Richard Abel

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University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
LSA: Humanities
Screen Arts and Culture
Professor, Screen Arts and Culture
Short bio: 


Richard Abel is Robert Altman Collegiate Professor of Film Studies in Screen Arts & Cultures at the University of Michigan. Most recently he published Americanizing the Movies and ‘Movie-Mad’ Audiences, 1910-1914 (2006), co-edited Early Cinema and the “National” (2008), and edited a paperback version of the Encyclopedia of Early Cinema (2010). His current projects are Early Cinema, an edited four-volume set of reprints (Routledge 2013), and Menus for Movie Land: Newspapers and the Emergence of American Film Culture, 1913-1916.

Research summary: 

See short bio.

Recent publications: 


Early Cinema and the ‘National’, co-edited with Giorgio Bertellini and Rob King, John Libbey, 2008.

              Encyclopedia of Early Cinema, general editor, Routledge, 2005; revised and corrected paperback edition, 2010.

              Americanizing the Movies and “Movie-Mad” Audiences, 1910-1914, California, 2006.

“Charge and Counter-Charge: ‘Documentary’ War Pictures in the USA, 1914-1916,” Film History 22.4

(2010): 366-388.                 

        “‘Zip! Zam! Zowie! A New Take on American Cinema’s Institutional History Before 1915,” HistoricalJournal of Film, Radio, and Television 20.3 (2009): 421-432.



motion picture theaters,