Gerald Mast

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Gerald Mast
Born(1940-05-13)May 13, 1940
DiedSeptember 1, 1988(1988-09-01) (aged 48)
OccupationFilm historian

Gerald Mast (May 13, 1940 – September 1, 1988) was an author, film historian, and member of the University of Chicago faculty. He was a contributor to the modern discipline of film studies and film history.

Life and career[edit]

Mast was born in Los Angeles in 1940;[1] his family included his mother, Bessie, and Linda, his sister.[2] He attended the University of Chicago, where he received his bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in English.[3] He taught at New York University, Oberlin College, and the City University of New York, before joining the faculty of his alma mater in 1978.[2] He chaired the Department of English Language and Literature,[4] and his donation of 300 film prints established the university's Film Study Center and Film Archive.[3][5] The university press published several of his books on the history and critical analysis of film.[3]

His works were influential in the development of the academic study of film history, including the application of the Chicago School of literary criticism to film analysis,[3] and several of his books, including A Short History of the Movies and Film Theory and Criticism, have been widely incorporated into university film studies programs.[2][6]

Death and legacy[edit]

On September 1, 1988, Mast, age 48, died at Bernard Mitchell Hospital from complications of AIDS. At a time when public figures in the arts often remained unwilling to be associated with the disease,[4] Mast requested that his obituaries include his cause of death.[3] In a retrospective in Cinema Journal, Tag Gallagher compared him to French film critic Jean Mitry, and described him as America's "film-scholar laureate".[6]

Selected works[edit]

  • A Short History of the Movies (1971)
  • The Comic Mind: Comedy and the Movies (1973)
  • Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings (1974)
  • Film/Cinema/Movie: A Theory of Experience (1977)
  • The Movies in Our Midst: Documents in the Cultural History of Film in America (1982)
  • Howard Hawks, Storyteller (1982)
  • Can't Help Singin': The American Musical on Stage and Screen (1987)
  • Bringing Up Baby: Howard Hawks Director" ed. (1989)


  1. ^ "Gerald Mast, 48; Educator, Film Historian". Los Angeles Times. 1988-09-03. Retrieved 2013-11-18.
  2. ^ a b c "Gerald Mast, 48, Dies; Wrote Histories of Film". New York Times. 1988-09-02. Retrieved 2013-11-18.
  3. ^ a b c d e Heise K. (1988-09-02). "Gerald Mast, 48, Author, U. Of C. English Prof". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2013-11-18.
  4. ^ a b Auer J. (1989-12-31). "AIDS Scourge Took Heavy Toll in '80s Decade". The Milwaukee Journal. pp. 1E–2E.
  5. ^ "About the Collections". University of Chicago Film Studies Center. Retrieved 2013-11-18.
  6. ^ a b Gallagher T. (1989). "Gerald Mast: 1940–88". Cinema Journal. 28 (3): 18–21. JSTOR 1224858.