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John Bruns

Professor, English, Director of Film Studies

Address: 72 George St., room 301
Office Hours: Dr. Bruns is on sabbatical for the 2017-2018 academic year
Phone: 843.953.4957
Personal Website:

In addition to teaching courses on film, John Bruns directs the Film Studies Program, for which he is the acting advisor. He is also a faculty affiliate of the Women's and Gender Studies Program. John's book, Loopholes: Reading Comically (New York, NY: Routledge, 2013), is currently out in paperback with a new introduction. The book takes classic and contemporary theories of comedy and applies them to a variety of topics in film, literature and culture. Andrew McConnell Stott (University of Buffalo, SUNY) calls it "the essential next step in the discussion and a must for humor scholars everywhere." He recently has completed a book on Alfred Hitchcock, entitled People, Places, and Things: Navigating the Hitchcock Landscape, which will be published in 2019 by Northwestern University Press. He is also co-author of a forthcoming film history textbook.


2002 - Ph.D., Film, Literature & Culture, University of Southern California

1996 - M.A., English, University of Southern California

1992 - B.A., Film, Television & Theater/English, University of Notre Dame

Research Interests

  • Film history, theory, criticism
  • Cultural studies
  • Literary theory
  • Comedy
  • Feminist theory

Courses Taught

ENGL 212: Cinema: History and Criticism

ENGL 351: Studies in American Film (Hollywood Genres)

ENGL 370: Literary Genres: The Melodrama

ENGL 390: Studies in Film (Alfred Hitchcock)

ENGL 390: Studies in Film (Global City Cinema)

ENGL 490: Senior Seminar in Film

ENGL 560: Film Studies

HONS 391: Culture and Technology, 1869-1936


People, Places, and Things: Navigating the Hitchcock Landscape. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press (forthcoming).

"Tony Curtis in Sweet Smell of Success." Close-Up: Great Cinematic Performances, Vol. 1: America. Ed. Murray Pomerance and Kyle Stevens. Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press, 2018.

"Teaching Inception." The Cine-Files: A Scholarly Journal of Cinema Studies 9. (Winter 2015). Ed. Tracy Cox-Stanton.

"'The Proper Geography': Hitchcock's Adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's 'The Birds.'" Hitchcock and Adaptation: On the Page and Screen. Ed. Mark Osteen. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014.

Loopholes: Reading Comically. With a New Introduction by the Author. New York, NY: Routledge, 2013.

"Hitchcock's Newspaper: a Thing in the Crowd." Hitchcock Annual: Volume 18. Ed. Sidney Gottlieb and Richard Allen. New York, NY: Columbia U. Press, 2013.

"'The Proper Geography': Hitchcock's Adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's 'The Birds.'" Special issue on Hitchcock and Adaptation. Ed. Mark Osteen. Clues: A Journal of Detection (McFarland & Co.). Volume 33, Number 1. Spring 2013.

"The Map is Not the Country: Cartography in Joel and Ethan Coen's No Country for Old Men." Film Criticism. Winter 2011. 36:2.

"The Polyphonic Film." New Review of Film and Television Studies. August 2008. 6:2. 189-212.

"Baffling Doom: Dialogue, Laughter, and Comic Perception in Henry James." Texas Studies in Literature and Language. Spring 2005. 47:1. 1-30.

"Get Out of Gaol Free, Or: How to Read A Comic Plot." Journal of Narrative Theory. Winter 2005. 35:1. 25-59.