DAHLIA SCHWEITZER is a pop culture critic, writer, and professor. Described by Vogue as “sexy, rebellious, and cool,” Schweitzer writes about film, television, music, gender, identity, and everything in between. She studied at Wesleyan University, lived and worked in New York and Berlin, and then moved to Los Angeles to complete her graduate degrees at the Art Center College of Design and UCLA. She currently teaches in the Film and Media department at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
In addition to her books, Dahlia has essays in publications including Cinema Journal, Journal of Popular Film and Television, Hyperallergic, Jump Cut, Quarterly Review of Film and Video, and The Journal of Popular Culture. She has also released several albums of electronic music, including Plastique and Original Pickup.
As a professor of film and media studies, Dahlia exposes her students to a variety of theoretical approaches and cinematic techniques, asking them to approach both with analytical inquisitiveness. Her aim is to pass her own curiosity on to her students, encouraging them to think across their classes and experiences to create intellectual connections between course materials and the world in which they live. She strives to remind her students that the loudest voice is not necessarily correct, and in so doing, helps them find their own.
Declared “one of the world’s leading analysts of popular culture” by renowned author Toby Miller, Dahlia writes about film, television, music, gender, identity, and everything in between. Her work can be found across mainstream, academic, and emergent channels in both long and short form. Repeatedly drawn to popular culture, Dahlia loves to analyze and unpack cultural artifacts in order to explore how they reflect social and historical issues, as well as looking at how they reinforce or interrogate common cultural assumptions.
Dahlia has written numerous books exploring aspects of film and television. Regardless of the topic—serial killers, private detectives, or even zombies—all of her writing engages directly with questions of self versus other, private versus public space, examining depictions of gender, identity, and race. She traces how these depictions evolve and examines what they mean about our changing world. In her latest project, Dahlia explores the ways haunted homes have become a venue for dramatizing anxieties about family, gender, race, and economic collapse.
When I google reviews of Tár, the first one that comes up proclaims, in all caps, “TAR is a MASTERPIECE.” Subsequent reviews are as glowing if not as effusive. Each one makes me wonder if I saw a different movie. Directed by Todd Field, who supposedly wrote the film exclusively for Cate Blanchett, Tár tells the tale of composer and conductor Lydia Tár (Blanchett) whose abuse of students, colleagues, and staff leads to the implosion of her career. Armond White’s summary of...
I was reading this morning about the backlash to one of Netflix’s latest projects, Luckiest Girl Alive, produced by and starring Mila Kunis. Despite the fact that the film contains graphic depictions of a school shooting and gang rape, there is no clear warning of either. There is no indication in the trailer, for instance, that the film will contain these types of moments, and many reviews do not mention them, despite the fact that these scenes are central to the film, leaving some...
Yesterday, my friend Dr. Lauren Donovan Ginsberg, tweeted that sometimes she wonders about “the vast, silent, unknown would-be networks of vulnerable students and scholars in academia who (a) have a harasser in common but who (b) don’t know that because harassers tend to choose & isolate victims serially and because we don’t talk about it.” This hit me like a punch in the gut because she is right. As educators we don’t talk about it because we are afraid it will make us seem ineffectual,...