Film studies expands to offer PhD 

New Film and Moving Image Studies reflects dynamism of department

By Karen Herland

The vibrancy of Concordia’s film studies program, unique in its blend of continental and North American approaches to the discipline, is further distinguishing itself with the launch of a new PhD program.

“The strength of our program comes in good measure from the breadth and depth of our faculty, comparable to no other in Canada in this regard,” says Martin Lefebvre, who has been developing the program over the last four years.

The PhD in Film and Moving Image Studies is a purely "academic" and research-oriented program that allows students to explore film and moving images from historical, theoretical, aesthetic and cultural prespectives within the context of gobalization. The program is interdisciplinary in scope and draws from numerous fields in the humanities, including art history, literature, communications, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, cultural studies, gender and sexuality studies and semiotics.

“Another unique strength of our program is that it doesn't centre on the medium of film alone, but opens up onto the entire domain of ‘moving images’,” says Lefebvre. He adds that this perspective includes fine arts, entertainment industries and information technologies.

When Lefebvre first started developing the program, there were no other PhD-level programs in Canada devoted solely to the study of film. Since then, both Université de Montreal and York University have established programs. However, Canada is still far behind the U.S. and Europe, whose schools offer dozens of film programs at the doctoral level.

Interest thus far has been strong with over 50 students vying for the seven available places. The department is home to three Concordia research chairs and currently houses two important academic journals. Lefebvre is the editor of Recherches sémiotiques/Semiotic Inquiry, the journal of the Canadian Semiotic Association, while Catherine Russell and Charles Acland (Communication Studies) serve as editors of The Canadian Journal of Film Studies.


Concordia University