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Scott Combs

Associate Professor
Ph.D. 2006, University of California, Berkeley, Rhetoric and Film
M.A., 2001, University of California, Berkeley, Rhetoric and Film
B.A., 1998, The University of Chicago, Cinema and Media Studies

Scott Combs began teaching at St. John’s in the fall of 2007.  He received his B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies with Honors from the University of Chicago in 1998, and his M.A. (2001) and Ph.D. (2006) from the University of California, Berkeley.  In the year prior to joining the St. John’s faculty, Professor Combs taught at Berkeley and Stanford University.  He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on international film history, American film genres (noir, melodrama, horror, westerns), novel-to-film adaptation, and death, dying, and modern medicine.  His research has focused primarily on the cinematic nature of death both on and off the screen.  He is currently preparing a book manuscript on the ways American cinema sees dying, tracing film death across a range of technological innovation, from the coming of story films, to early synchronized sound, to the medical use of body imaging devices.  Recently he has begun researching the political formation of the white rural poor as a category of denigration in popular culture.  He is also a published poet under the pseudonym Harlan Mackey.