Michael Cowan taught at McGill from 2006 to 2014, serving as the founding director of the MIRL and chair of World Cinemas. He is currently located at St Andrews University.
His research focuses primarily on the modern period (19th century to WWII) with particular interests in film and media, visual culture and the history of the body. His books include Technology’s Pulse. Rhythm in German Modernism (2012), Walter Ruttmann and the Cinema of Multiplicity (1914) and The Promise of Cinema. German Film Theory 1907-1933. He has also published numerous articles on cinema, media and visual culture.
Yuriko Furuhata is an Associate Professor and William Dawson Scholar of Cinema in the Department of East Asian Studies and the World Cinemas Program.
Her current research focuses on the intersection between expanded cinema, architecture, and the security industry. She has published in journals such as Animation, Screen, Semiotica, and New Cinemas. Her monograph,Cinema of Actuality: Japanese Political Avant-Garde Filmmaking in the Season of Image Politics (Duke University Press, 2013) situates the Japanese avant-garde filmmaking and its appropriation of high-profile media events in the wider political context.
Thomas Lamarre is a James McGill Professor in East Asian Studies and Associate in Communications Studies at McGill University.
He is author of books dealing with the history of media, thought, and material culture, with projects ranging from the communication networks of 9th century Japan (Uncovering Heian Japan), to silent cinema and the global imaginary (Shadows on the Screen) and animation technologies (The Anime Machine). He has also edited volumes on the impacts of modernity in East Asia, on pre-emptive war, and, as Associate Editor of Mechademia: An Annual Forum for Anime, Manga, and the Fan Arts, volumes on manga, anime, and fan cultures. Together with graduate students and faculty from McGill University, Concordia University, and Université de Montréal, he is developing the Manga and Anime Archive and Database (MAAD) within the Moving Image Research Laboratory.
William Lockett works on digital games, but only sort of. His current project is to understand the relation between game design practice (generously conceived), skill aquisition processes, and the politics of skill in the context of post-industrial capitalism. He approaches these issues through a set of objects skirting the boundaries of what counts as a digital game — such as music and image production apps for mobile devices, one-off responsive environments built in research-creation labs, and indie games that renew and reinvent the tradition of 3D simulation handed down to us since the Quake engine. While completing his MA in Art History through McGill’s Department of Art History and Communication Studies, Will worked on Husserlian phenomenology of time consciousness, Conterstrike 1.6, and The Night Journey under the supervision of Christine Ross. Will is currently a PhD student in the Department of Media, Culture and Communications at NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development.
Ara Osterweil is an Assistant Professor of Film and Cultural Studies in the English Department, as well as a painter and curator.
She has recently completed a book about American experimental cinema of the 1960s and 1970s entitled Flesh Cinema: The Corporeal Turn in American Avant-Garde Cinema (forthcoming, Manchester University Press) that focuses on the representations of the body in the work of six experimental filmmakers from the period: Barbara Rubin, Andy Warhol, Stan Brakhage, Carolee Schneemann, Yoko Ono and Paul Sharits. She is a 2010 recipient of the Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant, and has published essays on film in journals such as Camera Obscura, Frameworks, Film Quarterly, and The Brooklyn Rail, as well as anthologies such as Porn Studies; Women’s Experimental Cinema; Taking Place: Location and the Moving Image; Experimental Film: Missing Frames; and Warhol in Ten Takes.
Thomas Patrick Pringle is a PhD student with the Department of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University, where he studies media ecology as a SSHRC Doctoral and Brown Presidential fellow. Accordingly, his interests draw from infrastructure and energy humanities, environmental media and documentary studies, scientific imaging, science and technology studies, ethology, and theories of immanence, perception, temporality and violence. Thomas holds a Master’s in Cultural Studies from McGill, where he researched with the Moving Image Research Laboratory and co-founded ‘Cinema Out of the Box’. Among other work for the MIRL, he designed this website. Thomas has recently published articles in The Journal of Film and Video and NECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies.
Margaret Lisa Stevenson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology.
She is a medical and visual anthropologist whose research on contemporary and historical forms of care in the Canadian Arctic contributes to the emerging subfield of sensory ethnography. Through an attention to modes of knowing that are not uniquely language-based, she hopes to capture—on video and in text—the experience of disjuncture when radically different forms of care intersect. Her current ethnographic film project To Make Them Well concerns the Inuit experience of being forced to leave their home communities and live for an undetermined period of time in a southern tuberculosis sanatorium. Rather than a straightforward expository narrative, the film hopes to capture one of the most striking aspects of the dislocation this produced: the way the possibility of communication, verbal and non-verbal, was put into question. Her previous ethnographic film, El Reflejo (2010), (created with Eduardo Kohn) concerned the relationship between memory, objects and death in the life of an elderly Jewish WWII refugee living in Quito, Ecuador.
Alanna Thain is an Associate Professor of Film and Cultural Studies in the Department of English at McGill University, and is also Director of the Institute for Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies.
Her research brings together questions of affect, media and the body, with a special focus on contemporary cinema, animation, and screendance. Her book, Bodies in Time: Suspense, Affect, Cinema (University of Minnesota Press, forthcoming) reorients the affective turn in critical theory through a careful attention to the temporal dimension of the cinematic body in films by David Lynch, Alfred Hitchcock, Lou Ye, Christian Marclay, David Cronenberg and more. She is also currently completing two other book projects, one on Canadian animator Norman McLaren, and a second on “Anarchival Cinemas”, exploring dance and performance movement on screen and on stage in post-cinematic production. Through a focus on “event ecologies” in contemporary media and performance, Thain explores encounters with media as lived experiences and provides new conceptual models for thinking cinema and other media in their movement between platforms, mediums and bodies. Her work, on figures such as William Kentridge, Marie Chouinard, and David Lynch has appeared in journals such as Intermédialités, Parallax, differences and more, and in collections such as David Lynch in Theory. She is also an editor of Inflexions: A Journal for Research-Creation.