Dr. Meredith C. Ward is a film and media historian and theorist, with a specialty in sound and sound media. She received her Ph.D from the Screen Cultures Program at Northwestern University, where she wrote her dissertation, Chatter, Reverberation, and the Static in the System: Noise in American Cinema Culture." This work won the 2016 Society for Cinema and Media Studies Dissertation Award for the best dissertation submitted to the international organization for film and media scholars. Her forthcoming book, also entitled The Static in the System, is under contract with The University of California Press and is anticipated in 2018.
Dr. Ward's interests include cultural history as it relates to film, sound theory, analysis, and aural culture, and the history of film reception. She also studies theories of social space as they relate to cinema, and the history of cinephilia. She has presented at conferences in the United States and Europe, and was a guest speaker at the Chicago Film Seminar. Her work has been included in multiple annual meetings of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, and the annual Screen conference in Glasgow. Her work has been published in the journals Music, Sound, and the Moving Image and Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film.
She is affiliated faculty for the Johns Hopkins Center for Advanced Media Studies: the JHU division that awards media certificates to humanities Ph.D. students who do extensive research in film and media. Dr. Ward teaches in this program as well.
Dr. Ward teaches on film theory, cultural theory, and the "moving image" as it is broadly defined, including cinema and popular culture, television and internet culture. She also teaches sound studies courses for the undergraduates and graduate populations. With her colleague Matthew Porterfield, she teaches a theory and practice filmmaking course. Her courses include Intro. to Cinema I and II; Theorizing Popular Culture, an upper-level seminar on the interactions between cultural theory and popular culture; Love and Film, a course on the "philosophy of love" as it applies to film as an art form; a Film Theory course based on the notion of passionate engagement with cinema's basic questions; a course on the history and practice of cinephilia; and "Mediated Listening" and "Deep Listening," courses on sound and media for undergraduates and graduates, respectively.
She is the faculty advisor to the Johns Hopkins Film Society, and advises on their annual Johns Hopkins Film Festival. She is also the founder of and faculty advisor to Studio North, JHU's own student-run film production company that funds prestigious student projects. She has served as an advisor to Woodrow Wilson fellows, PURA grant recipients, and students writing senior humanities theses.
She was a finalist for the 2012 and 2013 Excellence in Teaching Awards, and the 2016 Undergraduate Advising Award.
Meredith C. Ward's essay, "Song of the Sonic Body: Noise, the Audience, and Early American Moving Picture Culture" appears in Media, Popular Culture, and the American Century, eds. Kingsley Bolton and Jan Olsson. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 2010.
Poster for "Listening In: A Sound Symposium," a two-day event designed and organized by Meredith for JHU's Center for Advanced Media Studies. Poster designed by Matisse Rifai.
Studio North | Student-run Film Production Company designed and supervised by Meredith. Logo designed by Genevieve Ott.