Faculty & Staff

Cary Elza

Assistant Professor
Media Studies

CAC 311



  • B.A. Degree: American Studies, minor in Film Studies, Smith College
  • M.A. Degree: Film Studies, Emory University
  • Ph.D. Degree: Screen Cultures (Film Studies/Media Studies),  Northwestern University
  • Ph.D. Dissertation: Boundary-Crossing Girls and Imaginary Worlds: Gender, Childhood, and the Cinematic Spaces of Modernity

Courses Taught

  • Comm 190 - Evolution of Mass Media
  • Comm 160 – Introduction to the Art of Film
  • Comm 190 – History of Media
  • Comm 351 – Writing for Media
    - Screenwriting the Feature Film
    - Writing for Television
  • Comm 361 – Film History II
  • Comm 362 – Topics in Media History
    - History of Animation
  • Comm 363 - Media Genres
    - Cinema and the End of the World
    - Fangs on Film (Vampires in Film and Television)
    - Haunted Cinema


Cary Elza received her Ph.D. From Northwestern University’s Screen Cultures Program, where her dissertation research focused on Alice in Wonderland narratives—popular representations of female figures who cross between spaces marked as ‘real’ and ‘imaginary’—in the context of technological and social change.  Her other research interests include television and film history and genres (especially horror, fantasy, and science fiction), pre-cinematic devices and late 19th century forms of popular entertainment, early media history and theory, YA and children’s media, animation theory and history, and fandom and fan practices, among other topics.  Her publications include articles and anthology chapters on Disney’s Alice Comedies, Pokemon, The X-Files, Veronica Mars and the figure of the female detective, Michael Moore and new media, Smallville and superhero mythology, and Twilight and other recent vampire series.

Selected Publications

"Alice's Adventures in Intertitle-Land: Nontheatrical Distribution and the Evolution of Intertitles in the 1920s," The Carrollian, under review.

"When the Woman Cuts: The Figure of the Female Medical Examiner on CSI: Miami and Crossing Jordan," in Ashley Carlson, ed. Women in STEM on Television, (Jefferson, NC: McFarland), forthcoming 2017.

“Alice in Cartoonland: Childhood, Gender, and Imaginary Space in Early Disney Animation,” animation: an interdisciplinary journal, vol. 9, no. 1 (March 2014).
“All My Vampires,” in Murray Pomerance and John Sakeris, Popping Culture, 7th ed., (Boston: Pearson Education, 2012).

“Postfeminism in a Postmodern Landscape: Navigating Difference on Veronica Mars,” in Jes Battis, ed., Supernatural Youth:  The Rise of the Teen Hero in Literature and Popular Culture, (New York: Lexington Books, 2011). 
"MoveOn, Michael Moore, and the Summer of ’04: Marketing Online Political Activism," in Matthew Bernstein, ed.,  Michael Moore: Filmmaker, Newsmaker, Cultural Icon.  (Ann Arbor: U. of Michigan Press, 2010).
Guest co-editor and co-author of introduction to special issue of The Journal of American Culture (vol. 33, no. 1, March 2010) on “Parties and Celebrations”

“’We All Live in a Pokemon World’: Pokemon as a Cultural Phenomenon,” in Mark I West, ed., The Japanification of Chldren’s Popular Culture. (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press: 2008).
“'Post-Modern Prometheus,' Postmodern Voices: The X-Files and Subjective Storytelling," in Sharon Yang, ed., X-Files and Literature. (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2007).
“Twenty-First Century Superman: Smallville and New Media Mythmaking,” Jump Cut, No. 48 (Winter 2006), http://www.ejumpcut.org/archive/jc48.2006/SmallvilleFans/index.html.