Interim Director of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies
The Joseph and Elizabeth Robbie Professor of Film, Television, and Theatre
B.A., University of Michigan
M.A., University of Iowa
Ph.D., Yale University
Donald Crafton is the Interim Director of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies for 2012-13. He also holds the University of Notre Dame’s first endowed chair for film studies as the Joseph and Elizabeth Robbie Professor of Film, Television, and Theatre. He earned his B.A. degree at the University of Michigan, an M.A. from the University of Iowa, and the Ph.D. from Yale University.
A specialist in film history, visual culture, and performance, Crafton was the founding director of the Yale Film Study Center, and served as director of the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research. Crafton chaired the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre at Notre Dame from 1997 to 2002 and 2008-2010, and the Department of Music from 2004-2007.
His books include Shadow of a Mouse: Performance, Belief, and World-Making in Animation (California 2013), The Talkies: American Cinema's Transition to Sound, 1926-1931 (California 1999), Before Mickey: The Animated Film, 1908-1928 (Chicago 1993), and Emile Cohl, Caricature, and Film (Princeton 1990). He was named Academy Film Scholar by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000, and twice has received National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships. The World Festival of Animation presented him in 2004 with an award for his contributions to animation theory. He received the University of Notre Dame's Presidential Award in 2007. He was the Utrecht University Center for Humanities Fellow at the Holland Animation Film Festival in 2013. Crafton currently is working on a book on the career of Joseph P. Kennedy in Hollywood.