Gerald Mast, a film historian and chairman of the English department at the University of Chicago, died Thursday, a university spokeswoman announced.
Mast, a Los Angeles native, died at Bernard Mitchell Hospital in Chicago of complications of AIDS, the spokeswoman added. He was 48.
Mast received his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in English from the University of Chicago. He joined the faculty there in 1978 after teaching at New York University, Oberlin College and the City University of New York.
His textbooks, including "The Comic Mind: Comedy and the Movies" and "Film Theory and Criticism," are credited with helping establish film history as a serious academic discipline.
Mast's other books include "Can't Help Singin': The American Musical on Stage and Screen" and "Howard Hawks, Storyteller."
Survivors include his mother and a sister.