Barbara Zecchi, Professor of Iberian and Latin American cinemas in the Dept. of Languages Literatures and Cultures, and Director of the Film Studies Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is a film scholar, film critic, film festival curator, and video-essayist. She has published and lectured extensively on European and Latin American cinemas, women filmmakers, feminist film theory, adaptation theory, gender and aging studies, videographic criticism, and on the use of technology in the humanities. Since 2016 she has served as Associate Member of The Film Academy of SPain (Academia de las Artes y las Ciencias Cinematográficas de España).
Born in London, and raised in Italy, she received a "laurea" (BA) in Studi Linguistici e Culturali Comparati from the Università di Venezia, Italy, an MA from the University of California San Diego in Spanish Studies with a focus on women writers, another MA 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 Italy. Most recently, she earned a Certificate in Screenwriting from the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos/ Escuela de Guion of Madrid, Spain, and she was trained as a video-essayist at the "Scholarship in Sound and Image" at Middlebury College.
After teaching at different universities in Europe and in the US (such as the Johns Hopkins University, the California State University, or the Universidad Carlos III of Madrid), Barbara 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 2017, she was appointed Director of the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies of the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
In addition to numerous journal articles, book chapters, film reviews, and videographic essays, she authored or co-authored ten 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 edited or co-edited volumes 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 (Complutense, 2011); La mujer en la España actual, ¿evolución o involución? (Icaria, 2004), and Sexualidad y escritura (1850-2000) (Anthropos, 2002), among others. She is currently working on a new monograph tentatively entitled The Gender of Film Genres. In 2011 she launched the Digital Humanities Project Gynocine: Women Filmmakers Across the World that she is currently directing. She founded the Umass 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, and served on the jury of Cines del Sur in Granada. At UMass, she organized the international conferences "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 is the co-founder and vice-president of the international research network CinemAGEnder.