Film Studies Program


A camera lens

Michelle Chilcoat (program co-director)

Michelle Chilcoat (Associate Professor, Modern Languages and Literatures) writes on the construction of gendered identity in French and Francophone literature and film. She has published articles and book chapters on the films of Francois Ozon, cyberpunk cinema, French identity in colonial Martinique, and classical French literature. She is currently translating a novel by French-Camaroonian writer, Leonora Miano. Besides teaching French and Francophone film and literature, she offers courses on French philosophy and science, and representations of gender and the body.

James A. de Sève (Artist-in-Residence)

James A. de Sève (Lecturer in Film Studies, Artist-in-Residence) is an award-winning filmmaker and artist-in-residence in Union College’s Film Studies program. His films have appeared on PBS, Netflix, Fox, Canal+, Logo, CBC Canada and other worldwide outlets, in coast-to-coast movie theater release by Roadside Attractions and in over 100 international film festivals including Tribeca, the Flaherty Film Seminar, HotDocs, IDA, Montreal Festival of World Film, Taiwan International, Tokyo International and many more. He has received grants from the Independent Feature Project, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, the Stonewall Fund, the Marcelle Foundation and others.  His production clients have included MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1 and the American Museum of Natural History.  For ten years he served on the board of the New York Media Alliance and the Sanctuary for Independent Media. He taught for nine years at Film Video Arts in Manhattan.  Stephen Holden of the NY Times reviewed his film Tying the Knot, winner of eleven festival awards, calling it “wrenching and skillful.” Variety called the film “a lively and cogent doc.” Tying the Knot received four stars from the Christian Science Monitor, The Washington Post and the LA Times. (  De Sève’s film on Indonesian singing dove competitions titled ManDove (, which he produced with his husband and filmmaking partner Kian Tjong, has screened in anthropology departments and ethnographic and documentary film festivals around the world including in Moscow, Kazan, Iran, China, Japan, Uruguay and Argentina.  De Sève holds a BA in Fine Arts from SUNY Albany and an MFA in Integrated Electronic Arts from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he was given a full scholarship and awarded the graduate Morris Award.  He and Tjong are currently preparing to release The Mama Sutra, a poetic and personal film about a Chinese mother and sons’ heartwarming attempts at mutual understanding.

Andrew Feffer (program co-director)

Andrew Feffer (Professor of History, co-director Film Studies) specializes in the intellectual and cultural life of the United States since the Civil War, and teaches two courses on the history of Hollywood film. He is the author of The Chicago Pragmatists and American Progressivism (Cornell University Press, 1993) and articles on American cultural, intellectual and urban history.

Members of the Film Studies Advisory Committee include:

  • Claire Bracken (English) (PhD, University College, Dublin)
  • Andrew Burkett (English) (PhD, Duke University)
  • William Finlay (Theater) (MFA, University of Connecticut)
  • Lori Marso (Political Science) (PhD, New York University)
  • Erika Nelson (Modern Languages and Literatures) (PhD, University of Texas – Austin)
  • David Ogawa (Visual Arts) (PhD, Brown University)
  • Fernando Orellana (Visual Arts) (MFA, Ohio State University)
  • Stacie Raucci (Classics) (PhD, University of Chicago)
  • Charles Steckler (Theater) (MFA, Yale University)
  • Jenelle Troxell (English) (PhD, Columbia University)