Ben Sampson teaches the courses “Film Authors,” “Introduction to Visual Culture” and “Film and Social Change” in the Department of Film, Television and Digital Media.
Before entering graduate school, he worked as a freelance videographer and editor in documentary films and global NGO projects. His primary area of scholarly research explores the modern intersection between media industries and cultural ideology. He has conducted research across the United States on the modern relationship between Hollywood and Christian film culture. Additionally, Sampson has also conducted extensive research throughout Europe on the Roman Catholic Church’s interaction with mainstream cinema. Given his background in videographic work, Sampson also contributes to the new field of video essays — an attempt to bridge scholarly research with contemporary production tools. Sampson has published numerous works in journals and online magazines, and he sits on the advisory board of [in]Transition, an online extension of Cinema Journal and the first peer-reviewed journal devoted to videographic work.
Sampson received his B.A. in history from California State University, Northridge, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Cinema and Media Studies from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. At UCLA TFT, he was the recipient of the Plitt Southern Trust Fellowship, the Charles Boyer Fellowship and the Dissertation Year Fellowship.