Francesco Casetti


Francesco Casetti

Thomas E. Donnelley Professor of Humanities and Film and Media Studies at Yale. Affiliated Professor at the Yale School of Architecture


October 2019 – November 2019


On Mode of Existence of Screen and Screenscape

Through a reconsideration of some historical and contemporary screenic dispositives—from the Phantasmagoria to the most recent installations—I investigate what the screen is in its diverse instantiations.

On the one hand, we can’t delineate a screen “as such,” as if it were a freestanding device existing independently of its context. A screen is a screen when is part of an assemblage of elements and operations that triggers its action and assigns its functions and tasks.

On the other hand, a screen is also part of a physical milieu that it helps to delineate. Its presence transforms a territory into a dedicated space—into a screenscape.

Finally, the very fact that the screen is a device which is “grounded” in a territory uncovers its most basic function: it is a tool for the distribution of sensible (Jacques Ranciére). Screens not only display images; they define the modes of access to these images. In this, they are inherently political.


  • Cinema and visual media, in a perspective inspired by semiotics and cultural studies.
  • Spectatorship: the implied spectator; and the process of negotiation between the “ideal” spectator envisioned by a movie or an image and the “real” spectator. The idea of “communicative negotiation”.
  • Film and media theories.
  • Film’s role in the context of modernity, and its reconfiguration in a post-medium epoch
  • Interdependence of media and environment


Inside the Gaze, Indiana, 1999, originally 1986

Theories of Cinema. 1945-1995, Texas, 1999, originally 1993

Communicative Negotiation in Cinema and Television, Vita e Pensiero, 2002

Eye of the Century. Film, Experience, Modernity, Columbia, 2008

The Lumiére Galaxy. Seven Key Words for the Cinema to Come, Columbia, 2015

Bildnachweis: Laila Pozzo


Francesco Casetti

Kolleg-Forschergruppe BildEvidenz

Animallee 10
14195 Berlin