Barbara Zecchi, Professor of Film Studies (area of Visual and Performance Studies, Spanish and Portuguese Program), Dept. of Languages Literatures and Cultures, and Director of the Film Studies Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is a feminist film scholar, film critic, film festival curator, and video-essayist. 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.
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. More recently she taught for the Master Programs of the University of Valencia and the University of Girona.
Zecchi 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. In 2016 she became Associate Member of The Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences of Spain (Academia de las Artes y las Ciencias Cinematográficas de España).
In addition to numerous journal articles, book chapters, film reviews, and videographic essays, she is the author of nine 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. She has lectured extensively at national and international conferences in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Spain, Catalonia, Portugal, Italy, and United Kingdom.
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. Zecchi has a broad experience with Film Festivals. She founded and has co-curated the 12 annual editions of the Umass Catalan Film Festival, she is the faculty sponsor of the UMass Latin American Film Festival, and collaborated in two editions of MIC Género (Muestra Internacional de Cine con perspectiva de Género) in Mexico. She also served on the jury of the Festival Cines del Sur in Granada (Official Jury in 2014, and Flecos Award Jury in 2017). In 2018 she attended Cines del Sur as Caiman Cuadernos de Cine's correspondent and film critic. In relation with the film festivals, she co-organized a master class series taught by a broad array of international filmmakers such as Neus Ballús, Carla Subirana, Montse Armengou, Judit Colell, Carlos Marqués-Marcet, from Catalonia; Patricia Ferreira, Inés París, Margarita Alexandre, from Spain; Ana Alpizar, from Cuba; Luis Argueta, from Guatemala; and Matías Bize from Chile, among others).
Zecchi has taught at different universities in Europe (University of Carlos III of Madrid, Universitat de Valencia, Universidad of Girona) and in the US (Johns Hopkins University, the California State University, the University of Massachusetts Amherst). She has offered graduate and undergraduate courses on Italian, Iberian, and Latin American Cinemas; feminist film theory; adaptation theory; women filmmakers; aging studies; and the theory and practice of videographic criticism.
Open Access Resources
In 2011 she launched the Digital Humanities Project Gynocine: Feminism, Women Filmmakers and Film Studies that she is currently directing. Through open access resources (biographies, filmographies, interviews, sillabi, etc.), the goal of the project is to give visibility to women in cinema and provide students of cinema with useful tools for their research. This Faculty Profile is also open access and can be freely used.