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Barbara Zecchi (Ph.D. UCLA) is a feminist film scholar and videoessayist. Professor of Film and Media Cultures at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she directs the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies.



Zecchi red carpet.jpg

photo credit: Antonio Illescas 



Zecchi received a "Laurea" (BA) in Studi Linguistici e Culturali Comparati (formerly Lingue Straniere) from the Università Ca' Foscari, Venezia, Italy, a Master degree from the University of California San Diego in Hispanic Studies with a focus on gender studies, another Master from the University of California Los Angeles in Italian Studies with a specialization in Italian cinema, and a PhD from the University of California Los Angeles in Romance Studies,  with a dissertation entitled The Representation of Rape and the Rape of Representation: Sexual/Textual Violence in Spain and ItalyMost recently, Zecchi earned a Certificate in Screenwriting from the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos/ Escuela de Guion of Madrid, Spain, under the direction of Alicia Luna. In the Summer of 2019 she was trained as a videoessayist at the Scholarship in Sound and Image, Middlebury’s Digital Liberal Arts Summer Institute.


Zecchi has published and lectured extensively on European and Latin American cinemas, women filmmakers, feminist film theory, adaptation theory, gender-based violence, aging studies, videographic criticism, and on the use of technology in the humanities. 


A prolific video-essayists, Zecchi's works have been featured among the best video essays in the 2021, 2022 and 2023 Sight and Sound polls of the British Film Institute.

In 2017, Zecchi was appointed  Head of the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Professor of Iberian and Latin American visual cultures and gender studies in the Dept. of Languages Literatures and Cultures, Zecchi joined the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2005, and was promoted to full professor in 2015.  In recent years, she served as Graduate Program Director and Head of the Spanish and Portuguese Unit of the Dept. of Languages, Literatures and Cultures (2011-2015); as Director of the UMass Translation Center (2015-2017), and as Co-Director of the UMass Digital Humanities Initiative Program (2016-2017).
In addition to being the Head of the Film Studies Program at the University Massachusetts Amherst, she currently directs the Online Certificate Program in Film Studies, and the Online Graduate Certificate Program in Videographic Criticism at the same university. 


In addition to over 100 academic articles and book chapters, she is the author, editor, or co-editor of eleven volumes: the monographic books La pantalla sexuada (The Gendered Screen, Cátedra, 2015) and Desenfocadas: Cineastas españolas y discursos de género (Out of Focus: Spanish Women Filmmakers and Gender Discourses, Icaria, 2014); the volumes Tecnologías de la edad: Imaginarios cinematográficos de la vejez (Comares, Granada, 2023),  Envejecimientos y cines ibéricos (Tirant lo Blanch, 2021), Gender-based Violence in  Latin American and Iberian Cinemas (Routledge, 2020), Tras las lentes de Isabel Coixet: Cine, feminismo y compromiso (PUZ, 2017), Gynocine: Teoría de género, filmología y praxis cinematográfica (Univ. Zaragoza, 2013), Teoría y práctica de la adaptación fílmica (Univ. Complutense, 2011); La mujer en la España actual, ¿evolución o involución? (co-edited, Icaria, 2004), and Sexualidad y escritura (1850-2000) (co-edited, Anthropos, 2002), among others. She is currently working on a new monograph tentatively entitled The Gender of Film Genres. In 2011, with a seed grant from the University of Massachusetts, she launched  the open access Gynocine Project: Women Filmmakers, Feminism, and Film Studies. In 2017 she co-founded the international research network CinemAGEnder


Zecchi has a broad experience with film festivals and conference organization. She founded and has co-curated 12 annual editions of the Massachusetts Catalan Film Festival, she is the faculty sponsor of the UMass Latin American Film Festival, she collaborated in two editions of MIC Género in Mexico (Muestra Internacional de Cine con Perspectiva de Género), and served twice on the jury of Cines del Sur in Granada. At UMass, she organized the international conferences Theory and Practice of the Video Essay (2022), Gynocine: Spanish Women and Film (2011), Spanish Cinema Today (2012), Almodóvar en evolución (2013);  with Raquel Medina, she co-organized the first International Conference CinemAGEnder in Birmingham, UK (2016), and the International Workshop Aging Studies and Visual Culture at the University Complutense of Madrid (2017).

Zecchi held visiting positions in different European and American universities, as the Johns Hopkins University, the California State University, the Universidad Carlos III of Madrid, the Universitat de Valencia, Universitat de Girona, the Universidad de Cádiz, Aarhus University, Università degli Studi Ca' Foscari, and Middlebury College

Zecchi's book Desenfocadas was listed as one of the 10 books that defined a decade by the daily Spanish newspaper ElDiario
In 2017 Zecchi was elected Associate Member of The Film Academy of Spain (Academia de las Artes y las Ciencias Cinematográficas de España). 
Several of her video essays made the list of "Best Video Essays of the Year" in the British Film Institute's Sight and Sound polls of 2023, 2022 and 2021



photo: Ángel Velázquez 

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photo credit: Will DIGravio

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Barbara Zecchi  -in her 40s.JPG

photo credit: Albert Lloret 

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