academia, Dr. Bird worked in the film industry in various technical and production support roles. Her earlier short films have been screened with the Sundance documentary institute and the LA film festival.
Dr. Bird has taught courses in film studies, film history, digital media composition, first-year composition, and filmmaking. At UTEP, Dr. Bird has taught the following courses: Introduction to the Art of Motion Picture, Film Theory and Criticism, Women in Film, and Feminism and Film.
More information on Dr. Bird's scholarship and videographic work can be found at her website http://www.KatieBird.net
Dept. of Communication