Barbara Klinger received a B.A. from Bucknell University in 1973 (English), an M.A. from Ohio University in 1981 (Film), and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in 1986 (Film). She joined IU in 1984 and helped to found The Cultural Studies Program, a program she directed from 1991-1994. She also directed the Film Studies Program during the 1990s and chaired the Department of Communication and Culture during the 2000s. Professor Klinger has served as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Kinsey Institute, the Advisory Board for the Black Film Center/Archive, and the Advisory Board for IU Cinema.
Professor Klinger is a film theorist and historian whose interests include the relationship among cinema, new technologies and media, and audience reception in the United States. She is author of Melodrama and Meaning: History, Culture, and the Films of Douglas Sirk (Indiana University Press, 1994) and Beyond the Multiplex: Cinema, New Technologies, and the Home (University of California Press, 2006). She has published numerous book chapters and articles in peer-reviewed journals, including Cinema Journal and Screen.
She has twice won The Society for Cinema and Media Studies' Katherine Singer Kovacs Best Essay Award (in 1999 and 2010), an award that recognizes outstanding work in the field. She is currently writing a book entitled, Cinema and Immortality: Hollywood Classics in a Transmediated World. She was a recipient of a College Arts & Humanities Institute Research Fellowship to support this project in 2014/2015. Professor Klinger has also won three teaching awards from IU's College of Arts and Sciences and has directed or been a member of more than sixty dissertation committees.
Professor Klinger received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the School of Film in the College of Fine Arts at Ohio University in 2009. She was elected President of her field's national organization, The Society for Cinema and Media Studies, in 2013 and was named Provost Professor at Indiana University in 2014.