Assistant Professor; Director of Undergraduate Studies; Faculty Advisor, Production Club
Ph.D. (Visual Studies), University of California, Irvine. Critical Theory Emphasis.
MFA (Art & Technology), School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Kelly Kirshtner is an interdisciplinary scholar and artist whose work draws upon interests in film history, sound and music studies, critical theory, performance and spectatorship, media theory, and the history of science and technology. Her current research examines the acoustics of presence and resistance in visual media and public space, and she has also written about microphones, Marcel Duchamp, and early film and radio performance. She is completing a book manuscript about the liminal presence and perceptual control of sound recording technology in radio, television, and cinema, and has recently begun a new research and film preservation project in connection with the American Geographical Society Library. Before coming to UWM, she was a founder and editor of the Visual Studies journal Octopus.
Kirshtner’s video, sound, and installation work has been exhibited in gallery or theater spaces in San Francisco and Chicago, Newtonville MA and Pontiac MI, among others. Of particular interest to her work are agents and processes that play at the edges of visible or perceptible space, where boundaries become porous, and new relationships emerge due to movement, time, or differences in perspective— ideas that bridge her creative work and scholarly research. As curator, she has organized a number of exhibitions featuring sound and other time-based works.
Kirshtner teaches courses in sound design, audio recording and post production, film sound theory and history, film aesthetics and criticism, genre studies (horror, 1970s, documentary), taste and visual culture, theory and history of special effects, media studies, and apocalyptic cinema, among other topics.