Directory Profile

« Back to Directory

Rick Jewell, Ph.D.

Hugh M. Hefner Chair for the Study of American Film

Office: SCA 320

Rick Jewell is the initial holder of the Hugh M. Hefner Chair for the Study of American Film.  A film historian who specializes in American cinema of the 1930s and 1940s, he received his Ph.D. from USC in Communication Arts (with an emphasis in Cinema).

Dr. Jewell served as Chair of the Division of Critical Studies for five years and Associate Dean of the School of Cinema-Television for eleven years.  He teaches survey courses on American film history at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, as well as courses on media censorship, film genres (the Western; the Gangster film), film style analysis (Stanley Kubrick; RKO and the Studio System; the James Bond films) and seminars on national cinema (Italian Cinema; American Film, 1939-45; American Film 1967-72, The Hollywood Studio System). 

Dr. Jewell is the author of RKO Radio Pictures:  A Titan Is Born, The RKO Story andThe Golden Age of Cinema:  Hollywood, 1929-1945 and co-author of Primary Cinema Resources.  He has also published articles in a variety of journals including The Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Film History, and Film Quarterly.  In February 2008, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences named Dr. Jewell an Academy Film Scholar.

Books Written:

Primary Cinema Resources: An Index to Screenplays, Taped Interviews and Special Collections at the University of Southern California (co-author, G.K. Hall, 1975)

The RKO Story (Octopus Books/Arlington House, 1982)

The Golden Age of Cinema: Hollywood, 1929-1945 (Blackwell, 2007)

RKO Radio Pictures: A Titan is Born (University of California Press, 2012)

Slow Fade to Black: The Decline of RKO Radio Pictures (University of California Press, forthcoming)