Marco Abel
Professor of English and Film Studies & Chair Department of English


Abel CV

Marco Abel, Will Cather Professor of English and Film Studies, Chair of the English Department, is the author of two books and over seventy articles, interviews, and critical reviews, as well as the co-editor of three books, three journal issues, dossiers, or sections, and the University of Nebraska book series Provocations (together with Roland Végső). A recipient of the American Academy in Berlin Prize, the UNL Faculty Senate's James A. Lake Academic Freedom Award, and the College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Teaching Award, Dr. Abel specializes in critical / poststructuralist / (neo-)Marxist theory as well as film history and film theory. Common to all of his work—whether on German cinema, violence in literature and film, affect theory, or global cinema's engagement with the revolutionary events of the "long 1968" and the question of political cinema—is his interest in theorizing images from what one might call an a-signifying perspective. Rather than assuming that images re-present a preexisting world against which we can measure and evaluate an image's meaning, veracity, morality, and political viability, Dr. Abel approaches signs—cinematic or otherwise—from the idea that images are first and foremost "just images, not just images" (Jean-Luc Godard): images have force and do things, but they do not—at least not primarily—bear or represent meaning; images work by their constitutive intensities and affects rather than by re-presenting something in a way that may or may not be just or justified. Hence, the question he always asks about images is less, "What does it mean?" than "How does it work?" and "What does it do?"