SMU Libraries congratulates Dr. Jacqueline Stewart, film curator, archivist and scholar, on her recent 2021 MacArthur Fellowship. Dr. Stewart has published extensively on black film and filmmaking in the United States. In her video post for the MacArthur Foundation, Dr. Stewart describes her interest in the genre of black films from the early 1920s – 1930s.
Dr. Stewart has visited SMU for at least two events. In 2011, she spoke as a guest lecturer for the Comini series, sponsored by the art history department. In her talk, “Discovering’ Black Film History: Tracing the Tyler, Texas Black Film Collection,” she warned of the easy appeal to label these, or any, films as rediscovered along with the danger of neglecting them in an archive.
Dr. Jacqueline Stewart’s MacArthur “Genius grant” is a tribute to her important scholarship on the Black-audience movies of the 1920s-1940s, her archival work, and dedication to teaching a broadening and inclusive history of American cinema. No one else in the history of academic cinema and media studies has achieved the positions of influence she has attained in the past two years: Regular host of TCM’s Silent Sunday Nights, Chief artistic and programming officer for the new Hollywood Academy Museum of Motion Picture History, and MacArthur research grant fellow. In each capacity, she is, and will be, a powerful and influential teacher.
– Professor Rick Worland, Division of Film & Media Arts
More recently, she has written about the Tyler Film Collection in the G. William Jones Film and Video Collection. With Yale scholar, Charles Musser, Dr. Stewart curated the films and wrote accompanying materials for the Pioneers of African American Cinema box DVD set, of which the Tyler Film Collection is included. This collection is available for viewing through the Hamon Arts Library.
Image of Dr. Stewart: © MacArthur Foundation.