Hilary Neroni came to the University of Vermont in 1999 after receiving her PhD from the School of Cinematic Arts at University of Southern California. Neroni’s books and articles engage the nature of ideology as it is represented in film, television, and other media. She considers how cultural trends reveal current anxieties and desires of the society at large.

In recent writings, for example, she has investigated the role of violence in film and on television. In The Violent Woman, she considers how violence defines gender in American contemporary film and reveals that the violent woman’s disruption of the traditional romance plot lays bare the ideological expectations that gender is complementary. Additionally in The Subject of Torture, she engages the proliferation of scenes of torture—one of the newest trends of violence—on prime time television and in film after September 11, 2001. Here, she argues that this violence reveals the culture’s dependence on the ideology of biopower.

Neroni’s writing has also long been concerned with feminism and women directors, and this comes to fruition in her Feminist Film Theory and Cléo from 5 to 7—a book geared more toward undergraduate and graduate classes—which explains feminist film theory (as well as its intersection with Critical Race Theory and Queer Theory) in the first half and then analyzes the film through that theory in the second half. Many of her articles also engage women directors such as Claire Denis, Julie Dash, and Judith Helfand.

Neroni teaches classes in many of the areas offered through the Film and Television Studies program. She specializes in classes that have a theoretical component and especially in linking theory to practice, whether that’s the practice of analyzing films or the practice of making films. She is a passionate teacher who sees the classroom as a site of true engagement.



Realist Film Theory and Bicycle Thieves book cover

Realist Film Theory and Bicycle Thieves
Bloomsbury Academic (June 15, 2023)

Feminist Film Theory and Cléo from 5 to 7. New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2016.
The Subject of Torture: Psychoanalysis and Biopolitics in Television and Film. New York: Columbia University Press, 2015.
The Violent Woman: Femininity, Narrative, and Violence in Contemporary American Cinema. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2005.



“Confederate Signifiers in Vermont: Fetish objects and Racist Enjoyment.”In Lacan and Race: Racism, Identity and Psychoanalytic Theory , New York: Routledge, Eds. Sheldon George and Derek Hook, (in press forthcoming 2020)
“The Political Efficacy of Torture in Costa Garvas’s The Confession.”In The Films of Costa Gavras,Ed. Homer Petty, Manchester University Press, (2019)
“The Truth of Atrocity: Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing, The Look of Silence and the enjoyment of violence.”In On The Act of Looking: Reading Joshua Oppenheimer’s Duptych, edited by Rex Butler and David Denny, New York: Bloomsbury Press, (2019)
"Feminist Filmmaking on Television: Lacan, phallic enjoyment, and Jane Campion's Top of the Lake."Intertexts: A Journal of Comparative and Theoretical Reflection, special issue on Lacan and culture, (2018)

"Orphan Black and the Ideology of DNA."

 Orphan Black: Performance, Gender, Biopolitics, Eds. Andrea Goulet and Robert Rushing. Intellect Ltd. Press, (2018).
“Lars von Trier’s Fantasy of Femininity in Nymphomaniac.”

Lars von Trier’s Women, Ed. David Denny. Albany: State University of New York Press (2016).

“Revelation, Not Resolution: Claire Denis’s Bastards and the Perversion of Patriarchy.”Cinematic Cuts. Ed. Sheila Kunkle. Albany: State University of New York Press (2016).
Feminism and Loss: The Short Circuits of Veronica Mars.”

Hysteria 3. “Abjection” (2014).

“Following the Impossible Road to Female Passion: Psychoanalysis, the Mundane, and the Films of Jane Campion.”

Discourse 34:2-3 (2013): 290-310.

Violence and Cinema.” Oxford Bibliographies in Cinema and Media Studies. Ed. Krin Gabbard. New York: Oxford University Press (2012)
“Documenting the Gaze: Psychoanalysis and Judith Helfand’s Blue Vinyl and Agnes Varda’s The Gleaners and I.”Quarterly Review of Film and Video 27:3 (2010): 178-192.

“The Nonsensical Smile of the Torturer.”

Studies in Documentary Film 3:3 (2009): 245-257.
“Jane Campion’s Jouissance: Holy Smoke and Feminist Film Theory.”

Lacan and Contemporary Film. Eds. Sheila Kunkle and Todd McGowan. New York: The Other Press, 2004.

Lost in Fields of Interracial Desire: Claire Denis’ Chocolat (1988).”Kinoeye 3:7 (2003). 
“Expressions of Masculinity: Violence in American Film.”Journal for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society 5:2 (2000): 256-263.


Awards and Recognition

Winner of the 2016 Peter C. Rollins Book Prize, NEPCA / ACA Northeast Popular / American Culture Association. For The Subject is Torture: Psychoanalysis and Biopolitics in Television and Film (Columbia University Press)

Honorable Mention, Best Monograph Award, BAFTSS (British Association for Film, Television, and Screen Studies). For The Subject is Torture: Psychoanalysis and Biopolitics in Television and Film (Columbia University Press)


Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Film and media theory, representations of gender and race, violence in film and on television, Women directors, documentary film/video, Feminist theory, psychoanalytic cultural theory and Marxism.


  • Ph.D., School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California, 1999


Office Location:

440 Old Mill

Office Hours:

By Appointment

Courses Taught

  • Film and Television Theory 
  • Film and Television Genre and Auteur 
  • Dev Motion Pct I: Origin-1930
  • Dev Motion Pct II: 1930-1960
  • Dev Motion Pct III: 1960-2000 
  • Intro to Film and Television Special Topics: Lane Film Series 
  • Psychoanalysis Film 
  • Readings and Reserch 
  • Seminar in Film and Television
  • Theory and Practice 
  • History of Television 
  • Theory and Practice: Montage
  • Autobiography: Theory and Practice 
  • Contemporary Topics in Film and Television: Women in Film 
  • Global Cinema
  • Documentary Film
  • Film Criticism  
  • American Film Genres: The Horror Film