PhD Student Profiles (Update in progress)

Brandon Arroyo

Background: Brandon’s path to a PhD has not only helped him seem much smarter than he actually is at cocktail parties, but has also allowed him to be lucky enough to travel half-way around the world. A native New Yorker with a B.A. in Film Studies from Brooklyn College and an M.A. in Cinema Studies from New York University, Brandon has studied and presented his work in France, Italy and San Fransisco.

Research interests: Now finding himself in the Great White North, Brandon has become fascinated with how strong a presence pornography has within the gay village that his now living in. His experience in Montreal has helped him to imagine writing a dissertation contemplating how the various ways in which the digitization of queer pornographies has actually helped it to become more fully ingrained within a wider public sphere rather than just something that we watch in the privacy of our own bedrooms. By thinking of internet pornography as a public object, Brandon hopes to insert more human agency into new media theory and think about the various ways that pornographic fantasy is negotiated within public realms. Other topics of interest include queer theory/cinema, race theory/representation, modernism, reflexivity, autobiographical film theory/history, music videos, Alfred Hitchcock and French film history.


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Mark Barber

Mark Barber received his BA and MA in Cinema & Media Studies from York University. He is the co-founder of the Toronto-based curatorial group Citizens Committee on Moral Hygiene, which specializes in experimental and amateur narrative short films. He hopes to one day
meet his academic celebrity crush, Vivian Sobchack.

His doctoral research attempts to situate issues of representation (particularly of transpeople and people of colour) in queer archives within the broader neoliberal discourse of the North American LGBTQ equality movement. His other research interests include: transmedia storytelling, the cultural history of ghosts and occult media practices, alternative pornography, North American right-wing news media, mock-documentary, horror cinema, and haptics.


profileBeatriz Bartolomé Herrera

Background: I did my BA in Audio-visual Communication at Carlos III University in Madrid. After working for several years in the Spanish cinema and TV industries I changed direction in my career and returned to the academic environment. In 2009 I pursued an MA in History of Contemporary Arts and Visual Culture coordinated between the Reina Sofía National Art Centre and the Autonomous University of Madrid. Thanks to La Caixa Foundation’s fellowship programme I was able to continue my studies in Canada with the MA in Film Studies at Concordia University during the period 2010-2012. My time at Concordia has been an invaluable formative experience that has pushed me to continue with the PhD in Film and Moving Image Studies.

Research Interests: At this point my research interests are focused on looking at the intersections between cinema and the museum, more concretely the uses of popular films as educational tools within movie themed blockbuster exhibitions.  Aside from this, I am also interested on non-theatrical uses of cinema, screen cultures, global media circulation and cultural studies.


Displaying Brodie.jpgPatrick Brodie

Patrick Brodie is a first-year PhD student in Film and Moving Image Studies at Concordia University in Montreal. He pursued an undergraduate degree in Film and Video from Drexel University in Philadelphia, during which he participated in an exchange program with the National University of Ireland, Galway. He went on to receive his MA in Film Studies from Columbia University in 2016. His MA thesis investigated historical and theoretical topics surrounding contemporary Irish cinema. His research interests extend to transnational cinema and media, modernism/postmodernism, and alternative spaces and modes of moving image exhibition.

Desiree De Jesus

Desirée de Jesus is a doctoral candidate in the Film and Moving Image Studies program at Concordia University. Her research concerns female coming-of-age narratives in films and video games, existential phenomenology, and transnational approaches to feminist theory. Her work has been supported by various grants and awards, such as the Bourse d’étude Hydro-Québec de l’Université Concordia and the Glay Sperling Scholarship, and most recently by a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship. She has written on cinemas of displacement and girlhood and has presented research on Luce Irigaray and the maternal melodrama, as well as on racialized female labor in the teen dance film.


Kester Dyer

Background: Kester obtained a BA degree in Literary Studies from the University of Porstmouth in the UK and is also a graduate of University College Dublin’s Master’s in Film Studies program. Kester’s MA thesis explored the reappropriation of ghost stories and myths in selected films by Kaneto Shindo, Masaki Kobayashi and Akira Kurosawa. He is currently working towards the completion of a PhD in Film and Moving Image Studies at Concordia University.

Research interests: Kester’s dissertation, funded by FQRSC, examines manifestations of the supernatural mode in Québécois cinema across film genres in connection with questions of interculturalism and internationalisation. Other areas of interest include nationalism, Irish film, and the cinema of indigenous peoples.


HeadshotWill Fech

After a Rocky Mountain upbringing in Cody, Wyoming, I received a BA in English and Film Studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (2008), an MA in European Cinema from the University of Glasgow (2011), and an MA in English from Oregon State University (2013).  Most recently I supplied a chapter for the upcoming anthology A Transnational Art Cinema: The Berlin School and Its Global Contexts, to be published by Wayne State University Press in 2017.

I healthily obsess over global art cinema, exhibition, and pedagogy. I still believe in close readings and thinking through stories, characters, and aesthetics in the classroom. My dissertation focuses on how art house cinemas have changed since the digital revolution and will hopefully contribute to a hybrid career in arts administration and teaching. Outside of my studies, I perform in local theater, play and watch several sports, study French, and read before bed.


img496Enrique Fibla

Enrique Fibla holds an MA in Cinema Studies from San Francisco State University (SFSU) and a BA in Audiovisual Communication from the Universidad Autónoma Barcelona (UAB). He has presented his work in conferences such as ‘NECS’ and ‘Visible Evidence’. He has published in Icono 14: Journal of Cultural Analysis, Kamchatka: Journal of Communication and Emergent Technologies, and the Catalan Journal of Communication and Cultural Studies. His PhD dissertation is on Spanish noncommercial interwar film culture. 

His lines of research include useful cinema, transnational  film culture, amateur cinema, avant-garde, archive and political imagination, and radical film criticism.

Gwynne Fulton

Background: Gwynne Fulton is a filmmaker and theorist based in Montreal, Quebec. She is currently a PhD student in Interdisciplinary Studies in Philosophy and Film Studies at Concordia University and a recipient of the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. She holds an MFA in Film Production (2010) and a BFA in Photography & Philosophy from Concordia University (2007). Fulton’s installation work has been exhibited in numerous galleries and festivals including: Dazibao, Matralab, the Leonard & Bina Ellen Gallery, Segal Center for the Arts, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Antimatter Film Festival, Lausanne Underground Film Festival and Melbourne Underground Film Festival.

Research interests: Gwynne’s current research interests include the intersection of Derrida and cinema, aesthetics and politics, ‘post-conceptual’ still and moving images practices. Her dissertation ‘Phantomachia: Deconstruction after Photography’ examines the deconstructive trope of ‘spectrality’ in contemporary Canadian photography.


IMG_5326Rachel Webb Jekanowski

Rachel Webb Jekanowski is a Doctoral candidate in Film and Moving Image Studies at Concordia University, and the Managing Editor of Synoptique: An Online Journal of Film and Moving Image Studies. She is also a recipient of the prestigious 2012-2013 Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. Her dissertation seeks to theorize the natural resource extraction, materialist theories of archival moving images, and ecological dimensions of Canadian institutional knowledge repositories. Other research interests include: Yiddish cinema and digital cultures; posthuman, feminist and critical race theories; the disruptive potential of science fiction/speculative fiction genres; media in rural and agrarian spaces; and women’s labor. She’s also a semi-skilled knitter and vermicomposter.


Philipp Dominik Keidl

Background: Philipp Dominik Keidl studied Theatre, Film and Media Studies at the University of Vienna, Trinity College Dublin, and the University of Copenhagen. He holds an MA from the University of Amsterdam in Preservation and Presentation of the Moving Image.

Research interests: At Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, Philipp’s research focuses on the analyses and theorisation of object-based film museums and their exhibition practises in the context of discussions about the needs, methods, and effects of the preservation and presentation of film culture in the current transition from analogue to digital technologies. Especially questions of how film museums preserve and present the medium of film as a source of information, culture and entertainment through its materiality in the form of film-related objects are addressed in his work. His other research interests include media archaeology, popular culture, new media art, and queer cinema.


Julien Lapointe

Background: Julien is a PhD candidate at Concordia University. He has recently presented his work at the Screen Studies Conference (2014), the Udine International Film Conference (2015), FiSAC (2009, 2010) and equally the Arthemis Joint Study Days (2014). He has written for Film Quarterly,CinéAction!The Canadian Journal of Film StudiesSynoptique and has forthcoming an article in the online bilingual peer-review journal Mise au Point and a chapter in an anthology on world-building, to be published by Amsterdam University Press. Additionally, he has a chapter in The Legacies of Jean-Luc Godard (WLU Press, 2014). He has taught Film Studies at undergraduate level twice at Concordia, as well as Film History at the City University of New York (CUNY). He also served as a guest lecturer at Université de Montréal for an M.A. seminar. Before coming to Concordia, he obtained an M.A. in Journalism from New York University, around which time he completed internships at ArtforumNew York University Press and The Nation, as well as writing for a range of journalistic publications on film and graphic novels, and reporting on Sundance Film Festival. His B.A., at McGill University, was in Cultural Studies.

Research interests:  Julien’s research interests include philosophy of science, philosophy of aesthetics/art, philosophy of language, style-theory, art historiography, narratology and cognitivism/interpretive theory. His doctoral thesis, for which he received funding from the Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture (FQRSC), proposes a theory of representation in cinema that defines the relationship between representation, affect and aesthetics, drawing on the methodologies of analytic philosophy/logic (Frege, Russell), logical positivism (Carnap) and its heirs (Goodman, Chomsky), while also addressing the concerns of classical film theory (Arnheim, Bazin), the Opojaz (Shklovsky) and more recent cognitive film theory and/or theories of affect/emotion (Carroll, Grodal, Elster, de Sousa). He hopes eventually to pursue a post-doc on representations of Sherlock Holmes and more universally detective fiction, with a particular focus on theories of rationality, belief, world-building and the cultural politics of cocaine-addiction and depression.


Dominic Leppla

Dominic Leppla is a PhD candidate at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. He holds an MA in Film and Visual History from Birkbeck, University of London, and received BA degrees in English Literature and Interdisciplinary Film Studies from The Ohio State University. He has worked for the British Film Institute’s Mediatheque and Screenonline, which published his writing, as well as on BFI film festivals as a web content editor. At Concordia University Dominic served as mobilization/communications officer for its graduate research and teaching assistant union. He has written for Frames Cinema Journal on his time as coordinating online editor for the Permanent Seminar on Histories of Film Theories. Dominic’s dissertation takes a historical/theoretical look at cinema’s response to the post-1968 breakdown of community in Poland and the 1970s’ resurgence of worker struggles that culminated in the Solidarity movement. He teaches film at Quinnipiac University.


Fulvia Massimi

Background: Fulvia Massimi holds a Bachelor’s degree in Performing Arts and Sciences from University of Rome “La Sapienza” and a Master’s degree in Cinema, Television and Multimedia Production from University of Bologna. Her thesis project focuses on masculinity and nationalism in the cinema of sub-national states. 

Research interests: Fulvia’s research interests also include questions of queer identity in both English Canadian and Québécois cinema, the relationship between homosexuality and opera in contemporary cinema, and the representation of Deaf Culture in popular media.


T and WarholTess McClernon

Background: I earned my BA in English (concentration Film Studies) at Indiana University, Indianapolis and my MA in Cinema Studies at San Francisco State University.

Research Interests: experimental cinema, feminist theory and criticism, animal studies, obsolescence, the work of Walter Benjamin, and classical film theory.


Zach Melzer

Zach Melzer is a Ph.D. candidate in Film & Moving Image Studies at Concordia University. His research combines media studies with urban studies, human geography, and critical policy studies in order to investigate the regulations and infrastructures of moving image technologies and cultures in public urban spaces. His dissertation, tentatively titled “Screen Clusters: Urban Policies, Technological Protocols, and the Geographies of Moving Images in Metropolitan Landscapes,” focuses primarily on the regulations of screen technologies and cultures in Piccadilly Circus (London), Times Square (NYC), Yonge-Dundas Square (Toronto), and Quartier des Spectacles (Montréal). He has an M.A. in Media Studies from Concordia University, is a recipient of the J.A. Bombardier CGS Doctoral Scholarship from SSHRC, the Doctoral Research Scholarship from FRQSC, and the Concordia Fine Arts and Arts & Science Fellowships. He is published in Écranosphère, Canadian Journal of Film Studies, Synoptique, In Media Res, and Offscreen.   


Katarina Mihailovic

Background: I did my B.A. in Cultural Studies and Slavic Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and my M.A. in Film Studies at Concordia University. I am currently pursuing a PhD in Film and Moving Image Studies at Concordia.

Research interests: My interests include New Wave cinemas in Europe in general and the Yugoslav Novi film movement in particular, the films of Dušan Makavejev, and political modernism.


Matthew Ogonoski

Matthew Ogonoski is a doctoral candidate in the Film and Moving Image program at Concordia University. Matthew’s current dissertation is an analysis of advertising film and its utilization as a promotional tool for the articulation of competing moving-image media during transitional moments in film history throughout the 20th century. He is published in Transformative Works and Cultures as well as Synoptique. Matthew is also Senior Assistant and Media Editor of SCMS’s oral history project, Fieldnotes.

Matthew obtained an MA in Cinema Studies from the Mel Hoppenheim school in 2009. His thesis, The Brand Behind the Mask: Batman in the Age of Convergence, focuses on the many iterations of the comic book character throughout different media, intertextual variation, and methodologies of adaptation traced throughout the commoditization and advertising strategies of the property. Matthew also holds a BA in Honours English from the University of Winnipeg, where he specialized in film adaptation, script analysis, and screenwriting.


Weixian Pan

Background: I finished my BA in English Literature at Shantou University in Southern China, with a concentration in film. I then completed my MA in Film Studies at University of St Andrews in Scotland. After a great adventure in the highlands, I worked for a non-profit Nordic documentary film festival in China,engaging with both formal institutions and grass-root film communities.I am currently in the second year of PhD at Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema.

Research interests: My current research looks at various models of film/media circulation, from state-initiated travelling screens to online video culture. Although many of my examples come from a specific region (East Asia, in particular the Greater China), I am interested in how these contested media practices carve out a distinctive geopolitical dynamics and imagination. My other interests include: global film and media culture, critical cultural theory, digital aesthetics and politics.


Lola Remy

Background: B.A. in English Studies from the Université de la Sorbonne (Paris IV), France. B.A. in Art History from the Université de la Sorbonne (Paris IV), France. M.A. in Contemporary Art History from the Université de la Sorbonne (Paris IV), France.

Research interests: Experimental film, animation, documentary, multimedia/multiscreen performances, curation and exhibition. So far, my research has focused on the work of Harry Smith and the technique of assemblage as an editing and screening practice, as well as an ethnographic one. I am interested in different modes of exhibiting cinema, art and ethnographic objects as they connect within his films. I hope to study how filmmaking and anthropology interconnect in the works of experimental filmmakers.

Jacqueline Ristola

Background: I received my masters in Cinema and Media Studies and a Graduate Diploma in Asian studies at York University, and finished my Honours BA in Film and Media Studies at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. My work can be read in Animation Studies and the film magazine Bright Wall/Dark Room.

Research interests: My research interests include political economy and labour studies in the culture industries, and transnational cultural flows, particularly as they manifest in animation production. Building off my masters research project, which examined the cross-cultural aesthetic exchanges between the Japanese anime Samurai Champloo and the American animated series The Boondocks, my dissertation will examine the proliferation of anime-esque productions in North America and Europe, how they incorporate (or appropriate) Japanese animation aesthetics and techniques, and how these often rely on Asian animation labour (usually Korea) to underpin these aesthetic appropriations.

Viviane SaglierViviane Saglier

Background: B.A in French Literature and Film studies from the University Paris 3              Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris). B.A in Art History from the École du Louvre (Paris). B.A in Aesthetics from the University Paris 1 Sorbonne (Paris). MA in Film Studies from Concordia University

Research interests: My dissertation examines Palestinian film festivals in the Occupied Territories and in the diaspora. Additionally, I am interested in sound studies and the crossing between film studies, political art and urban studies.


Meredith Slifkin

Background: Meredith hails from Philadelphia, PA, where she earned her B.A. in English Literature from Haverford College, before moving to New York City to complete her M.A. in Cinema Studies at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She has been published in CineAction and Feminist Media Histories (forthcoming).
Research Interests: My dissertation research focuses on mid-century global and transnational melodrama, and other research interests include television and new media, gender and sexuality, as well as animal studies and post humanism.


PatrickPatrick Smith

Background: MA, Film Studies, King’s College London; BA, Film Studies, Anglia Ruskin University.

Research interests: Avant-garde and experimental cinema, the essay film, installation art, intermediality, non-Western political/art cinemas and precarious labour. Patrick has a forthcoming chapter in Traditions in World Cinema: Slow Cinema, published by Edinburgh University Press, focusing on Wang Bing’s West of the Tracks.


Theo stojanovTheo Stojanov

Theo Stojanov is a sound engineer and media researcher based in Montreal. He is currently a doctoral student in Film and Moving Image Studies at Concordia University, where his work focuses on the sociology of cultural production. His research involves a critical examination of the socio-technical aspects of the creative industries and their production practices, policies, and people.

Ecem Yildirim

Ecem Yildirim is a first-year PhD student in Film and Moving Image Studies at Concordia University. She received a BA in Sociology from Middle East Technical University, and an MA in Cultural Studies from Istanbul Bilgi University. Her research interests include transnational cinemas, migrant and diasporic filmmaking, geopolitics of film, postcolonial studies, and global counter-cinema. Her doctoral research focuses on the transnational tendencies in the Turkish diasporic filmmaking in Germany.