Shira Segal

Shira Segal

Lecturer in Film Studies and Director, Film Studies Minor; Affiliated Faculty, Dept. of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Art & Art History


FA 323
Shira Segal

Areas of Expertise: Avant-Garde Cinema, Documentary Film, Cultural Memory, Gender Studies

Shira Segal is Lecturer in Film Studies and Director of Film Studies Minor in the Dept. of Art and Art History. She is a documentary, avant-garde, and experimental film scholar who holds a Ph.D. in Film and Media Studies and a minor in American Studies from Indiana University and a Master's in Cultural Memory from the University of London. Her interdisciplinary approach intersects film history, theory, and practice with contemporary image-making practices, gender studies, and memory studies across her research and teaching.

Segal’s dissertation, Home Movies and Home Birth: The Avant-garde Childbirth Film and Pregnancy in New Media, provides a cultural and aesthetic history of alternative film and media practices surrounding the maternal body over the past sixty years. Influenced by her studies with experimental filmmaker Stan Brakhage and by his birth films in particular, Segal situates the avant-garde chidlbirth film as a filmic dialogue in relation to contested notions of art, the politics of embodiment, and the role of the cinematic apparatus in representations of a gendered self and other on screen. This project includes archival research and personal interviews with filmmakers and their subjects.

Other research projects-in-process include The Embodied Camera: Strategies of the Self in Avant-garde Film and Autobiographical Cinema in which Segal examines the embodied camera as a visual strategy for personal, first-person, and diary filmmaking practices that effectively blend the filmmaking and film subject with the medium. The dynamic between technology, aesthetics, identity, and expression raises ontological questions surrounding the cinematic apparatus and the representation of a complex, autobiographical self on screen.

Previous projects include preliminary work for the Photography Book Museum and its anticipated Archive of Vision online, research with the James Stanley Brakhage collection and the Brakhage Center for Media Arts as a Visiting Scholar and Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, as well as curriculum development at UAlbany such as Poetry and Cinema, Landscape in Film, First Person Cinema, and Cultural Memory and Film. She teaches a wide range of Film and Media Studies courses and directs the Film Studies minor.