Ryan Powell

Assistant Professor, Cinema and Media Studies

Contact Information

  • Office:
    The Media School, Franklin Hall, M030J
  • Email:

  • Research and Creative Interests

    Film Studies, Sound and Cinema, LGBTQ Studies, Independent Cinema, Underground Film, Sexuality Studies, Gender Studies, Exhibtion Studies,



    Ph.D. King’s College London


    Ryan Powell is assistant professor of Cinema and Media Studies at The Media School, Indiana University, where he is also affiliated faculty with the departments of Gender Studies, American Studies, and The Culutral Studies Program. His research and teaching interests span film and video historiography; minor and microcinemas; audiovisual media in socio-sexual culture; queer theory, history and politics; cultural geography (with a focus on non and anti-metropolitan modalities); intersections between industrial and non-industrial cinema; spatiality and representation; and independent, underground and experimental cultural production and performance.

    His current project, titled Coming Together: The Cinematic Invention of Gay Life, 1968-1979 (under contract with University of Chicago Press), is focused on questions of film historiography, with specific interests in areas such as: the relationship between ‘gay cinema’ and gay movement politics in the post world-war II years; non- and anti-metropolitan elaborations of queer space; the use of film exhibition in the formation of publics and counterpublics; and the use of cinematic sound in facilitating historically-specific modes of affective experience. 

    Publication Highlights

    “Gothic Spatiality and the Limits of Gay Visibility in The Boys in the Band,” in The Boys in the Band: Flashpoints of Cinema, History, and Queer Politics, ed. Matt Bell. Wayne State University Press (forthcoming, fall 2016).

    “Queer Interstates: Cultural Geography and Social Contact in Kansas City Trucking Co. (1976) and El Paso Wrecking Corp. (1977),” in Queering the Countryside: New Frontiers in Rural Queer Studies, Eds. Mary L. Gray, Colin R. Johnson and Brian J. Gilley. NYU Press (2016), pp. 181-202.

    “Dressing Pink Narcissus (1970).” Rare Birds of Paradise: Costume as Cinematic Spectacle. Ed. Marketa Uhlirova. London: Ko╠łNIG (2014), pp. 306-313.

    “Liberation in Motion.” The Erotic Films of Peter de Rome. Special Edition DVD collection. British Film Institute (2012), pp. 1-3.

    “Nowhere Home: Radical Gay Rurality in Song of the Loon (1970).”
    Little Joe: A magazine about queers and cinema. Vol. 1/Issue 1 (2010), pp. 58-68.

    “Putting on the Red Dress: Reading Performative Camp in Douglas Sirk’s All That Heaven Allows (1955).” Forum. University of Edinburgh. Issue 4. Spring 2007.

    Recent Courses


    - Queer Cinema and Beyond

    - Sound and Cinema

    - Americam Independent Cinema

    - Hollywood II


    - Queer Media Histories