Political Science Department
Lori Marso May 2019

Lori Jo Marso

Job Title
Doris Zemurray Stone Professor of Modern Literary and Historical Studies
Professor of Political Science
American Studies Program Director
Lippman Hall 110

Research interests

Political theory : feminist, postcolonial, African American political thought; and Film

Current Project:


Belgian/French director Chantal Akerman’s films are my touchstone for highlighting the power of discomforting feelings in feminist film. Feminist film theorists and feminist directors have focused on increasing race and gender diversity, breaking harmful stereotypes, and creating a body of avant-garde alternative cinema. My book suggests instead that it is the solicitation of discomforting feelings, depicted in characters onscreen and felt by viewing spectators, that could trigger desire for political change. Bodily sensations of suffocation, boredom, shame, cringe, and ambivalence are feminist film’s most powerful tool for transforming women’s relationships to each other and to political action. Such feelings force us to examine attachments—to raced and colonial hierarchies, fantasized ideas of motherhood and romance, individualized and autonomous notions of freedom—that must be left behind in order to embrace a relational freedom that values care, connection, and equality.

Teaching interests

Feminist Film, African American Political Thought, Legacies of Malcolm X, Reading Female Figures: Antigone, Medea, Cassandra, Theories of Judgment, Politics and Violence.

Additional media

Academic credentials

B.S., University of South Dakota; M.S., London School of Economics; Ph.D., New York University