Fall and Spring Series

Fall and Spring Schedule
April -Cartoon Series

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS

RUTH BIENSTOCK ANOLIK teaches English and Western culture at Villanova and Temple University. She is writing a book about power and politics in the Gothic novel. Ruth facilitates the Hebrew Bible Study Group at Villanova and is a past member of the Philadelphia Film Festival.

JOE ANSOLABEHERE is an animation screenwriter and producer who has written and produced many animated children’s television shows, including Rugrats, Duckman,Hey Arnold!, Recess, and Lloyd in Space. He currently develops and writes television shows for Disney, Jr., Netflix, and Amazon Studios. Joe is a recipient of the prestigious Humanitas Prize.

CHRISTA BIALKA joined the faculty of Villanova University in 2012 as an assistant professor of special education, where she teaches in the department of education and counseling. Dr. Bialka received her m.Ed. In moderate special needs education from Boston college and her Ed.D. In teaching, learning, and teacher education from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to earning her doctorate, Dr. Bialka taught English and special education in the Boston area. Her research interests include understanding the development of teacher dispositions, preparing teachers for inclusive classrooms, and disability awareness.

BORIS BRIKER teaches Russia Literature, language and film at Villanova in the Department of Global Interdisciplinary Studies. He has written and published extensively on Russian literature and culture of the twentieth century. He also is the author of a book of short stories in Russian, A Dog’s Life. Recently, Professor Briker co-edited and co-authored a collection of prose, Chernovtsy Tales, that was published in his native town, Chernovtsy.

CHRISTOPHER DALY teaches in the Augustinian and Culture seminar program a Villanova University. He holds a doctorate in late-medieval and early-modern English History from the University of Oxford (Jesus College). His teaching interests include medieval and early-modern English history, the history of ancient and medieval Christianity, Roman history, and the period of the Renaissance and Reformation. He has a particular passion for the organ music of Johann Sebastian Bach.

DAN JEFFERSON, a graduate of Haverford College, is a lifelong cineaste. His love of film was nurtured by David Grossman, who headed Temple University’s Center City Campus movie house and Philadelphia Film Forum.

SUSAN MARCOSSIN, who works in education, is a selftaught film enthusiast. Her cameo in M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable was cut from the film but appears in the DVD version.

FRANCOIS MASSONNAT is currently finishing his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania and teaches French language, literature, and film in the French and Francophone Studies Program at Villanova.  His research focuses primarily on questions of authorship in contemporary French crime cinema.

MATTHEW MARENCIK works in the Villanova Office of Disability Services as the Accessibility Coordinator for all students with physical disabilities. He assists them with their academic, physical, and technological needs. Additionally, he utilizes technology and media to promote community awareness and fundraising for the office. Matthew also teaches in The Social Justice Documentary Program as an adjunct faculty member. The films produced in this class have been finalists for the Student Academy Awards and have been official selections at numerous national and international film festivals. His own film portfolio includes: “Bridging the Gap,” “Blue,” Kathy Bello’s Recipe for Living,” Universal Designs: Cambodia,” Universal Designs: Nicaragua,” and “Mission Possible.” His work has been featured on Good Morning America, Fox NFL Sunday, The Today Show, and First Things First.

JOHN O'LEARY is the Director of The Cultural Film and Lecture Series at Villanova. He has co-written two chapters for books about situation comedies. In addition, Dr. O’Leary is the co-founder and co-director of The Social Justice Documentary Program at Villanova.

RENA POTOK teaches in the Augustine and Culture Seminar Program and the English department at Villanova. She is interested in literary and theoretical intersections between borders, migration, and national identity in Irish, Indian, and Palestinian-Israeli writing. She has published articles and book chapters on border writing and minor literatures in Religion & Literature; Bryn Mawr Review of Comparative Literature; Borders, Exiles, Diasporas; and elsewhere. She has edited several books on American-Jewish fiction and drama, most recently, The Collected Plays of Chaim Potok. She was a 2017 recipient of a fiction Fellowship at Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing, and is currently completing her first novel.

STEVE SHERIDAN has worked at Villanova since 2001, beginning in Financial Affairs before joining the Office of Planning and Institutional Research in late 2007, where he currently serves as the Director for Accountability, Accreditation and Assessment Services in the Office of Planning and Institutional Research (OPIR). In this role, he coordinates accreditation matters for the University and provides leadership and expertise in the realm of outcome assessment. He is an adjunct professor in Villanova’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) program, teaching courses in Financial Management and Strategic Planning. In addition, Steve is a facilitator and a member of the planning team for Villanova’s Intergroup Dialogue Program, where he instructs courses on Ability and other areas that focus on bringing together students from varying social identities to confront difficult topics. A longtime advocate for disability rights and social change, Steve’s passion stems from his experiences living with a congenital, orthopedic condition from which he relies upon a power wheelchair for mobility. Steve received his BS in Accountancy and a Master’s in Public Administration from Villanova University.

JOHN PAUL SPIRO is an Assistant Professor in Villanova’s Center for Liberal Education, where he teaches courses in the Augustine and Culture Program. 

ELANA STARR, who was publicity director of the CFS for more than 21 years, has taught a variety of courses on film and film theory at Villanova, Rosemont College, and The University of the Arts.  Her area of interest is the representations of outsiders, especially in mainstream cinema.

RICK WORLAND is Professor in the Department of Electronic Media and Film at Southern Methodist University.  He has published many articles dealing with American popular culture in books and scholarly journals.  His latest book is The Horror Film: An Introduction, and he is currently working on a book about films of the 1960s and 1970s.