Robert E. Kapsis is Professor of Sociology and Film Studies and teaches courses on research methodology, mass communication and popular culture, sociology of the movies, the American gangster film, New York in the movies, and on Hitchcock and his legacy (with multimedia and distance learning features). He is also on the faculty of the Film Studies Certificate Program, Graduate Center (CUNY), and has taught film at New School University.
A native of Chicago, Kapsis graduated from the University of Wisconsin, earned an MA in history and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California at Berkeley, and joined the faculty at Queens College in 1973. He is author of Hitchcock: The Making of a Reputation (University of Chicago Press, 1992), "Alfred Hitchcock: A Profile," American National Biography, ed. John A. Garraty (Oxford University Press, 1999), and co-edited (with Kathie Coblentz) Clint Eastwood: Interviews (University Press of Mississippi, 1999). His articles have appeared in The American Journal of Sociology, Social Forces, Social Problems, The Sociological Quarterly, Urban Affairs Quarterly, American Film, The Journal of Film and Video, Cineaste, Variety, and The Village Voice.
Most recently, Kapsis co-edited (with Kathie Coblentz) Woody Allen: Interviews (University Press of Mississippi, 2006).
Since 1992, Kapsis has been devising a multimedia form for the study of film and other art forms that integrates still and moving image display with sound and text, allowing for a close analysis of art works. In 1998, he received a grant from the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) to complete "Multimedia Hitchcock," a public computer kiosk, that the museum displayed during a celebration of the Hitchcock centenary (April 1999-May 2001). "Multimedia Hitchcock" has also been featured at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Beverly Hills, California), The American Museum of the Moving Image (Astoria Queens, NY), and at Hitchcock: A Centennial Celebration, a five-day international symposium in New York City, October 13-17, 1999 (Department of Film Studies, New York University). Kapsis has appeared in two television documentaries on Hitchcock (including "Dial 'H' For Hitchcock: The Genius Behind the Showman," narrated by Kevin Spacey) and consulted on a third one produced for the BBC. He was also a consultant to the U.S. Postal Service (through Photo Assist, Washington, D.C.) to develop a postage stamp and associated materials commemorating Hitchcock (Date of issue: August 3, 1998). Kapsis' work on Hitchcock has been the subject of articles and reviews appearing in The New York Times (access article through Library) , The Sunday New York Times, Newsday, Entertainment Weekly, Time Out, Wired News, and CUNY Matters.
Currently, Kapsis is developing a book on politics and film.
Away from the rat race, Kapsis enjoys playing the piano, listening to classical music and jazz, and hanging out with his family. He is married, has two “grown” sons, and two granddaughters.