Brian Kite, Acting Dean of the UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television (UCLA TFT), today announced the appointment of an award-winning lighting designer Chi Chu Tower, and researchers Kriss Ravetto-Biagioli and Amy Villarejo as tenured UCLA TFT professors.
“I am very happy to welcome Lap, Kriss and Amy to UCLA TFT,” said Kite. “They are all outstanding scholars who bring a wealth of knowledge, years of unique experience, and fresh new ideas to our school. I look forward to seeing how they engage and connect with our amazing students in meaningful ways. .”
Chu joined UCLA TFT’s theater department as a lighting design manager. He has designed more than 50 world premieres of new plays, including Sara DeLappe’s The Wolves; Lynn Ratingis the tale of Mlima; Suzan Lori Parks‘Father Returns From Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3; Rajiv Joseph‘s Archduke and Describe the Night; Matthew Lopezis somewhere; Hammad Chaudryis an ordinary Muslim; Who Nguyenis poor Yella Redneck; Jen Silvermanthe dangerous house; and Anna ZieglerIt’s done. He recently designed the new musical Darling Grenadine as well as the world premiere of Hilary Bettis’72 Miles to Go, both at the Roundabout Theater in New York City. Chu is the recipient of several accolades, including Obie, Lucille Lortel, Ovation and Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards. Most recently, he was responsible for lighting design at the California Institute of the Arts; and also taught at Hangyang University in Seoul, South Korea as a visiting professor. Chu earned an MFA from New York University and a BS from Northwestern University.
“UCLA is one of the best academic and research institutions in the world,” says Chu. “It is proudly public, located in the heart of the arts and entertainment capital of the world, and offers opportunities for growth. I look forward to interacting and collaborating with the school’s outstanding students and faculty.”
Ravetto-Biagioli is joining the UCLA TFT Film and Media Studies program at UC Davis. She is a film and media scholar whose work focuses on representations and theorizations of violence in film, media and social media. She is the author of The Unmaking of Fascist Aesthetics, Mythopoetic Cinema: On the Ruins of European Identity and Digital Uncanny, and is currently working on The Trouble with Ghosts, a book project co-authored with Martine Beugnet. She has published on film, performance, installation art, computer media, hacker group Anonymous, surveillance and dance in numerous publications and journals including, among others, Theory Culture & Society , Screen, Film-Philosophy, Camera Obscura, Film Quarterly and ARTMarges. With Beugnet, she is co-editor of the Edinburgh University Press series in Film and Intermediaality. Ravetto-Biagioli is a recipient of the Mellon-Sawyer on Surveillance and Democracy and the Mellon Research Initiative Grant in the Humanities for Digital Culture. She previously taught at the University of Aberdeen and the University of Edinburgh.
“For me, joining UCLA TFT is both a homecoming and a new adventure,” says Ravetto-Biagioli. “I am a proud Bruin who studied with venerable Professors Teshome Gabriel and Peter Wollen. Now I am especially excited to work in digital media, experimental filmmaking and critical theory with the next generation of brilliant academics. and practitioners at UCLA TFT.”
Villarejo also joins the Cinema and Media Studies program. She was previously the Frederic J. Whiton Professor of Humanities in the Department of Performing and Media Arts and the Department of Comparative Literature at Cornell University. She has published numerous articles on film and media, including Lesbian Rule: Cultural Criticism and the Value of Desire, which won the Katherine Singer Kovacs Book Award from the Society of Cinema and Media Studies. She is the author of Ethereal Queer: Television, Historicity, Desire and Film Studies: The Basics. She is co-editing, with Ron Gregg, the upcoming The Oxford Handbook to Queer Cinema. His essays have been published in various peer-reviewed journals, including GLQ, New German Critique, Social Text, Film Quarterly, and Cinema Journal (now JCMS). Villarejo sits on the boards of Film Quarterly and JCMS. She regularly teaches television studies and history, queer media, feminist media studies, world cinema history, 3rd cinema and critical theory. Villarejo graduated with an AB degree from Bryn Mawr College and earned an MA and Ph.D. with honors from the University of Pittsburgh.