Shira Segal received her PhD in Film and Media Studies from Indiana University’s Department of Communication and Culture and her MA in Cultural Memory at the University of London’s Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies. Her dissertation “Home Movies and Home Birth – The Avant-garde Childbirth Film and Pregnancy in New Media” examines representations of pregnancy and childbirth in experimental cinema and online by artists and amateurs alike, and provides an aesthetic and cultural history of alternative film and media practices surrounding the maternal body over the past fifty years. The project includes archival research from the James Stanley Brakhage Collection and interviews with filmmakers and their subjects.
Publications include her MA thesis “From the Private to the Public – The Transmission of Cultural Memory in Hollis Frampton’s (nostalgia)” (2005, Text, Practice, and Performance), and a series of articles on childbirth in mainstream cinema, the home, and the Internet (2007-2010, The eSharp Review, MP Feminist Journal, Rupkatha Journal). Publications on experimental filmmaker Stan Brakhage include “The Untutored Vision of Stan Brakhage – The Body as an Approach to Filmmaking” (2005, The Graduate Film Studies Journal) and an experimental playlet titled “‘Dear Jonas, Jan. 6, 1972’ – A Commentary on the Economics of Experimental Filmmaking” (2010, Wig Journal of Experimental Scholarship).
Current research interests include the (dis)embodied vision of personal and impersonal cinema, the relationship between the visual and the verbal in film, and the depiction of the disenfranchised body in amateur, avant-garde, and documentary cinema. She has previously taught classes on Cultural Memory and Film, First Person Cinema, Landscape and Cinema, Gender and Sexuality in the Media, and 16mm Film Production.