Location: Bowdoin / Aviva Briefel


Aviva Briefel

Professor of English and Cinema Studies

Contact Information

205 Massachusetts Hall

Current teaching schedule available on the public course finder.

Aviva Briefel


  • Ph.D., Harvard University, 2000

Teaching areas

  • Victorian literature and culture; the horror film; women and film; cinematic adaptation.

Research interests

  •  Narratives of art forgery, the horror film, Victorian empire and the body, and the Victorian gothic.


Book Projects:

The Racial Hand in the Victorian ImaginationCambridge University Press (September 2015)

Horror after 9/11 World of Fear, Cinema of Terror.  Volume on the politics of the horror film, co-edited with Sam J. Miller, University of Texas Press (November 2011)

 "The Deceivers: Art Forgery and Identity in the Nineteenth Century", Cornell University Press (2006)

Aviva Briefel - The Racial Hand in the Victorian Imagination Part of Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture Horror after 9/11 World of Fear, Cinema of Terror Edited by Aviva Briefel and Sam J. Miller The Decievers Cover

Journal Articles and Book Chapters:

"Mickey Horror: Escape from Tomorrow and the Gothic Attack on Disney," Film Quarterly 68.4 (Summer 2015): 36-43.

“On the 1886 Colonial and Indian Exhibition.”  BRANCH.  branchcollective.org.

The Men Who Knew Too Much: Henry James and Alfred Hitchcock (Oxford UP, 2012).

“The Potter’s Thumb/The Writer’s Hand: Manual Production and Victorian Colonial Narratives,” Novel 42.2 (2009): 253-60.

“Cosmetic Tragedies: Failed Masquerade in Wilkie Collins’s The Law and the Lady,” Victorian Literature and Culture 37 (2009): 463-81.

“What Some Ghosts Don’t Know: Spectral Incognizance and the Horror Film,” Narrative 17.1 (Jan. 2009): 95-108.

 “Take Me: The Rhetoric of Donation,” The Anatomy of Body Worlds: Critical Essays on Gunther von Hagens’ Plastinated Cadavers, eds. T. Christine Jespersen, Alicita Rodríguez, and Joseph Starr (Jefferson, NC:  McFarland, 2008).

The Men Who Knew Too Much: Henry James and Alfred Hitchcock (Oxford UP, 2012).“Hands of Beauty, Hands of Horror: Fear and Egyptian Art at the Fin de Siècle,” Victorian Studies 50.2 (2008): 263-71.

"Monsters and Critics," Film Quarterly 61.3 (2008).

"Christina Rossetti," Encyclopedia of British Literary History, Oxford University Press.

"Monster Pains: Masochism, Menstruation, and Identification in the Horror Film," Film Quarterly 58.3 (2005)
Abstract | PDF (194 KB) | PDF Plus (222 KB)

"Tautological Crimes: Why Women Can't Steal Jewels," Novel 37.1/2 (2004)

Review of Mighall, Robert, A Geography of Victorian Gothic Fiction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999). Nineteenth-Century Contexts 25.3 (2003).

Horror Film Cover"Illusory Idols/Sacred Objects: The Fake in Freud's 'The Moses of Michelangelo,'" American Imago 60.1 (2003). To be reprinted in a collection by Cambridge Scholars Press.
( Access article in HTML » locked muse members only )
( Access article in PDF » locked muse members only )

"'How much did you pay for this place?': Fear, Entitlement, and Urban Space in Bernard Rose's Candyman," Camera Obscura 37 (1997). Co-authored with Sianne Ngai. Reprinted in The Horror Film Reader, eds. Alain Silver and James Ursini (New York: Limelight Editions/Proscenium Publishers, 2000).