Cinema Studies
Department Chair:
Grace An

Administrative Assistant:
Sarah Pardee

Department Email:

Phone: (440) 775-6601
Fax: (440) 775-8684

Rice 116
10 N. Professor St.
Oberlin, OH, 44074

Office Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday: 9:00 AM - 3:45 PM

Burke Hilsabeck

Burke Hilsabeck

Visiting Assistant Professor

Contact Information


Lewis Annex 208
(440) 775-8972

Personal Office Hours:
MW 11:00AM-12:30PM and by appointment.

Burke Hilsabeck

Educational Background

  • BA, Kenyon College, 2000
  • MA, University of Chicago, 2006
  • PhD, University of Chicago, 2012

I came to Oberlin after completing a PhD in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Chicago. I came to Chicago as a Romanticist and left a film scholar. My research takes place in the domains of philosophy of film and modernist studies. My book project concerns Hollywood cinema and what I think of as its self-consciousness about its medium, particularly as that self-consciousness surfaces in the slapstick comedy. I approach this work from an interdisciplinary context, including work in film theory and history, art historical inquiry, and philosophy. The book is under advance contract with SUNY Press. 

At Oberlin, I teach introduction to cinema studies, introduction to media studies, and courses in film history to World War II, slapstick comedy, silent film history, film sound, and Turkish cinema. 

Selected Publications

“Frank Tashlin’s Jackson Pollock,” Modernist Cultures 11.2 (forthcoming Summer 2016). 

“The ‘Is’ in What Is Cinema?: On Bazin and Cavell,” Cinema Journal 55.2 (Winter 2016).

“Seeing Soldiers, Seeing Persons: Wittgenstein, Film Theory, and Charlie Chaplin’s Soldier Arms,” in The Philosophy of War Films, ed. David Larocca (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 2015).

Review of Kaja Silverman’s The Miracle of Analogy, Critical Inquiry (online