Tanya Shilina-Conte, Curator of the riverrun Global Film Series 2016-17, Department of English, UB


Tanya Shilina-Conte holds a Ph.D. in Media Study from SUNY at Buffalo, USA (2016) and a Ph.D. in English from Saint-Petersburg Herzen State University, Russia (2004).

Tanya Shilina-Conte is currently a Lecturer at the University at Buffalo, where she teaches a wide variety of courses in Film and Media Theory, Theory of Film Narrative, Cinema in the Post-media Age, Global Culture and Media, World Cinema, Color and the Moving Image, Theories of Montage and Representation, Gender and Film, Avant-Garde Cinema, Contemporary Cinema, Film Genres, and Literary Criticism. Prior to her employment at the University at Buffalo she was an Associate Professor at the State University Moscow Higher School of Economics, in the Department of Media, Business, and Communication.

Tanya Shilina-Conte is the author of a book, Midway Upon the Road: A Study of Openings in Contemporary Short Fiction (U of Kostroma P, Kostroma, Russia, 2011). She has published articles on the questions of narrative theory and practice, film-philosophy, and global film and media. She is the recipient of an award from the Ministry of Culture and Cinematography of the Russian Federation (2006). She has received grants and fellowships from the U.S. Department of State, George Soros Open Society, Princeton-Weimar Summer School Grant, New York Council for the Humanities, Liberal Arts Fellowship, UB Humanities Institute Advanced Ph.D. Fellowship, Tony Conrad Distinguished Professorship Grant, American Studies Program, and a number of UUP Professional Development awards. Her short video Abstract Visions won the best Experimental Video Award at the Delta International Film and Video Festival (USA, 2012). She has also been involved in organizing the International Women’s Film Festival in Buffalo and served on UB’s Gender Institute Festival Program Committee, International Education Week Advisory Committee, and Global CINEMAspectives Faculty Advisory Board.

Tanya Shilina-Conte is also the founder of the Center for Global Media at the University at Buffalo. The Center for Global Media regularly organizes events and screenings that deal with topics of contemporary global communication environment. It collaborates with a wide spectrum of programs and departments across SUNY at Buffalo: the Humanities Institute, the Office for Special Events, the Asian Studies Program, the International Student and Scholar Services, the Undergraduate Academies,the Department of Visual Studies, the Department of History, as well as the Poetics Program, the Juxtapositions Lecture Series and the Center for Psychoanalysis and Culture in the Department of English. Events of the center have been coordinated with the UB College of Arts and Sciences Centenary Celebration, UB Distinguished Speaker Series, the Buffalo Humanities Festival “Migration Nation: Moving Stories,” the Visual Studies Speaker Series, the Day With(out)Art (Visual AIDS) screening, and the International Symposium, “The Rwandan Genocide: Twenty Years Later.” All events of the center are open to the students and faculty at UB, as well as to the local Western New York community at large. A full list of events organized by the Center for Global Media in the past is available here:


Jocelyn E. Marshall, Assistant Director of the riverrun Global Film Series 2017-18, Department of English, UB 


Jocelyn E. Marshall is an English doctoral student and instructor at the State University of New York, University at Buffalo. Her scholarship focuses on 20th-21st-century US multiethnic literature and transnational cinema, examining the intersections of diaspora and gender and sexuality studies. She has served as a graduate fellow of the Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) and on the theory@buffalo Journal editorial committee. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the The Journal of American Culture, Twentieth-Century and Contemporary American Literature in Context (Edited by Linda De Roche, ABC-CLIO Publishing), Assaracus, the Bellingham Review, and elsewhere.

Jake Sanders, Assistant Director of the riverrun Global Film Series 2018-19, Department of English, UB

Photo on 6-5-18 at 4.32 PM

Jake Sanders is a PhD Candidate in English at the State University of New York, University at Buffalo.

Brent Cox, Assistant Director of the riverrun Global Film Series 2018-19, Department of English, UB


Brent Cox is a PhD student in the Poetics Program at SUNY-Buffalo. His work focuses on theorizing poetry and art that resist and expand media and/or generic conventions. He received his M.F.A. from the University of Washington, Bothell, where he completed a multi-part thesis composed of a work of hybrid prose and poetry, along with a long-form animated video essay dealing with the parapoetics of painter R.H. Quaytman’s LACMA retrospective, Morning: Chapter 30, in relation to Michael Heizer’s earthwork, Double Negative. His work has been published in The L.A. Telephone Book and by Essay Press, and he is currently at work on an online space devoted to poetics,

Patrick Martin, President of riverrun


Patrick Martin is a graduate of Duke University and SUNY-Buffalo law school. He is President of riverrun and Cinegael Buffalo and of the Whitten Arts, Julian R. and Varue W. Oishei, and Donald H. Cloudsley Foundations. He is founder of the riverrun graduate fellowships at UB, Buffalo State College, D’Youville College, and the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library and co-founder of the UB Humanities Institute and Scholars at Muse. He is the producer and director of films on James Joyce and Nelson Mandela and the co-author of Mark Twain in Buffalo with Robert H. Hirst, General Editor of the Mark Twain Papers. He is an attorney in private practice with Bond, Schoeneck, and King and has been a literary agent or legal consultant for The Mark Twain Foundation of NY City, the Mark Twain Papers, U. of Cal. Berkeley, W.W. Norton & Co., Random House Books., and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Cristanne Miller, UB SUNY Distinguished Professor


Cristanne Miller is Chair of the Department at the University at Buffalo in New York. She received her PhD in 1980 from the University of Chicago, and was for many years the W.M. Keck Distinguished Service Professor at Pomona College. Since 2006 she has taught at the University at Buffalo, where she is Edward H. Butler Professor of English and SUNY Distinguished Professor. She has served editor of the Emily Dickinson Journal for a decade and as President of the Emily Dickinson International Society.

Miller established her reputation as a foremost scholar of Emily Dickinson with the publication in 1987 of Emily Dickinson: A Poet’s Grammar. Martha Nell Smith reviewed the book enthusiastically, calling Miller an “exciting reader” of Dickinson with “close and thoughtful interpretation” and a view of the poems as “communicative, not solipsistic acts.” David Porter praised Miller for showing “readers what is actually at stake in this idiosyncratic verse and maps better than anyone to date the links between the grammatical choices and literary identity.” Tom Paulin’s review in the London Review of Books concluded that Cristanne Miller’s “densely researched study” offered a “living and contemporary” reading of Dickinson’s poems. “Miller works from the assumption that Dickinson sees herself ‘oppositionally, defining her position in the world negatively, by distance from some social construct or law’. And Miller shows how those negations have a constructive role.” Other reviewers were similarly enthusiastic. She has been fellow at the Free University of Berlin, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the University of Oxford. She currently edits The Emily Dickinson Journal (2005-).

Miller has published equally extensively on Marianne Moore and modernist poetry, including essays or books on Moore, Mina Loy, Else Lasker-Schuler, Elizabeth Bishop, modernism in New York and Berlin, and gender and modernism. Emma Neale in the London Quarterly calls her 1996 Marianne Moore: Questions of Authority “An elegant tribute to a complex style…Gender, race, class and power are subjects which are used [by Miller] convincingly to unearth embedded references to several aspects of social control in the poetry itself.” Celeste Goodridge in American Literature remarks that “the revisionary thrust of this book is important, timely, and a major contribution to Moore studies and the history of modernism.” On Miller’s more recent Cultures of Modernism, Janet Lyon writes in Modernism/modernity that it “offers a welcome corrective to the unreflective critical tendency . . . to make broad claims about the historical experiences and cultural conundrums of ‘women,’ and particularly ‘women writers.’ Miller offers tour-de-force comparative readings . . . threading together the world-historical with the personal, poetics with the political, and wielding the instruments of scansion as deftly as a surgeon.” Miller was President of the Modernist Studies Association in 2006-07.

Other topics on which Miller has published include poetry and theory, American Civil War poetry, women and language, feminism and poetry, and Walt Whitman.


William Solomon, UB Associate Professor


William Solomon joined the Department of English as an associate professor after five years as an associate professor at Gettysburg College, a private liberal arts college in rural southern Pennsylvania. Before that, he spent nearly 10 years as an assistant professor of English and American studies at Stanford University. Solomon, who prefers the motivation to “publish or perish” at large research universities such as UB, says his latest book project, “Slapstick Modernism: Experimental Writing and Silent Comedy, 1909-1969,” focuses on the influence of silent-film comedy on individuals as diverse as the modernist poets of the 1920s to the Beat Generation of the 1950s and 1960s. “I wanted to focus on silent comedy because it’s a body of work that has merit in its own right,” Solomon explains, pointing out that critics argue that filmmakers such as Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton explore modernist themes in their works. “I also thought it followed logically from my earlier book project,” he adds, “as well as my personal conviction that if you’re going to study 20th-century literature, it’s beneficial to think about it not only in terms of its relation to other literary periods,” but also to other forms of culture. A scholar whose interest in modernist literature frequently intermingles with a fascination with cultural studies and vintage popular culture, including not only silent film, but also vaudeville, burlesque and underground comics, Solomon’s first book, “Literature, Amusement and Technology in the Great Depression,” published by Cambridge University Press in 2002, examines the influence of popular entertainment on several important modernist writers—John Dos Passos, Henry Miller and Nathaniel West—as well as Edward Dahlberg, a writer who Solomon argues deserves greater recognition for his works.

Laurence ShineCinegael Buffalo and Lecturer at Buffalo State College, 2016 NY State Chancellor’s Award in Teaching


Laurence Shine attended University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin between 1966 and 1969.  For the next four years he pursued a doctoral degree in Comparative Literature at the University of Georgia (MA Comparative Literature, 1975).  In 1973 and ’74, he studied German Literature and Society, Egyptology, and Joyce at the Universtät zu Kȍln.  In 1975, he entered another full doctoral program in Comparative Literature at the University of Buffalo (1975-1979), where he specialized in philosophy, historical morphology, modernism and post-modernism, sacrificial and mimetic theory, and systems analysis.  Laurence first joined the faculty of the English Department in 1981 as a Lecturer. Laurence likes to explore and map an ambiguous and sometimes ominous territory that you can discover beneath the everyday, the normal, the predictable.  He intends to shine a steady light into depths where monsters lurk, where identities proliferate and merge, and where catharsis and violent purgation erupt.  It’s a judicious compound of the entertaining and the frightening that we can extract from classical, religious, and literary sources to show the causes of conflict, psychological and social pathologies, and the intimate and secret connections between desire and violence.  Inevitably, we encounter in the dark the eternal triangle and bondage of romance and of mimetic rivalry, where rivals imitate each other so closely that they become the monstrous double.   In his lectures, Laurence views texts and materials through the lenses of mimetic rivalry, sacrificial theory,  and monstrous doubling in literature, mythology, and the sciences.  He uses the full range of biblical and classical sources, psychological and feminist theories, the history of imperialism and nationalism, and the historical morphologies of classical cylicism versus apocalyptic progressivism.  He favors deep-structure analysis of the origins of violence in mimesis and frequently uses materials in British, Continental, American, and Irish Literature, especially in the work and influence of James Joyce. For ten years he has been an enthusiastic participant in Buffalo State College’s Learning Communities and has guided numerous groups of students on literary and historical study tours of Ireland.  For 15 years, he has been the host of Bloomsday Buffalo and has recently completed 20 years leading the Finnegans Wake Reading Group.  His involvement with local literary, theatrical, and Irish cultural organizations has been constant and intense.

Anthony Bannon, Ph.D., Burchfield Penney Art Center, Director


Dr. Anthony Bannon is executive director of the Burchfield Penney Art Center at Buffalo State College in Buffalo, N.Y.  In 2008, the Burchfield Penney expanded to a new $33 million freestanding facility on the Buffalo State College campus. Bannon served as the director of Cultural Affairs at the State University of New York College at Buffalo and director of the Burchfield Penney Art Center from 1985-1996. His first tenure at the Burchfield Penney was marked by significant growth and pivotal acquisitions to the collection, including 1,485 objects from collector Charles Rand Penney. He also established key endowments and community partnerships that remain central to the Burchfield Penney’s exhibition and collections programming. His book Photo Pictorialists of Buffalo won the American Photographic Historical Society’s merit award and his writing on deafness won the Gallaudet University Award.

Before re-joining the Burchfield Penney, Bannon was the seventh director of George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, N.Y. George Eastman House was founded in 1947 and is the world’s oldest and largest independent museum of photography and motion pictures. During his tenure, George Eastman House launched two world-renowned graduate photographic and film preservation schools and a post- graduate school with Rochester Institute of Technology. He directed alliances with museums and collectors in major U.S. cities, in addition to acquiring important collections from photographers and filmmakers.

Nationally he served on the Smithsonian Secretary’s Council (Washington, D.C.), Santa Fe Center for the Visual Arts (New Mexico), New York Council on the Humanities (Board of Directors and Executive Committee), the Alliance of New York State Art Organizations (Executive Committee), Palm Springs Photo Festival, and the New York State Association of Museums.

In 2012, Bannon was awarded the St. Bonaventure University Gaudete Medal, the university’s highest honor, George Eastman House Medal of Honor, and Britain’s Royal Photographic Society’s J. Dudley Johnston Award for his leadership in historic research.  He has also been recognized by the Arts and Cultural Council of Greater Rochester with the Outstanding Achievement Award, and as CEO of the Year by the Public Relations Society of America, Rochester Chapter. He was named Outstanding Arts Administrator of the Year by Buffalo’s Chamber of Commerce and Arts Council.

In 2007 Bannon earned the Golden Career Award from the FOTOfusion Festival of Photography & Digital Imaging. He was recognized for his “far-reaching leadership and scholarship in the cultural community” and for having “given unstintingly of his time and effort” to his museum and as a board member for several organizations. “Most important, he is one of the most efficient and effective museum directors today,” noted Arnold H. Drapkin, director of FOTOfusion and former Picture Editor for Time magazine, who presented the award.

He began his career as a filmmaker and a journalist, serving as the arts editor and critic for the Buffalo Evening News and the Buffalo News from 1969 to 1985. His film work was selected by legendary filmmaker and photographer Willard Van Dyke for showing at the Flaherty Film Festival, seen in museums and art centers around the world.  His essays have appeared in Film Culture, Afterimage and Connoisseur magazines. Bannon’s recent publications include essays in the catalog on the photographers Steve McCurry, Diane Bush, Hiroshi Watanabe, Roger Eberhard, Monika Merva, Alfredo D’Amato, Chris Usher  and Stanford Lipsey.

Donald J. Metz, Burchfield Penney Art Center, Associate Director, Public Programs

Don Metzis a musician, composer, and arts administrator. He has worked at the Burchfield Penney Art Center since 1995, serving as Acting Director from 1996-1998 and as Director of Administration from 1995-2003, today serving as Associate Director and Head of Public Programs. Throughout his career he has curated a variety of media arts exhibitions and interdisciplinary performances, and from 1982-95 he served as the Music Director at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center. He has held a variety of administrative positions with the Buffalo Philharmonic Choir, June In Buffalo, and the North American New Music Festival.

An active musician, Metz has been composing and performing since completing his studies at the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1977. His music has been performed by the S.E.M. Ensemble, Percusso Argaro from Brazil, the Composers Alliance of Buffalo, the U.B. Percussion Ensemble, the New Jazz Orchestra of Buffalo, Los Caribes, various solo artists, and Buffluxus, among others. In 1978, Metz formed the East Buffalo Media Association, creating Inter-Media presentations with writers and artists from the Western New York area.  Over the past 30 years he has worked with artists including Andrew Topolski, John Toth, Fred Ciminelli, Andrew Deutsch, Peer Bode, writers Jeff Filipski and Michael Basinski, and actor Paul Schmidt. As a guitarist, Metz has performed the music of John Cage, Earl Brown, Petr Kotik, Lucas Foss, Jon Gibson, John Bacon Jr., Jackson MacLow, Phil Niblock, LaMonte Young, Michael Colquhoun, and others.



Ajitpaul Mangat, Assistant Director of the riverrun Global Film Series 2016-17, Department of English, UB


Ajitpaul Mangat is a PhD Candidate in English at the State University of New York, University at Buffalo. His dissertation, entitled “Forming Disability: Narrative, Ethics, and Embodiment in the Modernist Novel,” considers how the formal techniques of modernist narrative shape new understandings about the relationship between the social and sensory experience of disability. Ajitpaul’s article “Embodied Consciousness: Autism, Life Writing, and the Limits of the Cognitive Paradigm” is forthcoming in the edited collection Explorations of Consciousness in Twentieth-Century Literature (Brill). Ajitpaul’s reviews have appeared in Modern Fiction StudiesTwentieth-Century Literature, and Disability Studies Quarterly, among other journals. He is also the co-editor of theory@buffalo 18, entitled “Derrida Matters.”