Nathan Roberts is a sixth-year graduate student in the Art, Film, and Visual Studies department, and the 2020-2021 Departmental Writing Fellow. As a recent beneficiary of the Merit/Graduate Society Research Fellowship from the Graduate School of Arts and Science, Nathan’s dissertation excavates the historical function of “media” as a hermeneutic for relational ethics––and argues that relational ethics ought to be a primary focus of contemporary media theory. He thereby posits a framework in which the aesthetic, affective qualities of cinematic engagement can be understood as a means by which the ethical possibilities of one’s relational situatedness can be simultaneously clarified and imaginatively reconsidered.
He has presented papers at numerous conferences, including the Society for Cinema and Media Studies and the Film-Philosophy conferences. His writing has been featured on the Los Angeles Review of Books and TIME.com, and he is the author of a memoir about media called “Surface Tensions: Searching for Sacred Connection in a MediaSaturated World” (Hendrickson, 2016). In 2018, he curated the film series “Caught in the Net: The Early Internet in the Paranoid Imagination” for the Harvard Film Archive, in partnership with the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston.
In addition to working as a teaching fellow for numerous Harvard College courses, Nathan has taught for several online courses through the Harvard Extension School. He also teachs two courses for Harvard’s Pre-College Summer Program: “Why Do Movies Move Us? The Psychology and Philosophy of Filmgoing,” and “Media Journalism: Aesthetic and Ethics, Race and Politics.”
He currently lives in Los Angeles, where he works on his dissertation with the help of his Golden Retriever, Luna.