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Brian Jacobson

Brian Jacobson, Professor of Visual Culture at the California Institute of Technology and Director of the Caltech-Huntington Program in Visual Culture, is a historian of modern visual culture and media. Working at the intersection of cinema and media studies, the energy and environmental humanities, and the history of science and technology, he has published widely in academic journals and publications including The Atlantic and the Los Angeles Review of Books on topics including media technologies and infrastructure, corporate and industrial media (especially in oil and gas industries), and media representations of technology and industry. Jacobson is the author of Studios Before the System: Architecture, Technology, and the Emergence of Cinematic Space (Columbia, 2015), a finalist for the Theater Library Associations’ Richard Wall Memorial Award, and editor of In the Studio: Visual Creation and Its Material Environments (California, 2020), winner of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies award for Best Edited Collection and the Limina Prize for Best International Film Studies Book. With James Leo Cahill and Weihong Bao, he edited “Media Climates,” the Winter 2021 issue of Representations. He is currently completing two books: “The Cinema of Extractions” (under contract with Columbia University Press) and “The Art of Oil in France: A Global History, 1944-1975.” He graduated from the MIT Comparative Media Studies graduate program in 2005.