Karl Precoda

Karl Precoda

Advanced Instructor - Cinema Studies, Dramaturgy

Karl Precoda's cinema courses emphasize avant-garde, experimental, and documentary traditions.  Karl also serves as Dramaturg on department stage productions, including most recently Mr. Marmalade, Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike, Fool for Love,
Spring Awakening, Three Days of Rain, and Measure for Measure.

Karl is affiliated with the Department of Sociology and its programs in Africana, American Indian, and Women's and Gender Studies (where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on social and cultural theory).

Contact Me

(540) 231-9740
251-D Henderson Hall
195 Alumni Mall (0141)
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Areas of Expertise

  • Research/ Production Areas: The Culture Industry, Dramaturgy
  • Teaching Areas: Cinema History, Critical Theory, Dramaturgy

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., University of Virginia
  • M.A., Humboldt State University
  • B.A., University of California - Los Angeles

What is the most important quality for any student in the performing arts to cultivate?

A sense of the history of their art, as well as the relation of their own work to this larger history.

What is the most satisfying or rewarding moment of your artistic process?

Dramaturgy supports a variety of performance-based art forms, and I especially value the opportunity to collaborate across disciplines.  Theatre and cinema productions benefit from research into historical and critical contexts and sustained attention to their conceptual development, which deepens our engagement with the works we produce and the audiences we serve.  Musical performances, by contrast, can be expanded sensorially through visual collaborations; my most recent work with our ensembles has drawn on traditions of abstract cinema as well as experiments with the phenomenon of chromesthesia. 

Honors & Awards

  • College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Certificate of Teaching Excellence
  • Diggs Teaching Scholar Award

Recent Publications

  • "Aesthetic or Movement? Fascism, Italian Neorealism, and Social Activism through Film" (with Thomas Ratliff), in Shawn Bingham, ed. The Art of Social Critique: Painting Mirrors of Social LIfe. (Lexington, 2012)
  • "Boats and Ships," in the Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception, edited by Hans-Josef Klauck, Bernard McGinn, Choon-Leong Seow, Hermann Spieckermann, Barry Dov Walfish, and Eric J. Ziolkowski. (Walter de Gruyter, 2011)
  • “In the Vortex of Modernity: Reading Blackness, Blindness, and Insight” (with P.S. Polanah), Journal of Modern Literature 34.3. (2011)
  • “To Discipline and Publish: Scottsboro and Narratives of Delinquency” (with P.S. Polanah), Critical Criminology 17.3 (2009).
  • “Design for Adaptability (DFAD): A New Concept for Achieving Sustainable Design” (with multiple authors) in Robotics and Computer Integrated Manufacturing 23 (2007): 727-34.

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