Robert Spadoni | English | Case Western Reserve University


English Faculty

Robert Spadoni

At Case Western Reserve, I teach film courses on a variety of topics.
I received my Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 2003.


My research focuses on the horror genre and the historical reception of cinema. My 2007 University of California Press book, Uncanny Bodies: The Coming of Sound Film and the Origins of the Horror Genre, brings these two interests together. It examines the initial historical phase of the horror genre in relation to the coming of sound to Hollywood cinema. I argue that the first sound horror films produced in Hollywood formalize and exploit qualities of earlier sound films as viewers first experienced them. Temporarily, persons speaking on synchronized sound film could seem strange and ghostly. I ask how these sensations infiltrated the making and first receptions of these influential horror films.

Here are reviews of Uncanny Bodies from Film Quarterly, The Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television, Film Criticism, Image & Narrative, Choice, and Music, Sound, and the Moving Image.

Some essays I have published:

"Old Times in Werewolf of London" in the Journal of Film and Video

"The Old Dark House and the Space of Attraction" in Cinémas

"Strange Botany in Werewolf of London" in Horror Studies

"The Uncanny Body of Early Sound Film" in The Velvet Light Trap

"The Figure Seen from the Rear, Vitagraph, and the Development of Shot/Reverse Shot" in Film History


Courses I have taught include Introduction to Film; History of Film—Origins to Present; Introduction to Film Genres; The Horror Film; Science Fiction Films; Hitchcock; Movies and Meaning; American Cinema History and Culture; Watching Movies—Spectatorship, Reception, Reflexivity; and Storytelling and Cinema

I welcome inquiries about film studies at Case Western Reserve, which now offers an undergraduate minor in film and an English major with a concentration in film.

Robert Spadoni image1

Here I am attending 2001: A Space Odyssey during its initial roadshow engagement in Boston. I am in the red sport jacket.

Associate Professor, Film Studies


Uncanny Bodies: The Coming of Sound FIlm and the Origins of the Horror Genre | Robert Spadoni