2016-2017 Fulbright Scholar – Russia


Ph.D., Critical Studies, School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California, 2008.

Dangerous Beauty: Representation and Reception of Women in the Films of Evgenii Bauer, 1913-1917.” Dissertation Chair: Marsha Kinder. Dissertation Committee: Tara McPherson, John Bowlt. My dissertation explores the filmic construction of the feminine in the urban centered films of Russian Director Evgenii Bauer. My work complicates pre-existing notions of gender construction in Russian cinema, offering Bauer’s films as an example of a new female archetype that was being developed at the turn of the century in Russia. My analysis takes into account the social, historical and cultural influences present in Bauer’s films and posits how those female representations might have been perceived by audiences in Russia.

M.A., Critical Studies, School of Cinema/TV, University of Southern California, 1998.

B.A., Russian Language and Literature, University of Southern California, 1994.



Leigh, Michele and Lora Mjolsness, She Animates: Gender in Soviet and Russian Animation, Academic Studies Press, March 2020.

Leigh, Michele. Archaeologies of Influence: Uncovering the Women who Helped Shape the Russian Film Industry Before 1917. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press. Advanced Book Contract, expected Spring 2019.

Articles in Professional Journals:

Leigh, Michele. (under review). Death Becomes Her: the Ghost, the Corpse and the Female Body in the Films of Evgenii Bauer. Apparatus.

Leigh, Michele. (under review).Welcome to the Clone Club: Orphan Black and 21st Century Feminisms. Feminist Media Studies.

Leigh, Michele. (under review). Animating Archer, Sterling Archer: Bad Ass Spy or the Ultimate Mama’s Boy. Animation Studies Online Journal.

Lowery, Michele. (1998, December). For Queen and Country. An article on Shekhar Kapur’s Elizabeth. American Cinematographer, 16-20.

Chapters in Professional Books:

Leigh, Michele. (expected FA 2017). A Laughing Matter: El’dar Riazanov and the Subversion of Soviet Gender in Russian Comedy. In Marina Rojavin and Tim Harte (Eds.), Daughters of the Thaw: Women in 1960s-70s Soviet Cinema. London: Routledge.

Leigh, Michele. (2015). Zoia Barantsevich and the Khanzhonkov Studios 1913-1917. In Jule Selbo and Jill Nelmes (Eds.), Women Screenwriters – An International Guide (146-150). Basingstoke, England: Palgrave MacMillan.

Leigh, Michele. (2015). Reading Between the Lines: History and the Studio Owner’s Wife. In Christine Gledhill and Julia Knight (Eds.), Doing Women’s Film History (42-52). Champaign, Illinois: University of Illinois Press.

Torre, Michele. (2004). Filtering Culture: Symbolism, Modernity and Gender Construction in Evgenii Bauer’s Films. In Fullerton, J. (Ed.), Screen Culture: History and Textuality (pp. 99-112). Eastleigh, England: John Libbey Press.

Peer Reviewed Book Chapters:

Leigh, Michele. (2013). Alexander Khanzhonkov and His Queens of the Screen. In Monica Dall’Asta, Victoria Duckett, Lucia Tralli (Eds.), Researching Women in Silent Cinema: New Findings and Perspectives (pp. 162-373). Bologna, Italy: University of Bologna.

Photographic Publications

Leigh, M. (2013). Moscow, Russia. Babuska Gets A Call. In Aguayo. J. A., & Calvert, J.S., (Re)Capturing Womanhood: Perspectives and Portraits Through Mobile Photography. Visual Communication Quarterly, 20:3, 185.

Torre, M. (2012). Untitled. In Stocking, R., SIU’s Community of Resistence. Solidarity.

Torre, M. (1999, Spring/Summer). Series of photographs, In Barton, I., Fucking with Identity. Spectator. Vol. 19.

Book Reviews:

Torre, M. (2012, April). Alexander Shiryaev: Master of Movement Studies. Russian and Soviet Cinema, Volume 5, Number 3, 411-430.

Torre, M. (2006, Spring). A Culture of Light: Cinema and Technology in 1920s Germany. The Moving Image,134-136.

Torre, M. (2005, Fall). Reframing British Cinema: 1918-1928 Between Restraint and Passion. The Moving Image, 165-167.

Torre, M. (1998, September). Couffer Captures Cats. An interview with Jack Couffer about his book The Cats of Lamu. American Cinematographer, 127.

Conference Proceedings:

Leigh, M. (2017). Damaged Goods: Broken Women/Killing Machines. In Paul Booth’s (Ed.) Time Lords & Tribbles, Winchesters & Muggles: A Five-year Retrospective of the DePaul Pop Culture Conference. Chicago.

Leigh, M. (2017). Doctor Who: The Grand Narrative and Postmodern TV. In Paul Booth’s (Ed.) Time Lords & Tribbles, Winchesters & Muggles: A Five-year Retrospective of the DePaul Pop Culture Conference. Chicago.

Torre, M. (2012). Animated Music: Early Experiments with Generative Art. Proceedings of International Generative Art Conference. Lucca, Italy.

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