Domietta Torlasco Associate Professor of Italian and Comparative Literature; Director of Undergraduate Studies in Italian

Torlasco works at the intersection of film theory and practice, with a specific interest in European cinema, time-based visual arts, psychoanalysis, phenomenology, and feminist theory. Her first book, The Time of the Crime: Phenomenology, Psychoanalysis, Italian Film (Stanford University Press, 2008) explores how the crisis of the detective story in postwar Italian cinema drastically redefines our understanding of the relationship between vision and temporality. Her training as a practitioner and the making of her digital film Antigone’s Noir (2008-09, 25 min.), entirely built around narrative residues and audiovisual fragments, became the catalyst for her subsequent research trajectory. Her second book, The Heretical Archive: Digital Memory at the End of Film (University of Minnesota Press, 2013), examines how digital films and multimedia installations can radically transform our memories of film and our understanding of both the cinematic and psychoanalytic archives. She is currently completing a book manuscript titled Rhythm Against Measure: Cinema, Montage, and the Time of Images, which aims at positioning rhythm as a pivotal mode of resistance to power and thus a key element in defining the relation between the aesthetic and the political.

Torlasco’s articles have appeared in a number of journals, including Camera Obscura, Discourse, World Picture, Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society, and in the edited volume Desire of the Analysts (SUNY Press, 2008). She is currently completing articles on Victor Burgin’s new projection pieces and (for The Oxford Handbook of Film Theory) on the film/video essay. Torlasco’s own video essays attempt to perform an inquiry into the political implications of a series of aesthetic operations—the framing of spaces, the tracing of borders, the delimitation of enclosures (domestic or otherwise), wherein people are asked to live together. Her recent pieces (Philosophy in the Kitchen, House Arrest, and Sunken Gardens) have screened at national and international venues, including the Galerie Campagne Première in Berlin and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis (

Before coming to Northwestern, Torlasco was a Harper-Schmidt Fellow in the Society of Fellows and a Collegiate Assistant Professor in the Humanities at the University of Chicago, where she taught courses in media aesthetics and cinema studies. At Northwestern, she teaches classes on Italian and French cinema, writing and the moving image, gender and sexuality in film and visual culture, and archival art. In the 2009-10 academic year she was the recipient of a fellowship from the Alice Kaplan Humanities Institute.