Dr Lisa   Trahair
Deputy Head of School

Dr Lisa Trahair

BA (Honours Class 1, University Medal), PhD Syd.

Arts,Design & Architecture
School of the Arts and Media

Lisa Trahair is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies.

 

Shortly before completing my PhD at the University of Sydney, I was appointed Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland (1996) and one year later took the position of (interdisciplinary) Co-ordinator of Film Studies for the Faculty of Arts. In 1999, I returned to Sydney to UNSW where I currently teach and research.

 

My primary research focus is on how popular and avant-garde artefacts make use of the image both as a source of aesthetic pleasure and to contemplate, and thus formulate ideas about, reality. My area of expertise is film studies and within that film comedy and film and philosophy. My book The Comedy of Philosophy: Sense and Nonsense in Early Cinematic Slapstick was published by SUNY in 2007. I continue to publish in the areas of comic performance, contemporary European cinema, and film and philosophy. Forthcoming projects include Understanding Cinematic Thinking: Film-Philosophy in Bresson, von Trier and Haneke, co-written with Gregory Flaxman and Robert Sinnerbrink, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, (expected publication in 2019) and Second Nature: Comic Performance and Philosophy, co-edited with Josephine Gray, Rowman & Littlefield, 2020. In the latter part of 2019 I will be visiting scholar at the University of Amsterdam.

 

As well as being the recipient of many Faculty research grants, I have been the first chief investigator on two interdisciplinary ARC Discovery projects. The first of these grants (DP0450596) was with Professor Jim Davis, now in Theatre Studies at Warwick University, for the project “The Framing and Staging of Comic Performance in the Nineteenth and Early 20th Centuries”. The second (DP1092889) was an interdisciplinary collaboration with Assoc. Professor Robert Sinnerbrink (Philosophy, Macquarie University) and Associate Professor Gregory Flaxman (Comparative Literature, University of North Carolina) entitled “Film as Philosophy: Understanding Cinematic Thinking”. In 2009 I was awarded a UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Goldstar Award ($30,000) for this project. I have also received grants in the past from the University of Sydney and the NSW Film and Television Office.

 

With the second ARC Grant I co-founded the Cinematic Thinking Network (currently over 100 members) and hosted 5 workshops on related topics at UNSW. These involved contributions from both Australian and international scholars from post-graduate level to eminent professors. Two of these workshops resulted in special issues of international journals co-edited by me and Robert Sinnerbrink: Cinema and/as Ethics, Substance 45:3, 2016; Special Dossier: Cinematic Thinking, Screening the Past, 38, 2013. In addition, I co-edited with Lisabeth During Belief in Cinema: Themes after André Bazin, a special issue of Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities 17:4, 2012.

 

At UNSW I have held numerous administrative positions, from being the Dean’s delegate on the then COFA Faculty Board, to contributing to appointment committees and promotion committees (for both the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the Faculty of Science). I have been the school representative on the FASS Standing Committee and the FASS Honours Working Party. I have held the positions of Film Studies Convenor, School Honours Convenor and School Research Convenor.

Phone
+61 2 9385 5011
Location
226, Level 2 Robert Webster

Publications

  • Book Chapters | 2020
    Dr Lisa Trahair
    Trahair L, 2020, 'Stoicism, Causality, Divine Providence and Comedy in Buster Keaton's The General', in Moder G; Mascat JMH (ed.), The Object of Comedy: Philosophies and Performances, Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 163 - 189, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-27742-0_10
    Book Chapters | 2017
    Dr Lisa Trahair
    Trahair LM, 2017, 'Aberrant Movement and Somatography in the Hysterical Films of Roméo Bosetti', in Woodward A; Jones G (ed.), Acinemas: Lyotard's Philosophy of Film, Edinburgh University Press, pp. 180 - 180
    Book Chapters | 2012
    Dr Lisa Trahair
    Trahair LM, 2012, 'Godard and Ranciere: Automatism, Montage, Thinking', in Ross A; Deranty J-P (ed.), Jacques Ranciere and the Contemporary Scene: The Philosophy of Radical Equality, edn. Original, Continuum, London, pp. 43 - 66
    Book Chapters | 2011
    Dr Lisa Trahair
    Trahair LM, 2011, ''The General (C. Bruckman, B. Keaton, 1926)'', in Gandini L (ed.), Is Cinema Americano Attraverso I Film, edn. Original, Carocci, Rome, pp. 25 - 39
    Book Chapters | 2009
    Dr Lisa Trahair
    Trahair LM, 2009, 'Jean-Francois Lyotard', in Colman F (ed.), Film, Theory and Philosophy: The Key Thinkers, Acumen, Durham, pp. 222 - 232
    Book Chapters | 2008
    Dr Lisa Trahair
    During LJ; Trahair LM, 2008, 'Film Theory', in Hadfield A; Boxall P; Smith L; Surprenant C (ed.), The Year`s Work in Critical and Cultural Theory, edn. 1, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 166 - 195, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ywcct/mbn009
    Book Chapters | 2007
    Dr Lisa Trahair
    Trahair LM, 2007, 'Film Theory', in Hadfield A; Boxall P; Smith L; Surprenant C (ed.), Year S Work In Critical and Cultural Theory, edn. 1, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 165 - 185, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ywcct/mbm018
    Books | 2007
    Dr Lisa Trahair
    Trahair LM, 2007, The Comedy of Philosophy: Sense and Nonsense in Early Cinematic Slapstick, State University of New York Press, Albany, USA
    Book Chapters | 1999
    Dr Lisa Trahair
    Trahair LM, 1999, 'Fool`s gold: metamorphosis in Buster Keaton`s Sherlock, Jr.', in Falling for you: essays on cinema and performance, edn. Original, Power Publications, Sydney, Australia, pp. 209 - 244
    Book Chapters | 1991
    Dr Lisa Trahair
    Trahair LM, 1991, 'For the Noise of a Fly', in The Illusion of Life: Essays on Animation, Power Publications, Sydney, pp. 182 - 208
  • Journal articles | 2016
    Dr Lisa Trahair
    Trahair L, 2016, 'Belief in this world: The dardenne brothers' the son and Søren Kierkegaard's fear and trembling', Sub-Stance, vol. 45, pp. 98 - 119, http://dx.doi.org/10.3368/ss.45.3.98
    Journal articles | 2016
    Dr Lisa Trahair
    Sinnerbrink R; Trahair L, 2016, 'Film and/as ethics', Sub-Stance, vol. 45, pp. 3 - 15, http://dx.doi.org/10.3368/ss.45.3.3
    Journal articles | 2016
    Dr Lisa Trahair
    Trahair L, 2016, 'Anywhere or Not at All: Philosophy of Contemporary Art', CRITICAL INQUIRY, vol. 42, pp. 415 - 416, http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/684384
    Journal articles | 2014
    Dr Lisa Trahair
    Trahair L, 2014, 'Being on the Outside: Cinematic Automatism in Stanley Cavell's The World Viewed', Film-Philosophy, vol. 18, pp. 128 - 146, http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/film.2014.0009
    Journal articles | 2014
    Dr Lisa Trahair
    Trahair LM, 2014, 'Being on the Outside: Cinematic Automatism in Stanley Cavell’s The World Viewed', Film-Philosophy, vol. 18, pp. 128 - 146, http://www.film-philosophy.com/index.php/f-p/article/view/1034
    Journal articles | 2013
    Dr Lisa Trahair
    Trahair LM; Sinnerbrink R, 2013, 'Editorial Introduction: Thinking cinematically before Deleuze', Screening the Past
    Journal articles | 2013
    Dr Lisa Trahair
    Trahair LM, 2013, 'Serious Film: Cavell, Automatism and Michael Haneke’s Caché', Screening the Past, http://www.screeningthepast.com/
    Journal articles | 2012
    Dr Lisa Trahair
    During LJ; Trahair LM, 2012, 'Editorial Introduction: Belief in Cinema: Revisiting themes from Bazin', Angelaki - Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, vol. 17, pp. 1 - 8, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0969725X.2012.747326
    Journal articles | 2012
    Dr Lisa Trahair
    Trahair LM, 2012, 'Belief in Cinema: Jean-Luc Godard's Je vous salue, Marie and the Pedagogy of Images', Angelaki, vol. 17, pp. 193 - 207, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0969725X.2012.747337
    Journal articles | 2009
    Dr Lisa Trahair
    Trahair LM, 2009, 'Dialektika rövidre zárva: elbeszélés és burleszk Buster Keaton mozijában', Apertúra
    Journal articles | 2006
    Dr Lisa Trahair
    Dawkins RH; Ford HC; Trahair LM, 2006, 'Film Theory', Year S Work In Critical and Cultural Theory, vol. 14, pp. 311 - 335
    Journal articles | 2005
    Dr Lisa Trahair
    Trahair LM, 2005, 'Figural vision: Freud, Lyotard and early cinematic comedy', Screen, vol. 46, pp. 175 - 193, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/screen/hjh058
    Journal articles | 2004
    Dr Lisa Trahair
    Trahair LM, 2004, 'Comedy and Beyond: on Geoff King`s Film Comedy', Film-Philosophy, vol. 8, pp. On-line
    Journal articles | 2004
    Dr Lisa Trahair
    Trahair LM, 2004, 'The narrative machine: Buster Keaton`s cinematic comedy, Deleuze`s recursion function and the operational aesthetic', Senses of Cinema, vol. 33, pp. on-line journal
    Journal articles | 2003
    Dr Lisa Trahair
    Trahair LM, 2003, 'Senses of Visuality: Sardines, Surveillance and Cinema', Theory and Event, vol. 7
    Journal articles | 2002
    Dr Lisa Trahair
    Trahair LM, 2002, 'The ghost in the machine: the comedy of technology in the cinema of Buster Keaton', The South Atlantic Quarterly, vol. 101, pp. 573 - 588, http://dx.doi.org/10.1215/00382876-101-3-573
    Journal articles | 2002
    Dr Lisa Trahair
    Trahair LM, 2002, 'Short-circuiting the dialectic: narrative and slapstick in the cinema of Buster Keaton.', Narrative, vol. 10, pp. 307 - 325, http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/nar.2002.0022
    Journal articles | 2002
    Dr Lisa Trahair
    Trahair LM, 2002, 'A taste for murder: aesthetics in the Silence of the Lambs', New Formations, vol. 47, pp. 155 - 170
    Journal articles | 2001
    Dr Lisa Trahair
    Trahair LM, 2001, 'The comedy of philosophy Bataille. Hegel and Derrida', Angelaki - Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, vol. 6, pp. 155 - 169, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09697250120088003
  • Other | 2016
    Dr Lisa Trahair
    Trahair LM; Sinnerbrink R (ed.), 2016, Cinematic Thinking: Film and/as Ethics, http://sub.uwpress.org/content/45/3.toc
    Other | 2015
    Dr Lisa Trahair
    Trahair LM, 2015, Lisa Trahair Reviews Peter Osborne's Anywhere or Not at All, University of Chicago Press, http://criticalinquiry.uchicago.edu/lisa_trahair_reviews_peter_osbornes_anywhere_or_not_at_all/
    Other | 2013
    Dr Lisa Trahair
    Trahair LM; Sinnerbrink R (ed.), 2013, Screening the Past: Special Dossier: Cinematic Thinking, The Screening the Past Group, Melbourne, http://www.screeningthepast.com/
    Other | 2012
    Dr Lisa Trahair
    Trahair LM; During L (ed.), 2012, Angelaki Special Issue: Belief in Cinema: Themes after André Bazin, Taylor & Francis, UK
    Conference Papers | 2005
    Dr Lisa Trahair
    Trahair LM, 2005, 'Lights, Camera, Editing: Understanding Film', in English Association English Teachers` Conference 2005, English Association English Teachers` Conference 2005, University of Sydney, NSW, presented at English Association English Teachers` Conference 2005, University of Sydney, NSW, 05 March 2005

Awards

Grants and Awards

  • ARC Discovery Project 2010-2013 ($147,000) 'Film as Philosophy: What is Cinematic Thinking?' with Dr Robert Sinnerbrink (Macquarie University) and Dr Gregory Flaxman (University of North Carolina)
  • UNSW Vice Chancellor's Goldstar Award 2009 ($30,000)
  • ARC Discovery Project  2004-2006 ($80,000) ‘The Staging and Framing of Comic Performance in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries’, with Professor Jim Davis.
  • Residency at Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, France.  University of Sydney, 2004.

Grants

GRANTS AND PRIZES AWARDED

Faculty Research Collaboration Seed Grant 'Caligari's Grandchildren' ($15,000) with Julian Murphet, Helen Groth, Sean Pryor, Erin Brannigan, Robert Buch, James Phillips, Chris Danta, John Attridge

School Research Grant 2016 ($1810), Project title: Understanding Cinematic Thinking.

School Research Grant 2015 ($850), Project title: Cinematic Thinking Network Symposium: Deleuze and Cinema

School Research Grant 2014 ($3127), Project title: Cinematic Thinking Network Symposium: Cinema’s Realisms

School Research Grant 2011($2000), Project title: Cinematic Thinking and Carl Theordor Dreyer’s Ordet

Australian Research Council Discovery Project Grant (DP 1092889), ‘Film as Philosophy: Understanding Cinematic Thinking, 2010-2013 ($147,000).  First Chief investigator with CI Dr Robert Sinnerbrink (Macquarie University) and PI Dr Gregory Flaxman (University of North Carolina).

UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Goldstar Award ($30,000), ‘Film as Philosophy: An Investigation of a New Interdisciplinary Field’, 2009.

UNSW Travel Grant for Society for Media Studies Conference, Vancouver, 2006.

UNSW Travel Grant for Screen Studies Conference, Glasgow, 2005.

Humanities Research Program Teaching Release Fellowship ($30,000), University of New South Wales, 2005.

Residency (and $5000 travel grant) at Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, France.  University of Sydney, 2004.

Australian Research Council Discovery Project Grant (DP0450596) ‘The Staging and Framing of Comic Performance in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries’, 2004-2006 ($80,000).  With Professor Jim Davis.

UNSW Travel Grant for Philosophy and Aesthetics Conference, University of Essex, 2003.

UNSW Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Research Grant ‘Comic Performance in Sennett Slapstick’ ($2000), 2003.

UNSW Humanities Research Program Teaching Release Fellowship ($23,000), 2002. 

UNSW Travel Grant for What’s Left of Theory? Conference (Cultural Studies Association of Australia), Hobart, 2001.

UNSW Travel Grant for the International Association for Philosophy and Literature Conference in Vico Equense and Naples, Italy, 1999.

UNSW Travel Grant for the International Association for Philosophy and Literature Conference at University of California, Irvine, 1998.

Sponsorship from the New South Wales Film and Television Office to present paper at the 1995 Society for Cinema Studies Conference in New York.

University of Sydney Travel Grant to present paper at the Society for Cinema Studies Conference in New York.  1995.

Commonwealth Post-Graduate Scholarship holder, 1989-1992.

University Medal 1987.

Mary Makinson Prize, Fourth Year Fine Arts, University of Sydney, 1987.

Media