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William Whittington, M.A.

Assistant Chair
Division of Cinema & Media Studies

Affiliated Divisions:

Division of Cinema & Media Studies


William Whittington, Ph.D. is the Assistant Chair of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, where he conducts research and teaches courses in film and television history, genre studies, film and Buddhism, audio culture, digital culture, photography, adaptation, and gender and sexuality in film, television and new media. Between 1993-1997, he served as the curator of the USC Warner Bros. Archives, assisting with research for various film restorations, documentaries, and books. He has also worked as an editor for Time Warner Trade Publishing and is currently the managing editor of Spectator, the USC Journal of Film and Television Criticism. 

His scholarly work includes articles and interviews on genre, sound, new media, museums and technology. His chapter on “Contemporary Film Technology” appears in the 5th edition of Routledge’s Introduction to Film, and his chapter “The Sonic Playpen: Sound Design and Technology in Pixar’s Animated Shorts” can be found in The Oxford Sound Studies Handbook (Oxford University Press, 2011).  He is the author of Sound Design and Science Fiction from University of Texas Press, 2007, and co-editor of Spectatorship: Shifting Theories of Gender, Sexuality, and Media (University of Texas Press, 2017). Recently, he served as a consultant and briefly appears in the documentary Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound (2019).


William Whittington, “Sound, Museums, and the Modulation of the Imagination” in The Oxford Handbook of Sound and Imagination, eds: Mark Grimshaw, Mads Walther-Hansen, and Martin Knakkergaard, Oxford University Press, 2019.

William Whittington. “A Conspiracy of Sound: Modes of Listening in Brian De Palma’s Blow Out” for The Cine-Files, 2015. Link to articles:

William Whittington, “Horror Sound Design” in A Companion to the Horror Film, editor: Harry M. Benshoff, Wiley Blackwell, 2014.

William Whittington, “Lost in Sensation: Reevaluating the Role of Cinematic Sound in the Digital Age” in The Oxford Handbook of Sound and Image in Digital Media, eds: Carol Vernallis, Amy Herzog, and John Richardson, Oxford University Press, 2013.         

William Whittington, “Contemporary Film Technology” in Introduction to Film Studies, 5th edition, editor Jill Nelmes, London: Routledge, 2011.

William Whittington, “The Sonic Playpen: Sound Design and Technology in Pixar’s Animated Shorts” in The Oxford Sound Studies Handbook, eds: Trevor Pinch and Karin Bijsterveld, Oxford University Press, 2011.

William Whittington.  “Sound Design for a found future: Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men.” Routledge New Review of Film and Television Studies. Volume 9.1, March 2011.

William Whittington. “Acoustic Infidelities—Sounding the Exchanges between J-Horror and H-Horror Remakes” in Sound on Screen Issue of Cinephile Journal, University of British Columbia. Volume 6.1, Spring 2010.


Sound Design and Science Fiction (University of Texas Press, 2007)

Spectatorship — Shifting Theories of Gender, Sexuality, and Media (University of  Texas, 2017)