Tom Gunning is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Cinema and Media at the University of Chicago. He received a PhD from New York University (NYU) and his dissertation received the Society for Cinema Studies best dissertation prize. He taught at Chicago for nearly two decades with Visiting Professor appointments at New York University, Harvard University, University of Wisconsin, Madison and the University of Stockholm (which also granted him an Honorary Doctorate). Before the University of Chicago, he had full time positions at Northwestern University and The State University of New York, College at Purchase.
He is the author of D.W. Griffith and the Origins of American Narrative Film (University of Illinois Press, 1986) and The Films of Fritz Lang; Allegories of Vision and Modernity (British Film Institute, 2000), as well as over hundred and fifty articles on early cinema, film history and theory, avant-garde film, film genre, and cinema and modernism. With André Gaudreault, he originated the influential theory of the “Cinema of Attractions.” In 2009 he was awarded an Andrew A. Mellon Distinguished Achievement Award and in 2010 was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences . His theater piece, created in collaboration with director Travis Preston (Dean of Theater at Cal Arts), Fantomas: The Revenge of the Image premiered in 2017 at the Wuzhen International Theater Festival in Wuzhen, China.