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Mia Mask Professor of Film on the Mary Riepma Ross '32 Chair

Mia Mask, Professor of Film, received her PhD from New York University. At Vassar College, Ms. Mask teaches African American cinema, Documentary History, seminars on special topics such as the horror film, and auteurs like Spike Lee, Charles Burnett and Ava DuVernay. She also teaches feminist film theory, African national cinemas and genre courses.

  • BA, Tufts University; MA, PhD, New York University
  • At Vassar since 2000

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Research and Academic Interests

  • African American Cinema
  • Documentary History
  • Feminist Film Theory
  • African National Cinemas

Departments and Programs

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Photo: Buck Lewis / Vassar College

Mia Mask, Professor of Film, received her PhD from New York University. At Vassar College, Ms. Mask teaches African American cinema, Documentary History, seminars on special topics such as the horror film, and auteurs like Spike Lee, Charles Burnett and Ava DuVernay. She also teaches feminist film theory, African national cinemas and genre courses.

Mask is the author of Divas on Screen: Black Women in American Film, published by University of Illinois Press. Divas on Screen was featured on the public radio program "Tell Me More." Formerly an assistant editor and regular contributor at Cineaste magazine, she has written film reviews and covered festivals for IndieWire.com, The Village Voice, Film Quarterly, Time Out New York, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Poughkeepsie Journal. Her criticism was anthologized in Best American Movie Writing. She is currently on the editorial board of The Black Scholar.

She has been a Visiting Professor of Film Studies at Yale University and University of Pennsylvania. She has twice been a visiting scholar at New York University. Her scholarly essays are published in the African American National Biography; Screen Stars of the 1990s; Film and Literature; and American Cinema of the 1970s. Mask edited Black American Cinema Reconsidered (Routledge, 2012). In 2014, she published Poitier Revisited: Reconsidering a Black Icon in the Obama Age (Bloomsbury, 2014).

Professor Mask served at the Institute of International Education as a member of the National Screening Committee assembled to select Fulbright scholars for three consecutive years.

Her cultural commentary can be heard on National Public Radio.