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School of Cinematic Arts Directory Profile

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J.D. Connor, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Cinematic Arts
Director of Graduate Studies
Research areas: Contemporary Hollywood, Studio Economics, Media Industries, Production Design, Comedy

Affiliated Divisions:

Division of Cinema & Media Studies


J.D. Connor is an Associate Professor in the Division of Cinema and Media Studies and received his PhD in from the Humanities Center at Johns Hopkins University. Prior to joining USC in 2016, he was on the Art History and Film & Media Studies faculties at Yale and the Visual & Environmental Studies and English faculties at Harvard. His research and teaching focus on the art and industry of contemporary Hollywood. He is the author of Hollywood Math and Aftermath: The Economic Image and the Digital Recession and The Studios after the Studios: Neoclassical Hollywood, 1970–2010.

Other work has been published in journals such as Jump Cut, Media Industries, The Journal of Visual Culture, Media Fields, FlowTV, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. His work has also appeared in edited volumes that include Reading Capitalist Realism, Film and the American Presidency, and the volumes on Directing and Art Direction and Production Design in the Behind the Silver Screen series. He is working on a history of tape recording, Archives of the Ambient; an exploration of contemporary comedy, Comedy Equals Comedy Plus Time; and a study of the theory and practice of cinematic worldbuilding.  He is a founding member of Post•45 (, a collective of scholars of American literature and culture. At USC, he is an organizer of the Sound Studies Working Group. He tweets @jdconnor and his website is


“Rebel Yale: Reading and Feeling Hillbilly Elegy,” with Florence Dore and Dan Sinykin, Los Angeles Review of Books, Jan. 10, 2018,

“Variety Show: Twin Peaks: The Return,” Los Angeles Review of Books, Sept. 18, 2017, 

“Independence and the Consent of the Governed: The Systems and Scales of Under the Skin,” Jump Cut, 57 (Fall 2016), special cluster on Under the Skin.

“The Sony Hack: Data and Decision in the Contemporary Studio,” Media Industries, 2:2 (Nov. 2015), 42–58,


Hollywood Math and Aftermath: The Economic Image and the Digital Recession (Bloomsbury, 2018)

The Studios after the Studios: Neoclassical Hollywood, 1970–2010 (Stanford University Press, 2015).