Michael Aronson

Alt=""Michael Aronson
Associate Professor of Cinema Studies

101 PLC



BA, Film Studies, Penn State University, 1990
MA/PhD, Cultural and Critical Studies, University of Pittsburgh, 2002

Biography and Research Statement

I am a film historian with a background in filmmaking, specifically in the camera department on TV commercials and music videos (back when you were more likely to find them on MTV than YouTube). I'm a historian because I like old stuff, and digging around both online and in archives, to find out things about the past. Probably because of my own history as a cameraman, a lot of my work focuses on the intersection of what academics call "Industry Studies" and "Reception Studies," which is just a fancy way of saying that I am interested in the people that made or showed films and the various types of communities that ended up watching them. In the case of the Ed's Coed article, for instance, Elizabeth Peterson, the University's Cinema Studies Librarian and myself worked together to write a history of the making of Ed's Coed, a feature-length romantic comedy made by some sixty University Oregon students here on campus in the late 1920s.

Recent Citations – Publications – Professional Work

  • "Planned, Plotted, Played and Pictured: Ed's Coed, and the Heights of Amateur College Filmmaking" Coauthor, Elizabeth Peterson, MLS. Film History, 31, No. 2, Summer 2019, Bloomington: University of Indiana Press.
  • “Completing The Transmedia Trinity: A History of The Telenews Theater Corporation,” in Rediscovering US Newsfilm: Cinema, Television and the Archive, Mark Cooper, Sara Beth Levy and Mark Williams, eds. Routledge Press, 2018.

  • “No Birds, No Bees, No Moralizing: Lester Beck, Psychologist Filmmaker” Coauthor, Elizabeth Peterson, MLS. The Moving Image 14, No. 1, 2014 Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

  • "Teaching Film and the Internet" in Teaching Film, Lucy FIscher and Patrice Petro, editors. Modern Language Association, 2012

  • "Nickelodeon City:  Pittsburgh at the Movies," 1905-1929, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008


  • CINE 265:  "History of Motion Pictures, Part I"
  • CINE 335:  "Exhibition & Audiences"
  • CINE 399:  "Hollywood Studio System: Warner Bros"
  • CINE 410:  "Slapstick Comedy"
  • ODUB 388:  "Contemporary Irish Cinema"