Jennifer Peterson’s research and teaching interests center on cinema and media history, experimental and educational films, aesthetics and ecocriticism. In addition to teaching at UCLA TFT, she is associate professor and chair of the communication department at Woodbury University where she has taught courses in media history, gender studies, world cinema, media authorship and the senior seminar. She previously taught in the film studies program at the University of Colorado Boulder, where she earned tenure in 2013. She has also taught at UC Riverside, California Institute of the Arts, and the University of Southern California.
In the early 2000s Peterson worked as an oral historian at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and briefly in the home entertainment division at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. She was a scholar in residence at the Getty Research Institute in Fall 2012. She has served on the board of the Stan Brakhage Center at CU Boulder, as the editor of Cinema Journal’s “Archival News,” and as chair of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Media Archives Committee.
Peterson is the author of Education in the School of Dreams: Travelogues and Early Nonfiction Film (Duke University Press, 2013). Her articles have been published in Cinema Journal, Camera Obscura, The Moving Image, the Getty Research Journal as well as numerous edited book collections. She writes occasionally for the “Critics’ Picks” section of Artforum.com and other journals. Her new book project focuses on the visualization of nature in American film history before 1960.
Peterson received her bachelor of arts degree from UC Berkeley, and her masters and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Chicago.