Silverman, Kaja 1947-

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SILVERMAN, Kaja 1947-

PERSONAL: Born September 16, 1947, in Spokane, WA; daughter of Sam (a physician) and Emily (a receptionist; maiden name, Higgenbotham) Wall; married Michael Silverman (a professor), January, 1972. Education: University of California—Santa Barbara, B.A., 1970, M.A., 1972; Brown University, Ph.D., 1977.

ADDRESSES: Office—Department of Rhetoric, University of California, 7327 Dwinelle, Berkeley, CA94720. E-mail—[email protected].

CAREER: Yale University, New Haven, CT, assistant professor of English, 1976-77; Trinity College, Hartford, CT, assistant professor of English, 1977-81; Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, associate professor of film and women's studies, 1981-87; Brown University, Providence, RI, visiting associate professor, 1987-88; University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, professor in department of English and co-founder of Graduate Program in Visual and Cultural Studies, 1988-91; University of California, Berkeley, Chancellor's Professor of Rhetoric and Film Studies and director of film studies, 1991—.

MEMBER: Modern Language Association of America, Phi Beta Kappa.

AWARDS, HONORS: Pembroke fellow at Brown University, 1982-83; The Acoustic Mirror was named an Outstanding Academic Book, 1988, by Choice and was a finalist for the 1988 Jay Leyda Prize in Cinema Studies from the Anthology Film Archives.


The Subject of Semiotics, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1983.

The Acoustic Mirror: The Female Voice in Psychoanalysis and Cinema, Indiana University Press (Bloomington, IN), 1988.

Male Subjectivity at the Margins, Routledge (New York, NY), 1992.

The Threshold of the Visible World, Routledge (New York, NY), 1996.

(With Harun Farocki) Speaking about Godard, New York University Press (New York, NY), 1998.

World Spectators, Stanford University Press (Stanford, CA), 2000.

James Coleman, Hatje Cantz, 2002.

Contributor to Danger and Sexuality and to literature journals. Guest editor, Discourse, 1985; member of editorial board, Framework and Isis.

SIDELIGHTS: Kaja Silverman's work, according to Eric Waggoner in the Dictionary of Literary Biography, "engages and explores a variety of methodological approaches as it moves from sign-systems to literature to the cinema to visual art and back again; yet it always returns to the idea of 'possibility': that is, toward the multitude of ways in which an individual understands his or her position in the world. Throughout her critical project Silverman has questioned relationships with language, vision, and subjectivity—in short, the foundations of our perceptions of self and other." Writing in Feminist Studies, Eva Cherniavsky explained: "Since the early 1980s, Silverman's impressive body of work has traced the unconscious of the cinematic text and in so doing sought to refine and elucidate the value of psychoanalysis as a reading protocol. Ultimately, her investment lies in revising but also in re-authorizing the foundationalist project of classic psychoanalysis, which proposes to discover (to excavate and isolate) the psychic imperatives and processes from which human reality most fundamentally ensues."



Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 246. Twentieth-Century American Cultural Theorists, Gale (Detroit, MI), 2001.


Cineaste, fall, 1998, Jonathan Rosenbaum, review of Speaking about Godard, p. 58.

Diacritics, nmber 27, 1997, Mieke Bal, "Looking at Love: An Ethics of Vision," pp. 59-72.

Discourse, number 19, 1997, Rembert Hüser, "On the Threshold," pp. 3-12.

Feminist Studies, spring, 2000, Eva Cherniavsky, "Visionary Politics?: Feminist Interventions in the Culture of Images," p. 171.

Signs, winter, 2002, Amelia Jones, review of The Threshold of the Visible World, p. 565.

Times Literary Supplement, March 16, 1984.*