Ian Olney was enrolled in the English doctoral program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from 1998 to 2003 and pursued a course of study focusing on film. While there, he worked closely with Wheeler Winston Dixon and Gwendolyn Foster to manage the English department’s undergraduate Film Studies program, acting as Advisor for the major and regularly teaching film courses. His dissertation, which was directed by Gwendolyn Foster, focused on spectatorship, performance, and classic European horror cinema.
After earning his Ph.D. in 2003, he was hired by York College of Pennsylvania as a professor of English primarily responsible for teaching Film Studies. Now at the rank of Associate Professor, he continues to teach courses in film history, theory, and criticism, as well as classes on screenwriting and literature and film. He has overseen the creation of a Film Studies minor at York College, as well as the establishment of a student-run film society and an annual film series, which has hosted visits from filmmakers like Jay Rosenblatt, Andrew Bujalski, and Ramin Bahrani, as well as other distinguished guests such as film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum and film scholar Ray Carney.
He has authored numerous articles on the topics of European cinema, the horror film, and film adaptation for journals like theQuarterly Review of Film and Video and Literature/Film Quarterly. His first book, Euro Horror: Classic European Horror Cinema in Contemporary American Culture, which is based on his dissertation, was published in 2013 by Indiana University Press as part of its New Directions in National Cinemas series. Over the years, he has been invited to speak at a variety of venues, including the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center and the IRIS Film Festival, where he delivered the keynote address in 2009. He currently serves as the Vice-President of the Literature/Film Association.