My primary area of research expertise is film soundtracks, and I've published two books in that area through Oxford University Press: Hearing Haneke: the sound tracks of a radical auteur (2017), and Understanding Sound Tracks Through Film Theory (2015). I'm passionate about how films can enable us to hear each other and the world's noise better, to listen to our own voices in the context of all the other sounds that matter.
I believe that film is a singularly incredible artform for teaching us the value of perceiving the world as others do, and the importance of compassion along with that. I teach all aspects of film studies, with particular emphasis on international cinema, cultural politics, and adaptations of literature to film. My greatest strength as a film professor is in teaching film sound tracks. As a a trained violinist and pianist, I regard films as "music" that can teach us how to hear the whole world better.
Walker, Elsie “Teaching sound tracks as a mother/daughter: a feminist pedagogical approach”. The Oxford Handbook of Cinematic Listening. Oxford University Press.
Walker, Elsie (2017) Hearing Haneke: the sound tracks of a radical auteur. pp. 232. Oxford University Press.
Walker, Elsie (2015) Understanding Sound Tracks Through Film Theory. pp. 450. Oxford University Press.
Walker, Elsie (2012) Music and the Moving Image. vol. 5. no. 2. University of Illinois Press.
Walker, Elsie and Johnson, David T. (2008) Conversations with Directors: An Anthology of Interviews from Literature/Film Quarterly. Scarecrow Press.
Fall 2019ENGL 220 INTRODUCTION TO FILM (Fall 2019)Introduction to the art of film. Concepts of organization, structure, and editing techniques through viewing and discussing short films. Literary and dramatic influences in feature films. Cannot receive credit for both ENGL 121 and ENGL 220. Prerequisite: C or better in ENGL 102 or 103. Three hours per week with enhancement. Does not meet General Education Requirements.ENGL 408 FILM POLITICS (Fall 2019)Introduction to applying advanced approaches to cinema, such as contemporary cultural and racial politics, psychoanalysis, feminism, queer theory, and post-colonial criticism. Includes a range of screenings and encourages students to read films in terms of various social and personally informed perspectives. Prerequisite: ENGL 220 or 221 or 402 or 403 or 404 or 405. Three hours per week with enhancement.Spring 2020ENGL 404 INTERNATIONAL CINEMA (Spring 2020)A study of a wide range of films made around the world, with special emphasis on historical development of selected national cinemas, cultural and economic determinants that affect the production of film, and contrasting conventions of film style in contrasting contests of production. Prerequisite: C or better in ENGL 102 or 103. Three hours per week with enhancement.ENGL 405 HEARING CINEMA (Spring 2020)Advanced introduction to film sound tracks, including analysis of music, sound effects and dialogue through various perspectives. Develop audiovisual literacy and expand understanding of cinema through analyzing its sonic impact. Prerequisite: C or better in ENGL 103. Four hours per week.HONR 311 INTERDISCIPLINARY SEMINAR (Spring 2020)Addresses topics that transcend individual disciplinary boundaries. Taught by professors from a wide variety of disciplines to appeal to Honors students of all majors. May be taken up to three times under different topics. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing, permission of Honors director. Three hours per week with enhancement.
- Awards/HonorsPresident’s Diversity AwardPresented by Salisbury University
Distinguished Faculty AwardPresented by Salisbury University
Fulton School of Liberal Arts Award for ScholarshipPresented by Salisbury University
- Presentations"Ten Years of Teaching Sound Tracks: reflections and hopes"2018Music and the Moving Image, New York, NYI presented an unbroken chain of over thirty film clips that feature groundbreaking sonic details, along with providing an audio commentary woven into the rhythm of the films' music, sound effects, and dialogue. I explained why I'd chosen these films as highlights from my teaching sound tracks over the last ten years at Salisbury University.
"Hearing Film Soundtracks: Humanity, Violence, and Hope "2018York College Film Series, York College, PAI lectured on how certain films reawaken our sense of hearing and then argued that this has reverberating significance—even the simplest questions like “whose voice is loudest?” or “whose music do we hear?” can have deep political and emotional impact. Drawing on my research over the last ten years, I explored film sound in an interactive way with the general scholarly audience of students, faculty, and community members.
“Motherhood and Hearing Films Better: a pedagogical perspective.”2017Music and the Moving Image, New York, NYI focused on teaching a contemporary Japanese film about child poverty and neglect called "Nobody Knows," from the point of view of being a mother who wants to inspire humanitarian values in the classroom. I believe that we can all use our personal experience to help us become better professionals--so I was telling a specific story with broad applicability.
- Service Activities and Community Relations
My primary research to SU is as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Literature/Film Quarterly (LFQ), a journal that's been in production for over forty years. LFQ is a distinguished, international publication in adaptation studies. It is archived with JSTOR Arts and Sciences database, so it reaches 9,000 universities in over 60 countries. The latest issues of LFQ are fully accessible to all online at www.salisbury.edu/lfq. I've been working on it since 2003. Since 2016, I am also Chair of SU's Women's Forum, a Chapter of the University System of Maryland Women's Forum. In this role, I work at making the culture of SU better for all those who identify as female, especially through conferences, events that raise awareness about gender politics, and improving facilities for families and female employees campus-wide. My other service to SU includes mentoring students who've created film festivals since 2014, drawing in submissions from all over the world.
- External Collaboration Highlights
Through being Editor-in-Chief of SU's own Literature Film Quarterly, I collaborate with authors from all over the world every few months. I'm also on the editorial board of the premiere US journal about sound tracks--Music and the Moving Image (University of Illinois Press). For more information, visit https://www.press.uillinois.edu/journals/mmi.html
- Press Releases
SU Hosts Third International Women's Day Conference, 'Seeking Justice'
Monday, February 18, 2019
'Hearing Haneke' Book Launch Scheduled March 2
Friday, February 02, 2018
SU Community Members Participate in Women's March
Monday, February 20, 2017
SU Hosts Inaugural International Women's Day Conference Wednesday, March 8
Thursday, February 09, 2017
SU's Walker Discusses Sound Tracks, Theory in New Book
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
SU Adventures in Ideas Series Examines Hitchcock Saturday, February 15
Friday, February 07, 2014
Adventures in Ideas Series Explores 'Film, Media and Society Today' February 4
Friday, January 13, 2012
'Lit/Film Quarterly' Editors Pen 'Conversations With Directors'
Monday, January 05, 2009
Walker Continues Brown Bag Series With Talk on Hitchcock Adaptation
Monday, November 06, 2006
- Employee Recognition