Beth Capper, PhD

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Arts - English & Film Studies Dept

Pronouns: she/her


Assistant Professor, Faculty of Arts - English & Film Studies Dept


Area of Study / Keywords

Experimental Film Critical Media Studies Media Activism Prison and Police Abolition Marxism and Marxist Feminisms Social Reproduction


Beth Capper (PhD, Modern Culture and Media, Brown University) is a scholar whose research and teaching areas span media history and theory, experimental and political film, and critical theory (with an emphasis on Marxist, feminist, and abolitionist theories). She has programmed experimental film events and series at the Maysles Cinema in New York, the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago, the Cable Car Cinema in Providence, and the Metro Cinema in Edmonton. Beth is also a member of a university-based collective committed to rethinking safety on the U of A campus.


Beth is currently at work on two projects. The first, Uncommon Reproductions: Feminism, Cinema, and the Crises of Capitalism, traces how feminist experimental and documentary filmmakers responded to the racialized and gendered crises of capitalist reproduction at the onset of neoliberalism. The second project is a book-length study of the U.S. underground feminist filmmaker Lizzie Borden. Tentatively titled Get Ready, Stay Ready: Lizzie Borden and the Feminist Collective Image in U.S. Cinema, this project argues that Borden's films can serve as a lens to re-theorize the relations among cinematic form and feminist collectivity. 

Beth's writing has appeared in Art Journal, Third Text, Media Fields, TDR: The Drama Review, GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, Jump Cut, and the online forums of Film Quarterly and Radical History Review


Beth's teaching emphasizes that media and culture are crucial sites where epistemic values are at once reproduced and disrupted. She works closely with students to consider how media and culture are produced, what values they reproduce, and their material effects in everyday life. This involves an attention to close textual analysis while simultaneously asking students to engage the historical, political, social, and global relations that structure diverse media forms. Beth's teaching philosophy is guided by feminist, queer, and Marxist approaches that foreground media and culture not as vectors for the simple transmission of dominant ideological forces but rather as dynamic and contradictory sites of struggle over meaning, belonging, and relations of power.

At the University of Alberta, Beth teaches in the Film Studies and Media Studies programs. 


Beth is available to supervise graduate students with interests in media theory, film theory, the history of experimental and political film, media activism, Marxism and Marxist feminisms, Black feminisms, and prison and police abolition.


FS 333 - Experimental Film

Avant-garde, abstract and structural film. The history and changing conceptions of experimental film, with examples from the silent era to the present. Prerequisite: FS 100.

FS 412 - Topics in Film Studies

A seminar-based examination of specialized topics in film. Prerequisite: FS 100.

MST 310 - Political Economy of Media

Theoretical and cultural issues surrounding the political-economic structures, institutions, and power relations of media. Prerequisite: MST 100.

Browse more courses taught by Beth Capper