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Ryan Jay Friedman

Ryan Jay Friedman

Ryan Jay Friedman

Professor and Vice Chair


565 Denney Hall
164 Annie & John Glenn Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210

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Areas of Expertise

  • Film studies
  • African American literature
  • Critical theory
  • Twentieth-century American literature


  • PhD, Northwestern University, 2004
  • BA, University of Notre Dame, 1998

Ryan Friedman specializes in early African American film and the racial politics of classical Hollywood, while teaching courses and writing on a number of other topics, including African American literature, film theory and American film’s social histories.  

Friedman is the author of Hollywood’s African American Films: The Transition to Sound and The Movies as a World Force: American Silent Cinema and the Utopian Imagination. He has contributed essays on race, representation, and film technology and form to the collections Early Race Filmmaking in America, Hollywood at the Intersection of Race and Identity, Media Ventriloquism: How Audiovisual Technologies Transform the Voice-Body Relationship and Resetting the Scene: Classical Hollywood Revisited. Friedman’s scholarship, covering topics from Charles Chesnutt’s critique of scientific racist thought to James Baldwin’s film writings, has also appeared in a range of academic journals. He is currently working on a manuscript on African American “specialty numbers” in World War II-era Hollywood and Black independent films. 

Selected Publications

Curriculum Vitae


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