Brian Stonehill; Started Pomona Media Program


Brian Stonehill, founder of the media studies program at Pomona College and an author and media expert, has died. He was 43.

Stonehill died Wednesday in an automobile accident on Mt. Baldy Road, college officials said Monday.

A professor of English, Stonehill joined the Pomona faculty in 1979 and soon began lobbying for the media studies program, which became a reality in 1991. His popular courses in media theory and visual literacy formed the program core.


Stonehill, author of the 1988 book “The Self-Conscious Novel,” frequently contributed book reviews and opinion pieces to The Times, the Christian Science Monitor, USA Today and other newspapers. Topics included e-mail, cyberspace, the Gulf War’s high-tech legacy, television viewer passivity and high-profile courtroom drama.

He served as a senior fiction judge for the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes from 1992 through 1994.

Earning Pomona College’s distinguished teaching award three times, Stonehill taught English courses on James Joyce, Thomas Pynchon, modern American literature, contemporary and European fiction, creative writing and film and fiction.

Born in Brooklyn, he was educated in France and England, earned his bachelor’s degree in English from Haverford College in Haverford, Pa., and his master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Chicago. He worked briefly as fiction editor of the Chicago Review.

Stonehill is survived by his parents, Harriett and Elliott Stonehill of Washington, D.C., and a sister, Eve Kedar of Cupertino, Calif.