Visiting Scholars, 2009-10

Tamara Lea Spira

Tamara Lea Spira received her PhD in the History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies Departments at UC Santa Cruz and is currently a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Davis in the Departments of Cultural Studies and Spanish.Her research interests include feminist and postcolonial theory, critical theories of race, sexuality and subjectivity, critical prison studies, transformative justice and the cultural politics of neoliberalism in Latin America and the United States. Her dissertation, which she is currently turning into a book manuscript, theorizes the cultural and affective politics of neoliberalism through a transnational study of revolutionary memoirs and novels in Chile and the United States. She is currently involved in two additional research projects: The first is an in-depth study of a prison in Northern Chile, which intermittently served as a concentration camp for leftists and “sexual dissidents” throughout the twentieth century and was converted into a hotel after the formal transition to democracy. Her second project examines the relationship between legacies of dictatorship in the Southern Cone and the rise of Zionism. Her publications include “Intimate Investments: Homonormativity, Global Lockdown, and the Seductions of Empire” (co-authors Agathangelou and Bassichis, The Radical History Review, 2008); “Global Sexualities, Transnational Desires: Towards an International Sexuality Studies in a Time of Empire” (Blackwell, forthcoming) and essays in the anthologies Transnational Resistance: Experience and Experiment in Contemporary Women’s Writing (forthcoming) and Sustainable Feminisms (Elsevier, 2007).

Mieko Tsukamoto

Mieko Tsukamoto is a visiting scholar from Surugadai University in Japan, She has been working on the  area of Intercultural Education, focusing particularly on media literacy and education through media. Since 2003 she has produced more than 90 cable TV programs with her students as part of her curriculum.  All of these programs are available online: (,   In 1994 she started to use films to teach English (dubbing films as an English learning tool). This project was popular among students and improved their listening and speaking skills.  She is also  interested in the area of multi-cultural society, especially how to foster awareness of diversity and cultural identity.

Julie Turnock

Julie Turnock recently completed her PhD at the University of Chicago in the Committee for Cinema and Media Studies. She is completing a book, Plastic Reality: Special Effects, Art and Technology in 1970s US Filmmaking (for University of California Press) which argues that the 1970s intensification of special effects practice initiated a technological, aesthetic, and narrative upheaval in filmmaking as significant as the introduction of sound in the late 1920s. This study’s careful attention to the technology and aesthetics of special effects more importantly refocuses and recontextualizes many current debates around the post-classical.

The current research project shifts focus to special effects practice c. 1930-1965, in the classical Hollywood studio era. In particular, it concentrates on the mainstream of photoreal composite techniques developed to suit the “classical Hollywood cinema,” and more generally the history of photorealism as a style. This project will examine the often unnoticed composite special effects work in the many Westerns, women’s pictures, crime thrillers, comedies, historical dramas, etc. in order to provide a strongly needed historical base line for both the standard and exceptional composite practices.

Additionally, Julie has research and teaching interests in silent film, spectacle, experimental film, melodrama, and animation, among others.