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.
In his book The Return of the Real: The Avant-Garde at the End of the Century, American art critic Hal Foster writes that it is trauma that allows us to escape from the traditional binary approach that plagued most postwar art: that images either refer to something or try to recreate it. Trauma demanded that contemporary art, fiction, and film make the shift from merely referencing or representing reality to capturing it. While the traditional binary for art might have been well suited...
Over the next few days (weeks?), I will post excerpts from my book Going Viral: Zombies, Viruses, and the End of the World. Taking a look at these fictional narratives before and even during an outbreak can help us see what to do and, more important, what not to do in real life. They can also remind us—even while this all feels so scary—that we have seen this before. I know this all feels like new territory, and every day the rules change and protocol is different, and I'm sure white...
Over the next few days (weeks?), I will post excerpts from my book Going Viral: Zombies, Viruses, and the End of the World. Taking a look at these fictional narratives before and even during an outbreak can help us see what to do and, more important, what not to do in real life. They can also remind us—even while this all feels so scary—that we have seen this before. Another key trope of the outbreak narrative is the emphasis on making the invisible visible. Part of this fixation stems from...