Maggie Hennefeld is McKnight Presidential Fellow and Associate Professor of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She is the author of the award-winning book, "Specters of Slapstick and Silent Film Comediennes" (Columbia UP, 2018), an editor of the journal "Cultural Critique," and co-editor of two volumes, "Unwatchable" (Rutgers UP, 2019) and "Abjection Incorporated: Mediating the Politics of Pleasure and Violence" (Duke UP, 2020). She is currently writing a book about the history of women who allegedly died from laughing too hard, considered alongside theories of female hysteria and historiographies of early cinema. In addition to her academic writing, she is a cultural critic and international curator of silent cinema.

Educational Background & Specialties
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Educational Background

  • Ph.D. : Modern Culture and Media, Brown University, 2014
  • B.A. : Cinema Studies, Comparative Literature and Literary Theory, University of Pennsylvania, 2006


  • Media studies
  • Comedy
  • Feminist theory / gender politics
  • Film theory / historiography
  • Silent cinema
  • Critical theory
  • Popular culture