Cassandra Xin Guan
Year entered: 2015
Cassandra Guan is a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate and Presidential Fellow in the Department of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University. She holds a BFA from The Cooper Union School of Art and an MA from Brown University in Modern Culture and Media. Her doctoral dissertation, entitled The Subject of Animation: Life and Other Political Experiments, analyzes the discursive and technical apparatuses of animation that politicized the very image of life in twentieth-century art and mass media, focusing specifically on interwar Europe, including post-revolutionary Soviet Union, and the People’s Republic of China (1956-66). Her secondary research interests include third world revolutionary cinemas, the question of emergency and catastrophe in contemporary documentary epistemology, Marxian and psychoanalytic theories of modernity, and biopolitical aesthetics in audiovisual media. Guan is the co-editor of a forthcoming Screen dossier on the question of “natural aesthetics” in film theory and the author of a forthcoming article about the Syrian film collective Abounaddara. Since 2018, Guan has been a regular visiting faculty at the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in New York City, where she also served as the Joanne Cassullo Teaching Fellow from 2017-18. Before her full-time entry into academia, Guan had been a practicing filmmaker and artist based in Brooklyn. Her works were exhibited internationally in places including International Film Festival Rotterdam, Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival, Lisbon International Independent Film Festival, Athens Avant Garde Film Festival, and the Asterisco Festival Internacional de Cine in Buenos Aires. Guan is currently a main organizer of Magic Lantern Cinema, an independent film series serving the local arts community of Providence, RI.