Waller is a film historian with a strong publication record and an international reputation. He is also a committed teacher and has had a major impact on film studies at IU through administration and service.
His books include the prize-winning "Main Street Amusements: Movies and Commercial Entertainment in a Southern City, 1896-1930" as well as "Moviegoing in America: A Sourcebook in the History of Film Exhibition." He has written numerous journal articles and book chapters across a range of topics in cinema studies, serves as editor of the journal Film History, and has organized events such as the Midwest "Orphan" film conference and the museum and online exhibit "Japan-in-America."
Waller chaired the Department of Communication and Culture for several years, 2003-10. He helped plan renovations leading to the construction of the IU Cinema and chaired both the director search committee for the cinema and a faculty advisory board that vets programming ideas.