Anne Friedberg was chair of the Critical Studies Division in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California and President-elect of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. An author, historian and theorist of modern media culture, Friedberg received her PhD in cinema studies from NYU. She was on the faculty of Film and Media Studies at UC Irvine, where she was the principal architect for a new interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in Visual Studies and the founding director and programmer of UCI’s Film and Video Center.

In 2003, she joined the USC faculty, where she was instrumental in the creation of the Visual Studies Graduate Certificate and the Media Arts and Practice Ph.D. program. In 2009, she was named an Academy Scholar by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Friedberg lectured widely in the United States and elsewhere, including invited talks in Berlin, Frankfurt, Bonn, Vienna, Tokyo, Montreal, Bern, Lausanne, Stockholm, Prague, and at the Guggenheim Museum/NY, Art Institute/Chicago, and Getty Museum/LA. In 2001–2002, she was a visiting scholar at the Getty Research Institute. During 2005–2006, she was a fellow at USC’s Annenberg Center as a member of the Networked Publics research group.

Friedberg's research and teaching interests included: film and media histories and theories, old media/new media historiographies, critical theory/ feminist theory, nineteenth century visual culture and early cinema, theories of vision and visuality, architecture and film, global media culture.
Anne Friedberg

Her most important scholarly and theoretical work is generally considered to be the recent The Virtual Window: From Alberti to Microsoft, which synthesized her previous writing about movies, film, and television, and her long experience as a theorizer of forms of visual experience. Therein, she subjected the common linguistic tropes of visual representation, including “window,” “screen”, and “the virtual” to rigorous analysis, analysis that in many cases rendered commonly accepted definitions inadequate. Drawing on philosophical and theoretical texts ranging from the art historian Erwin Panofsky to poststructuralists like Derrida, Friedberg proposed that forms of static-image, moving-image, and computer-modeled representation represented significantly different systems susceptible to rigorous analysis.

She died in Los Angeles on October 9, 2009, at the age of 57.