Faculty Directory

B Ruby Rich
  • Title
    • Professor
    • Film and Digital Media Department
    • Social Documentation MFA Program
  • Division Arts Division
  • Department
    • Film and Digital Media Department
  • Affiliations Feminist Studies Department, Latin American & Latino Studies, History of Consciousness Department, Dolores Huerta Research Center for the Americas, Digital Arts and New Media
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • Kresge College Annex Building B, 107
    • Kresge Annex B Office 107
  • Office Hours Always by appointment - standard times change but usually Tues.
  • Mail Stop Film and Digital Media
  • Mailing Address
    • 1156 High St.
    • Santa Cruz CA 95064
  • Faculty Areas of Expertise Aesthetics, Film, Latin American and Latino Studies, Personal and Social Identities, Digital Media, Contemporary Art, Documentary Studies, Feminist Studies, LGBT+, Cultural Studies
  • Courses SOCD 200, Approaches to Social Documentary;; SOCD 294B, Production, Analysis, Editing;; New Queer Cinema; Film in the Aftermath of 9/11; Eyecandy (FDM 185X)

Summary of Expertise

Film criticism and history, esp. feminist, queer, Latin American, and US/UK independent.

Curating -- with past expertise in repertory, biennale, museum, and film festival curating.

Radio and television commentator -- with past experience as commentator for NPR/PRI, CBC (Canada), and the BBC, And with an Emmy for on-screen commentary and interviewing on syndicated show, Independent View. Frequent presence as "talking head" in documentary.

Film Festivals -- extensie involvement as curator, juror, selection committee member, guest speaker, etc.

Journalism -- daily, weekly, popular and specialist press.


Documentary film, global cinema, American independent film, Latin American cinema both contemporary and historical; the essay film tradition, Women's and Feminist filmmaking, New Queer Cinema and LGBT film history; film festival studies; some European and Asian cinema, esp. Hong Kong.

In addition, as Editor in chief of Film Quarterly, Prof. Rich also has expertise in publishing, the state of film and media theory, and canon formation.

She has written about films (The Times of Harvey Milk, Blue Is The Warmest Color) for the Criterion Collection and has provided film commentary for All Things Considered on NPR, most recently in spring 2016 to discuss Dheepan. Previously, she was a commentator for the CBC in Canada and for PRI's "The World," in both cases providing live or live-to-tape radio commentary for national radio services on a multi-year basis.

On television, she has provided commentary as well as interviews. She won an Emmy for her work on Independent Lens (KQED) in 2002, and has also hosted programs on IFC and Sundance channels. She is an expert commentator in numerous documentaries, most recently in Feelings Are Facts: The Life of Yvonne Rainer by Jack Walsh (2015). She appeared on television twice with Roger Ebert and is a member of the SAG-AFTRA union.


Research Interests

Documentary film, global cinema, American independent film, Latin American cinema, the essay film tradition, Women's and Feminist filmmaking, New Queer Cinema and LGBT film history, cinephilia, slow cinema, film festival studies.

Biography, Education and Training

B. Ruby Rich is a Professor of Film and Digital Media, specializing in the Social Documentation graduate program. She is also Editor of Film Quarterly (UC Press), the oldest film journal in the U.S. With a long history in film festival curating, museum exhibition, and public philanthropy before entering academia, she continues to participate in panels and juries at such major film festivals as Sundance, Toronto, and Provincetown. She is the author of New Queer Cinema: The Director's Cut (1998) and Chick Flicks: Theories and Memories of the Feminist Film Movement (1998), both from Duke Univ. Press.

She has been awarded the Distinguished Career Service Award by the Society of Cinema and Media Studies, a Mellon Fellowship in the Arts at Columbia University, a Rockefeller Fellowship in the Humanities by New York University, a National Endowment for the Arts critics award, the James Brudner Memorial Award from Yale University, the Guadalajara Film Festival's Queer Icon award, and the Frameline Award for contributions to LGBT culture.

Prof. Rich was featured in the British Film Institute's journal, Sight and Sound, as one of the 25 most important women film critics:


In 2017, she was honored by the Barbican Center and Birkbeck College, London, wtih the retrospective "Being Ruby Rich."

In 2018, she was elected a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Documentary Branch.



Honors, Awards and Grants

Society for Cinema and Media Studies Distinguished Career Award
Mellon Fellowship in the Arts, Columbia University
Frameline Award
Yale University James Brudner Memorial Award
Camargo Foundation Residency Award
Guadalajara Film Festival Queer Icon Maguey Award
Rockefeller Fellowship in the Humanities at the NYU Center for Media, Culture and History
National Endowment for the Arts Critic's Award

Teaching Interests

Social documentation
Feminist film
New queer cinema
Latin American film
Politics of film consumption (film festivals, cinephilia)