Date of Award

Spring 5-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Film Studies

First Advisor

Kelli Fuery

Second Advisor

Patrick Fuery

Third Advisor

Federico Pacchioni


The model of the cinematic palimpsest helps us to critically reevaluate formal aspects of film language, relationships between film texts, and the construction of cinematic meaning in conversation with the spectator. Originating in Medieval Europe, a palimpsest is traditionally defined as a book or similar physical text “created by a process of layering whereby the existing text was erased, using various chemical methods, and the new text was written over the old one” again and again (Dillon 2005). Palimpsests rely on the core principle of in(ter)dependency, wherein each element or layer is both independent and interdependent, inherently affecting the significance of other elements around it and being affected in turn by those other elements. In this study, the theoretical model of the palimpsest is applied to three aspects of the cinematic experience, from the intra- to the inter- and extratextual levels. Emphasizing the multiplicity of the lived experience of cinematic viewership, the model seeks to explain the intersubjective, dialogic relationship of the human mind to the media technologies it encounters on a regular basis in the 21st century.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.