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Carroll, Noël 1947-

Carroll, Noël 1947-

PERSONAL:

Born December 25, 1947, in New York, NY. Education: Hofstra University, B.A., 1969; University of Pittsburgh, M.A. (philosophy), 1970; New York University, M.A. (cinema studies), 1974, Ph.D. (cinema studies), 1976; University of Illinois, Chicago Circle, M.A. (philosophy), 1976, Ph.D. (philosophy), 1983.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Department of Philosophy, Temple University, Anderson Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19122.

CAREER:

Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, Andrew W. Mellon Term Professor in the Humanities; has also taught at other universities, including New York University, Cornell University, Columbia University, University of Wisconsin, and the State University of New York at Buffalo.

MEMBER:

American Society for Aesthetics (past president).

AWARDS, HONORS:

Guggenheim fellowship, 2002.

WRITINGS:

NONFICTION

(With Curtis L. Carter) Romanticism and Cynicism in Contemporary Art: Exhibition Dates, October 16-December 28, 1986, Patrick and Beatrice Haggerty Museum of Art (Milwaukee, WI), 1986.

Mystifying Movies: Fads & Fallacies in Contemporary Film Theory, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 1988.

Philosophical Problems of Classical Film Theory, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1988.

The Philosophy of Horror: Or, Paradoxes of the Heart, Routledge (New York, NY), 1990.

(Editor, with David Bordwell) Post-Theory, University of Wisconsin Press (Madison, WI), 1996.

Theorizing the Moving Image, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1996.

Interpreting the Moving Image, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1998.

A Philosophy of Mass Art, Clarendon Press (Oxford, England), 1998.

Philosophy of Art: A Contemporary Introduction, Routledge (New York, NY), 1999.

Theories of Art Today, University of Wisconsin Press (Madison, WI), 2000.

Beyond Aesthetics: Philosophical Essays, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2001.

Engaging the Moving Image, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 2003.

(Editor, with Jinhee Choi) Philosophy of Film and Motion Pictures: An Anthology, Blackwell Publishing (Malden, MA), 2006.

Comedy Incarnate: Buster Keaton, Physical Humor, and Bodily Coping, Blackwell Publishing (Malden, MA), 2007.

The Philosophy of Motion Pictures, Blackwell Publishing (Malden, MA), 2008.

Also author of five documentaries. Contributor to Chicago Reader, Artforum, In These Times, Soho Weekly News, and Village Voice.

SIDELIGHTS:

Noël Carroll's research and writing takes in the fields of social and cultural theory, aesthetic theory, and various aspects of philosophy, including the philosophy of history, of the visual arts, of the emotions, and of ethics. He has also written on the history of early modern philosophy, and was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship to work on exploring the relationship between dance and philosophy. Film has been a particular interest of his since his undergraduate years at Hofstra University, where he began writing about theater and film for the university's newspaper. Carroll also was cofounder of a film society while at Hofstra. In an interview with Ray Privett and James Kreul for the Sense of Cinema, Carroll remembered that while in college he came to believe that "film and philosophy went together like a ham and cheese sandwich. But increasingly it seemed to me that if you wanted to pay attention to film, you would have to develop frameworks for discussing film, and though those might have something to do with philosophy, you shouldn't just assume a priori that they would." Carroll went on to enroll in the graduate cinema studies program at New York University.

Carroll had enjoyed horror films since his adolescence, and in his book The Philosophy of Horror: Or, Paradoxes of the Heart, he analyzes horror films and why they appeal to their audiences. "It struck me that certain genres, such as suspense, mystery, comedy, melodrama, and horror, are actually identified by their relation to certain emotions," he said in his Sense of Cinema interview. "As a case study, I went about analyzing horror. I began by looking at what kind of horror we expect from horror fiction…. I argued that horror was made up of two emotions we are already familiar with, fear and disgust. So I crafted my theory of the nature of horror by saying that horror is defined in terms of its elicitation of fear and disgust." In horror films, Carroll continued, "monsters are defined as things not acknowledged to exist by scientific lights. So the emotion of horror is elicited by beings not acknowledged to exist by science that are both harmful and impure." His book goes on to explore subjects such as why people would want to expose themselves to horrifying imagery and plots. "You end with a fascinating comparison between postmodernism and the contemporary horror cycle," the author concluded. He said that he had hoped The Philosophy of Horror would find a sizable audience and that he "would be able to retire on it." It did not achieve success at that level, but the book gathered something of a cult following and continues to sell well many years after its publication.

Many of Carroll's other books have also been well received. Reviewing Philosophy of Art: A Contemporary Introduction for Aesthetics, Matthew Kieran called Carroll's book "an excellent work, ideal for use as a set text for basic undergraduate courses in analytic aesthetics. The writing is admirably clear, the nature and structure of different kinds of philosophical arguments are succinctly explained and exemplified and, as one has come to expect from Carroll, a wide-ranging knowledge of art forms and history is used to good effect in the illustration of points made."

Carroll's Engaging the Moving Image is a collection of eighteen of his previously published essays on film and is in some ways a follow-up to his earlier book, Theorizing the Moving Image. In this collection, the author is "wide-ranging, theorizing about medium specificity, the nature of documentary, film and emotion, film evaluation, and naturalistic accounts of mainstream film form," reported Carl Plantinga in a review for College Literature.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

British Journal of Aesthetics, April, 1991, Derek Matravers, review of The Philosophy of Horror:Or, Paradoxes of the Heart, p. 174; July, 1997, Stephen Mulhall, review of Post-Theory: Reconstructing Film Studies, p. 288; July, 1999, Gary Kemp, review of A Philosophy of Mass Art, p. 300; April, 2002, Christian Helmut Wenzel, review of Philosophy of Art: A Contemporary Introduction, p. 211; January, 2003, Jeffrey Petts, review of Beyond Aesthetics: Philosophical Essays, p. 93; July, 2006, Anna Christina Ribeiro, review of Philosophy of Film and Motion Pictures: An Anthology, p. 317.

Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, February, 1999, D. Topper, review of A Philosophy of Mass Art, p. 1072; May, 2000, I. Spalatin, review of Philosophy of Art, p. 1634; April, 2004, M. Yacowar, review of Engaging the Moving Image, p. 1477.

College Literature, winter, 2006, Carl Plantinga, review of Engaging the Moving Image, p. 215.

Ethics, April, 2001, review of A Philosophy of Mass Art, p. 662.

Film Criticism, fall, 1996, Scott Blackwell, review of Post-Theory; winter, 1997, Scott Blackwell, review of Theorizing the Moving Image.

Film Quarterly, spring, 1989, Dana Polan, review of Philosophical Problems of Classical Film Theory; winter, 1991, Stephen Prince, review of Mystifying Movies: Fads & Fallacies in Contemporary Film Theory; fall, 1997, Justin Wyatt, review of Post-Theory; winter, 1998, Stephen Prince, review of Theorizing the Moving Image.

International Philosophical Quarterly, September, 2001, James Somerville, review of Philosophy of Art, p. 375.

Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, summer, 1989, Alexander Sesonske, review of Mystifying Movies; summer, 1991, Jerrold Levinson, review of The Philosophy of Horror; summer, 1998, Allen Casebier, review of Post-Theory; winter, 1999, review of Theorizing the Moving Image; fall, 2000, David Novitz, review of A Philosophy of Mass Art; spring, 2001, Aaron Meskin, review of Theories of Art Today; fall, 2002, Robert Stecker, review of Beyond Aesthetics; fall, 2004, Dan Shaw, review of Engaging the Moving Image.

Journal of American Studies, April, 1998, Aylish Wood, review of Theorizing the Moving Image, p. 142.

Journal of Philosophy, February, 1999, Gregg M. Horowitz, review of A Philosophy of Mass Art, p. 99.

Library Journal, March 15, 2000, Susan Lense, review of Theories of Art Today, p. 82.

Mind, April, 2004, Peter Lambrque, review of Beyond Aesthetics, p. 323.

Modern Language Notes, December, 1991, Scott Mackenzie, review of The Philosophy of Horror, p. 1093.

Parachute: Contemporary Art Magazine, October 1, 1999, review of A Philosophy of Mass Art, p. 91.

Philosophical Quarterly, October, 1991, review of The Philosophy of Horror, p. 519; April, 2001, R.A. Sharpe, review of Theories of Art Today, p. 274.

Philosophical Review, July, 1991, George M. Wilson, review of Philosophical Problems of Classical Film Theory, p. 506; October, 1991, Karen Hanson, review of Mystifying Movies, p. 663; October, 1992, Mary Devereaux, review of The Philosophy of Horror, p. 950; October, 2000, Dominic M. McIver Lopes, review of A Philosophy of Mass Art, p. 614.

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, September, 2000, Michael Kelly, review of A Philosophy of Mass Art, p. 481.

Philosophy of the Social Sciences, September, 1999, Ian Jarvie, review of A Philosophy of Mass Art, p. 416; December, 2000, Paul Messaris, review of A Philosophy of Mass Art, p. 587.

Publishers Weekly, April 24, 2000, review of Theories of Art Today, p. 81.

Quarterly Journal of Speech, November, 1990, Carl Plantinga, review of Philosophical Problems of Classical Film Theory, p. 456.

Reference & Research Book News, February, 2001, review of Theories of Art Today, p. 8; November, 2005, review of Philosophy of Film and Motion Pictures; May, 2007, review of Comedy Incarnate: Buster Keaton, Physical Humor, and Bodily Coping.

Sight and Sound, June, 1991, review of Mystifying Movies, p. 36; November, 1996, review of Theorizing the Moving Image, p. 34; May, 1999, review of Interpreting the Moving Image, p. 30.

Times Higher Education Supplement, April 3, 1998, Arthur Smith, review of A Philosophy of Mass Art, p. 27; May 26, 2006, John Mullarkey, "Dinner-Party Guests Trapped in the Matrix," review of Philosophy of Film and Motion Pictures.

ONLINE

Aesthetics Online,http://www.aesthetics-online.org/ (February 1, 2008), Matthew Kieran, review of Philosophy of Art; Aaron Meskin, review of Philosophy of Film and Motion Pictures.

Sense of Cinema,http://www.senseofcinema.com/ (February 1, 2008), Ray Privett and James Kruel, interview with Noël Carroll.

Temple University Department of Philosophy Web site,http://www.temple.edu/philosophy (February 1, 2008), biographical information about Noël Carroll.

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