Tom Peyser, Ph.D.
English professor Tom Peyser, Ph.D., has been recognized for two consecutive years by the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. In 2007, he received a first place award for best arts criticism in an American or Canadian alternative newsweekly, and in 2008 he was awarded third place for the same category.
“I was excited to receive the award two years in a row,” said Peyser. “I grew up watching old black and white movies. This is quite an honor—to be recognized for doing something you love.”
Peyser began writing film reviews in 2003 for Style Weekly, an alternative newspaper in Richmond, Virginia. His articles feature two movie reviews and appear every other week. In addition, he is a weekly film critic on CBS affiliate WTVR-TV’s talk show “Virginia This Morning.” Peyser’s fascination with film goes back to his childhood. He grew up with family influences which included his uncle, noted television director John Peyser. He has a special fondness for classic black and white and independent films.
“I became interested in writing film reviews because I wanted to reach a wider audience than scholars often do,” said Peyser. “I like to bring my literary perspective on popular entertainment. I also try to work in reviews about smaller films that are not widely publicized. It’s exciting to help people enjoy films they wouldn’t be interested in otherwise.”
Peyser specializes in American and 20th Century British Literature. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English and American literature and language from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in English and American literature from the University of Virginia. Peyser is the author of two books, W.W. (Philadelphia: Xlibris, 2000) and Utopia and Cosmopolis: Globalization in the Era of American Literary Realism (Durham: Duke University Press, 1998).