Award-winning lighting designer Lap Chi Chu, and scholars Kriss Ravetto-Biagioli and Amy Villarejo have joined the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television as tenured professors.

"I am very happy to welcome Lap, Kriss and Amy to UCLA TFT," says Interim Dean Brian Kite. "They are all exceptional 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 incredible students in meaningful ways."

Chu has joined UCLA TFT's Department of Theater as the head of lighting design. He has designed more than 50 world premieres of new plays, including Sara DeLappe's The Wolves; Lynn Nottage's Mlima's Tale; Suzan-Lori Parks' Father Comes Home from the Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3; Rajiv Joseph's Archduke and Describe the Night; Matthew Lopez's Somewhere; Hammaad Chaudry's An Ordinary Muslim; Qui Nguyen's Poor Yella Redneck; Jen Silverman's Dangerous House; and Anna Ziegler's Actually. 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. Chu is the recipient of multiple accolades including Obie, Lucille Lortel, Ovation and Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle awards. Most recently, he was head of lighting design at California Institute of the Arts; and has also taught at Hangyang University in Seoul, South Korea as a guest professor. Chu earned an M.F.A. from New York University and a B.S. from Northwestern University.

"UCLA is one of the best research and academic institutions in the world," says Chu. "It is proudly public, situated in the heart of the global arts and entertainment capital, and ripe with opportunity for growth. I'm looking forward to interacting and collaborating with the outstanding students and faculty of the school."

Ravetto-Biagioli joins UCLA TFT's Cinema and Media Studies program from 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 co-authored book project with Martine Beugnet. She has published articles on film, performance, installation art, computational media, the 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 ARTMargins. With Beugnet, she is the co-editor of the Edinburgh University Press series in Film and Intermediality. Ravetto-Biagioli is the 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'm a proud Bruin who studied with venerable professors Teshome Gabriel and Peter Wollen. Now, I'm especially excited to work in digital media, experimental cinema and critical theory with UCLA TFT's new generation of brilliant scholars and practitioners."

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 widely in cinema and media studies, 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 author of Ethereal Queer: Television, Historicity, Desire and Film Studies: The Basics. She is co-editing, with Ron Gregg, the forthcoming The Oxford Handbook to Queer Cinema. Her essays have appeared in a range of peer-reviewed journals including GLQ, New German Critique, Social Text, Film Quarterly and Cinema Journal (now JCMS). Villarejo serves on the boards of Film Quarterly and JCMS. She regularly teaches television studies and history, queer media, feminist media studies, the history of global cinema, 3rd cinema and critical theory.

Villarejo earned an A.B. degree from Bryn Mawr College, and received an M.A. and Ph.D. with distinction from the University of Pittsburgh.

Top: (From left) Kriss Ravetto-Biagioli, Lap Chi Chu and Amy Villarejo

Posted: October 19, 2020