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Janine Marchessault

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Cinema & Media Arts

Janine Marchessault




BA (Concordia), MFA, PhD (York)


Janine Marchessault is a professor in Cinema and Media Arts and holds a York Research Chair in Media Art and Social Engagement. Her research has engaged with four areas: the history of large screen media (from multiscreen to Imax to media as architecture and VR); diverse models of public art, festivals, and site specific curation; 21st century moving-image archives and notions of collective memory/history. She is a founder of the Future Cinema Lab, and the 2014-2016 inaugural Director of Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts Research. A Trudeau Fellow, she is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

She belongs to the CinemaExpo67.ca research group and is a founding member of the Public Access Curatorial Collective. Her latest project is an expanded cinema festival Outer Worlds outerworlds.org—commissioning five IMAX films by artists which premiered at the Cinesphere in 2019 as part of Images Festival.

Dr. Marchessault is the PI for Archive/Counter-Archive: Activating Moving Image Heritage (2018-2024 SSHRC Partnership Grant) counterarchive.ca, a research collaboration involving more than 14 community and artist run archives in Canada devoted to diverse histories from Indigenous, LGBTQ, immigrant and women’s histories. Her research explores the afterlife of moving image archives as art forms and new forms of historical knowledge.

Select Publications:  

Ecstatic Worlds: Media, Utopias and Ecologies (MIT 2017); Cosmic Media: Marshall McLuhan (Sage 2005); and numerous collections including the Oxford Handbook of Canadian Cinema (w/ W. Straw Oxford University Press 2019), Process Cinema: Handmade Film in the Digital Age (w/ S. MacKenzie MQUP 2019), Reimagining Cinema: Film at Expo 67 (w/ M. Gagnon MQUP 2014);  Cartographies of Place: Navigating the Urban (w/ M. Darroch MQUP 2014);

Research interests: archives and counter-archives, media materiality, live cinema and real-time, urban space and visual culture, expanded cinema, feminist, queer and post-colonial media, cultural festivals and performance, curatorial studies, theories of spectatorship, phenomenology, history on/through screens, climate change studies.