Janet Walker (PhD, 1987, UCLA) is Professor of Film and Media Studies and an affiliated faculty member of the Department of Feminist Studies. She received a UC Santa Barbara Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award in 2001.
With research specializations including documentary film and media, trauma and memory studies, and media and environment, Walker is author or editor of six books and numerous published essays. From a feminist perspective, Couching Resistance: Women, Film, and Psychoanalytic Psychiatry (Minnesota University Press, 1993) analyzes psychoanalytic journal literature, marriage manuals, pharmaceutical ads, and of course movies in order to contribute to our sense of the historical formation of varieties of psychological thought and of the ideological battles that attended their diffusion into popular culture. Trauma Cinema: Documenting Incest and the Holocaust (University of California Press, 2005) theorizes a modality of filmic representation by drawing, once again, from a scholarly framework and cultural purview: in this case, the arena of interdisciplinary trauma studies and the heated debates or “memory wars” of the 1990s about the nature of evidence and the vicissitudes of memory. Her edited volumes are Feminism and Documentary (co-edited with Diane Waldman, Minnesota University Press in the Visible Evidence Series,1999); Westerns: Films though History (Routledge/AFI Film Readers, 2001), Documentary Testimonies: Global Archives of Suffering (co-edited with Bhaskar Sarkar, Routledge/AFI Film Readers, 2010) and Sustainable Media: Critical Approaches to Media and Environment (with Nicole Starosielski, Routledge, 2016).
In the vein of media and environment or environmental media studies, Walker co-organized the 2012-13 “Figuring Sea Level Rise” theme of UCSB’s Critical Issues in America initiative; the “Climate Justice Futures: Movements, Gender, Media” initiative of UCSB’s Crossroads series; and “Water Is Life: Standing with Standing Rock,” a four-day event held in May 2017.
Walker is the recipient of a Mellon Sawyer Seminar grant for the project “Energy Justice in Global Perspective” (2017-2019) with UCSB Professors Javiera Barandiaran, Mona Damluji, Stephan Miescher, and David Pellow. She was awarded a short-term residency at the Rachel Carson Center in Munich, Germany and is working to co-found, with Professors Alenda Chang and Adrian Ivakhiv (the latter of the University of Vermont), an online, open access journal entitled Media + Environment. Her current book-in-progress concerns site-specific media, mapping, and the environment.