Margaret D Hennefeld

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Cultural Stdy/Comparative Literature .
146B Nicholson Hall

216 Pillsbury Dr SE

Maggie Hennefeld is an Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She is author of "Specters of Slapstick and Silent Film Comediennes" (Columbia UP, 2018) and co-editor of Unwatchable (Rutgers UP, 2019).

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

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


  • Comedy
  • Film theory / historiography
  • Feminist theory / gender politics
  • Silent cinema
  • Critical theory
  • Popular culture
  • Media studies
Courses Taught
  • Comedy: Text and Theory
  • Cinema
  • Historiography of the Moving Image
  • Advanced Film Analysis
  • Dangerous Women
Research & Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Co-Curator of "Nasty Women of Silent Cinema" (silent film program at Pordenone Giornate del Cinema Muto, 2017):
  • Co-Editor of Overview Essays: Women Film Pioneers Project , 2016
  • Co-Curator: "Genders of Laughter" Film Program and Symposium (TIFF Bell Lightbox, Toronto) , Oct. 2014
  • Co-Organizer: Feminist & Women's Media Festival (Brown University, Providence, RI) , March, 2014
  • Steering Committee: Comedy and Humor Studies Scholarly Interest Group (Society of Cinema and Media Studies) , 2014-present
  • Curator: "The Slapstick Show" (Magic Lantern Film Series, Providence, RI) , April, 2012
  • Co-Organizer: Terror and the Inhuman Conference (Brown University, Providence, RI) , Oct. 2012
  • Co-Organizer: The Women's Film Festival (Providence, RI) , Oct. 2010
  • Editorial Assistant: differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies , 2013 - 2014


  • Abjection Incorporated: Mediating the Politics of Pleasure and Violence (volume co-editor): (forthcoming, Duke University Press)


  • Screenwriter: "Distracted Spectators",
  • Film Critic / Writer: Slant Magazine, Film Comment, Highbrow,
  • Specters of Slapstick and Silent Film Comediennes. Hennefeld, Margaret, Columbia University Press, Author, 2018. LinkImage
  • Death from Laughter, Female Hysteria, and Early Cinema: Hennefeld, Margaret, Duke University Press, differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies, 27.3 45-92, 2016. Link
  • Slapstick Comediennes in Transitional Cinema: Between Body and Medium: Hennefeld, Margaret, Camera Obscura: Feminism, Culture, and Media Studies, 86 , Sept., 2014. Link
  • Destructive Metamorphosis: The Comedy of Female Catastrophe and Feminist Film Historiography: Hennefeld, Margaret, Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture, 36 , Nov., 2014. Link
  • Women's Hats and Silent Film Spectatorship: Between Ostrich Plume and Moving Image: Hennefeld, Margaret, Indiana University Press, Film History: An International Journal, 28.3 24-53, 2016. Link
  • Laughter in the Age of Trump: Hennefeld, Margaret, Flow Journal: A Critical Forum on Television and Media Culture, 2016. Link
  • Miniature Women, Acrobatic Maids, and Self-Amputating Domestics: Comediennes of the Trick Film: Hennefeld, Margaret, Early Popular Visual Culture, 13.2 , May, 2015. Link
  • The Politics of Hyper-Visibility in Leni Riefenstahl's 'The Blue Light': Hennefeld, Margaret, Women and the Silent Screen Conference VI Proceedings, 2013.
  • The Geopolitics of Narrative Parody in Ulrike Ottinger's 'Johanna d'Arc of Mongolia': Hennefeld, Margaret, Media Fields, 3 , Summer 2011. Link
  • Matrimony's Speed Limit (1913): Expanded Essay for the National Film Registry: Hennefeld, Margaret, Library of Congress Website. Link
  • The Exploits of Elaine (1914): Expanded Essay for the National Film Registry: Hennefeld, Margaret, Library of Congress Website. Link
  • Cissy Fitzgerald: Career Profile: Hennefeld, Margaret, Women Film Pioneers Project. Link
  • Book Review, "The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning": Hennefeld, Margaret, Projections: The Journal for Movies and Mind, May 2013. Link
  • Book Review, "The Queen of Vaudeville: The Story of Eva Tanguay": Hennefeld, Margaret, Journal of American Humor Studies, 2014. Link
  • Visiting Member, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Historical Studies, Princeton, NJ, 2018 - 2019
  • U of Minnesota Grant-in-Aid, 2017 - 2019
  • Faculty Residential Fellow, Institute for Advanced Study, University of Minnesota, Fall 2016
  • Jack Rosenbalm Prize for American Humor (American Humor Studies Association), 2016
  • Faculty Imagine Fund Recipient, 2016
  • Annette Kuhn Essay Award (Screen Journal), 2015
  • Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship, Jackman Humanities Center, University of Toronto, 2014 - 2015
  • Program for the Arts Grant, Jackman Humanities Institute , 2014
  • Mary J. Langlois Dissertation Prize (Brown University) , 2014
  • Andrew Mellon Foundation Fellowship to lead research workshop on "Image Spectrality", 2011 - 2012
  • Pordenone Giornate Collegium Scholarship , 2012 - 2013
  • Pembroke Center Graduate Fellowship (Brown University), 2010 - 2011