Steven Ungar

Steven Ungar
Emeritus Professor
PhD, Cornell University
Selected Publications: 
  • Critical Mass: Social Documentary in France from the Silent Era to the New Wave. Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, 2018.
  • “From the Recherche on Film toward a Proustian Cinema.” In Homer B. Pettey and R. Barton Palmer, eds. French Literature on Screen (New York: Manchester Univ. Press, 2019).
  • “Fog of War: The Afterlives of Lacombe Lucien,” in Philippe Met., ed., The Cinema of Louis Malle: Transatlantic Auteur (London & New York: Wallflower Press, 2018), 185-199.
  • “Jean Rouch: Regards croisés sur Paris,” B: Revue de la BnF (Bibliothèque Nationale de France) 57 (2018),
  • “Céline/Malraux: Politics and the Novel in the 1930s.” In Christopher Prendergast, ed. A   History of Modern French Literature from the Sixteenth Century to the Twentieth Century (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 2017).
  • “Totally, Tenderly, Tragically . . . and in Color: Another Look at JLG’s Le Mépris.” In
  • Tom Conley & T. Jefferson Kline, eds., A Companion to Jean-Luc Godard. Boston: Wiley-Blackwell (2014),
  • “Radical Ambitions: Bazin’s Questions to and from Documentary,” in Dudley Andrew & Hervé   Joubert-Laurencin, eds. Opening Bazin: Postwar Film Theory and Its Afterlife. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 2011.    
Research Interests: 
20th-21st century French fiction, poetry, & thought; first-person narration; everyday life in word & image; French film of the 1930s; Left-Bank cinema (Resnais, Marker, Varda, & Rouch)

Steven Ungar taught Cinema, French Studies, and Comparative Literature at The University of Iowa from 1976 to 2020. His book-length publications include Roland Barthes: The Professor of Desire (1983), Scandal and Aftereffect: Blanchot and France Since 1930 (1995), Popular Front Paris and the Poetics of Culture (2005, with Dudley Andrew), and Cléo de 5 à 7 (2008). Ungar completed Critical Mass: Social Documentary in France (2018) with support from a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. Ungar’s current research is devoted to early documentary and short subject filmmaking in early postwar France. His current research includes a study of Chris Marker’s early film criticism.

Film Studies