Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society Organization Logo Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society

Faculty Fellow

Yuri Tsivian

Professor Emeritus in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies, Department of Art History, Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures, Department of Comparative Literature, and the College University of Chicago


Emeritus faculty; retired in Spring 2018

Yuri Tsivian studied film history in Riga (Latvia) and Moscow (Russia) combining it with studying semiotics under the guidance of Yuri Lotman (1922 – 1993), a prominent cultural scholar of the Tartu University (Estonia) in collaboration with whom Yuri has written a book on film language Dialogues with the Screen (Tallinn,1994). The author of over one hundred publications in sixteen languages, Tsivian is also credited with launching two new fields in the studies of film and culture: carpalistics and cinemetrics. The former studies and compares different uses of gesture in theater, visual arts, literature and film; the latter uses digital tools to explore the art of film editing.

Tsivian is also involved in the restoration and video mastering of silent films; you can hear his voice on the audio essay for the DVD version of Dziga Vertov's Man with the Movie Camera (Image Entertainment, 1995), on the audio-visual essay on Eisenstein's Ivan the Terrible, recorded on: Eisenstein: the Sound Years (DVD by Criterion Collection, 2001), and, both in English and Russian, on his CD-ROM Immaterial Bodies: Cultural Anatomy of Early Russian Films (USC 2000) for which Yuri received the 2001 award for the best interactive learning project from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.


Cinemetrics Across Boundaries: A Collaborative Study of Montage

2013 – 2015