One of the nation’s leading scholars of film and cultural studies, E. Ann Kaplan, Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies, has received a Distinguished Career Award from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS), which is the largest and most prestigious organization for scholars in cinema, media, and communication studies. No more than one award is given in any year, and only 25 people have received it during the 50 years that the organization has existed.
Kaplan is a past president of the SCMS and has been a central figure in cinema and media studies since the 1960s. She received the award during a special ceremony at the organization’s annual conference in Los Angeles on March 16. Following her speech after accepting the award, she received a standing ovation from the more than 1,000 attendees.
“I know how important Ann has been to us at Stony Brook for so many years, but I was deeply impressed by the outpouring of affection and appreciation from so large a group of scholars,” said Krin Gabbard, a faculty member in Stony Brook’s Department of Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies, who attended the ceremony.
An extraordinary scholar and teacher, Kaplan came to Stony Brook in 1987 and founded the Humanities Institute, which she still directs. Her contributions to the intellectual life at Stony Brook, which by itself is substantial, is only a small portion of all that she has contributed to the discipline for five decades.
Kaplan has written many books and articles on topics in cultural studies, media, and women’s studies, from diverse theoretical perspectives including psychoanalysis, feminism, postmodernism, and postcolonialism. She has given lectures all over the world, and her work has been translated into six languages.
Her many books include Trauma Culture: The Politics of Terror and Loss in Media and Literature; Looking for the Other: Feminism, Film, and the Imperial Gaze; Playing Dolly: Technocultural Formations, Fantasies, and Fictions of Assisted Reproduction (co-edited with Susan Squier); and Feminism and Film. Her volume, Trauma and Cinema: Cross-Cultural Explorations (co-edited with Ban Wang), was published by Hong Kong University Press in 2004.