Scott Bukatman is a cultural theorist and Professor of Film and Media Studies at Stanford University. His research explores how such popular media as film, comics, and animation mediate between new technologies and human perceptual and bodily experience. His books include Terminal Identity: The Virtual Subject in Postmodern Science Fiction, one of the earliest book-length studies of cyberculture; a monograph on the film Blade Runner commissioned by the British Film Institute; and a collection of essays, Matters of Gravity: Special Effects and Supermen in the 20th Century. The Poetics of Slumberland: Animated Spirits and the Animating Spirit, celebrates play, plasmatic possibility, and the life of images in cartoons, comics, and cinema.
Hellboy's World: Comics and Monsters on the Margins shows how an engagement with Mike Mignola's Hellboy comics is also a highly aestheticized encounter with the medium of comics and the materiality of the book, and explores how comics produce a heightened “adventure of reading” in which syntheses of image and word, image sequences, and serial narratives create compelling worlds for the reader’s imagination to inhabit. His most recent book, Black Panther, part of the 21st Century Film Essentials series (University of Texas Press), explores aspects of the 2018 Ryan Coogler film, including the history of Black superheroes, Black Panther's black body, the Wakandan dream, and the controversies around the Killmonger character. Bukatman considers how the movie offers a fantasy of liberation and social justice while demonstrating the power of popular culture to articulate ideals and raise vital cultural questions.
Bukatman has been published in abundant journals and anthologies, including October, Critical Inquiry, Camera Obscura, Science Fiction Studies, and the Journal of Cinema and Media Studies.