Current PhD Students

photo of Lani AkandeLani Akande’s interests include the use of African philosophies to reconceptualise African Cinemas, and the conducting of research for the benefit of film practice. Currently, his work focuses on Nollywood’s style and aesthetics as legitimate sites for developing newer and more relevant theories for African Cinema. He is a filmmaker, and his first feature comes out soon. He has a MA in Communication and Media from McMaster University, and a BA in Film from Brock University.





Scott Birdwise's research interests include documentary film and film theory, film and philosophy, ethnographic film, biopolitics, and experimental film and video. He is currently researching the role of documentality—the conjunction of documentary and governmental practices and discourses—in the politics and representation of everyday life and the body, specifically in four national/institutional/critical practices (England, Canada, France, USA).

Reşat Fuat Cam’s research focuses mainly on the interrelations between philosophy, aesthetics and cinema.

Slav Ceperkovic

photo of Marko DjurdjicPrior to starting his PhD in Cinema and Media Studies at York, Marko Djurdjić received a BA from McGill University, a BEd from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, and an MA from York University. His diverse research and teaching interests include the pedagogical implications of phenomenology, object oriented ontology and the 'living' space, black and white horror in the 21st century, the New French Extremity, the non-canonical (ie. non-film festival) films of the Balkans, and the implementation of new media in junior school education.





Clint Enns graduated with a Master’s degree in Mathematics from the University of Manitoba and another Master’s degree in Cinema and Media Studies from York University.  His research interests include: the art of the accident and glitch art, experimental and early computer animation, and mathematics in art. His writings and interviews have appeared in Millennium Film Journal, Incite! Journal of Experimental Media and Spectacular Optical.

photo of David Han using VR gearDavid Han is a media artist, scholar and educator whose work employs emerging technology to explore the boundaries between computation, cinema and new media. His current doctoral work examines the unique affordances of virtual reality (VR). Building upon research in media studies and cognitive science and inspired by early formalist experimentation in filmmaking, his research creation project aims to contribute to an understanding of the defining characteristics of this new medium and expand the range of possibilities for creative practice in VR.

Katia Houde's research focuses mainly on female avant-garde filmmakers and their use of horror film tropes to tackle issue of trauma and memory.

photo of Alison HumphreyAlison Humphrey plays with story across the fields of drama, digital media, and education. After starting out as an intern at Marvel Comics, she produced one of the first ever online alternate reality games for Douglas Adams’s Starship Titanic, initiated one of the earliest transmedia in-fiction blogs in a TV series, and co-created two interactive, live-animated theatre projects: Faster than Night (Toronto) and The Augmentalist (Silicon Valley). Her Vanier-CGS funded research explores how a science-fiction transmedia storyworld (, co-created with theatre students on four continents, can empower youth civic engagement and public health problem-solving. The project premiered during the World Health Organization’s 70th annual assembly in Geneva, Switzerland. Website:

Caroline Klimek's research interests include film festivals, media industry studies, digital archiving and emerging technologies. Her work has appeared in PUBLIC and the Canadian Journal of Film Studies.

Masaki Kondo

Cody Lang's research interests are genre studies and theory, film philosophy, and the politics of aesthetics. He has written and presented on film noir/neo-noir, magical realism, melodrama, Arctic cinema, and comedy. His dissertation research is concerned with magical realist cinema in the transnational context..

Jeremy Mathers is interested in documentary film history and theory, cultural policy, the National Film Board of Canada, and the use of film by science, industry, and the state. His research considers the mediation of nuclear energy through over fifty Canadian documentary films that have been produced since 1942. He entered the Cinema and Media Studies program in 2013 with an MA from the Joint Program in Communication & Culture between York and Ryerson universities, and a BA in Film Studies and Canadian Studies from the University of British Columbia.

photo of Maddison McGillvrayMaddison McGillvray earned her B.A in Communications Studies and an M.A in Film Studies from Carleton University. Maddison writes extensively on the horror genre, with topics including gender and sexuality, gothic horror, 21st century horror, the New French Extremity, and online horror. Her other teaching and research areas include feminist film theory, transmedia storytelling, and genre studies. Continuing her interest in gender and horror, Maddison is currently completing her doctoral dissertation on female directors working in the New French Extremity. She is also the Editorial Assistant at Rue Morgue, the world’s leading horror in culture and entertainment magazine.


Cameron Moneo's doctoral work evaluates the critical and productive roles humour has played in experimental or avant-garde film and video. His research objectives are as follows: (1) To establish humour as an important corollary of the “radical aspiration” (per Annette Michelson) in experimental moving image arts, forging links to extant theories of humour and the comic and suggesting new avenues of humour opened by the film and video avant-gardes. (2) To provide the first extensive study of humour in experimental film and video, appraising a diverse array of figures, works, and contexts. (3) To mend the gaps in recent literature on humour in the arts by situating humorous experimental video and, perhaps more urgently, film in the larger patterns of twentieth- and now twenty-first century art.

Jessica Mulvogue has earned a B.A. in Drama and Theatre at McGill University and an M.A. in Film Studies at University College London. Jessica's research broadly looks at the interrelations between performance and cinema. Her areas of interest include: theatricality in contemporary art (film/video, photography, installation); performance theory and film theory; spectatorship; and the politics of performance. Her doctoral thesis examines the use of the tableau vivant in both cinema and contemporary art practices.

photo of Yuval SagivYuval Sagiv's research and creative practice examines and employs film and audio archives as documentation of the past and as instruments in its reconstruction. His previous archival project, How I Filmed the War, an experimental documentary about a British cinematographer on the Western Front, premiered at HotDocs (2010) and has since screened in many film festivals around the world including FIDMarseille, Viennale, and Docs Barcelona, where it won the 2012 TV3 New Talent Award. He is currently working on apprehending McLuhan's new age of all-at-onceness through an exploration of the captured sounds and sights of the summer of 1967.



photo of Claudia SicondolfoClaudia Sicondolfo’s research interests include film festivals, screen publics, youth and digital media cultures, and the creative industries’ relationships with affect theories. Her Vanier-CGS funded doctoral research examines educational and community outreach strategies of various Canadian digital screen institutions, collectives, and film festivals. By focusing on digital and mobile technologies, including VR experiences, social media outreach, interactive documentaries and online platforms, she aims to interrogate contemporary engagement discourses involving youth communities and emergent media artists. Claudia has worked extensively with educational communities across Canada and has published educational companion curriculum for interactive and traditional documentaries, including Highrise and Offshore. She has two forthcoming (2018) book chapters.




Genne Speers has a BFA in Art History and Film Studies with a Minor in Printmaking from Concordia University, Montréal, and a Masters in Cinema and Film Archiving from the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. Genne has worked on projects at the BFI National Archive, Berkhamsted, UK, and UNESCO, Paris, France. Her research interests include: traditional and counter archival theory, critical theory and experience, and regimes of perspective in documentary practice. Genne is also the print maintenance specialist at CFMDC in Toronto and has worked on the technical team for several film festivals including Toronto International Film Festival, Hot Docs, and Inside Out LGBT Film Festival.

photo of Michael TrommerMichael Trommer is a Toronto-based producer, sound and multi-media artist; his experimental work has been focused primarily on psychogeographical and acoustemological explorations via the use of field recordings, infra- and ultrasound, as well as multi-channel installation and expanded video techniques. He has released material on a diverse roster of international labels and has performed and exhibited his sound, video and installation work throughout North America, Europe and Asia. He currently teaches at OCAD University in Toronto.



photo of Kate Lawrie Van de VenKate Lawrie Van de Ven’s doctoral research explores Toronto’s many film festivals, their relationship to their urban communities, and how different kinds of festival space impact understandings of Toronto as a particular kind of place: a festival city. Her broader interests include film festival cultures, media literacy, education and social justice; contemporary visual culture; and cinematic urbanism. She has published on spectacular representations of Paris and hotels and motels as cinematic purgatories as well as writing broadly for and about film festivals. She previously studied in the film departments at UCLA and Queen’s University. Please see more at




Mason Wales

photo of Glen WoodGlen Wood's research interests include non-fiction media, urban discourses, and subcultural theory. His doctoral work focuses on the notion of authenticity in relation to internal hierarchies within self-documenting, urban subcultures. He was awarded the Ontario Trillium Scholarship in 2015. He graduated with a Master of Arts degree from New York University's Cinema Studies program, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh's Film Studies program.



Theodore Xenophontos’s research is primarily focused on archives. Beyond archive theory, other areas of interest include historiography, media archaeology, and film's relationship to the other arts.

Sennah Yee has a BFA in Screenwriting and a MA in Cinema & Media Studies at York University. Her current research examines gendered robot design in popular media and technology, focusing on female humanoid robots in Japan and the US. She is a research assistant at YorkU's Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts and Technology, and the arts editor at Shameless magazine. Her first book of poetry/non-fiction HOW DO I LOOK? is at Metatron Press. Website:

MA Students

Christina Chow

Yolanda Chu

photo of Emily CollinsEmily Collins graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a BA in Comparative Literature and Culture. She went on to earn an MA in Arts and Culture from Maastricht University in the Netherlands where she focused on collective memory and creative cities. She has worked in both commercial and public contemporary art galleries before returning to school to do an MA in Cinema and Media Studies. Her current research involves the intersection of cinematic representations of space, place and landscape with gender construction, identification and experience, specifically within the films of Agnès Varda. Her areas of interest include: feminist film theory, women filmmakers, spatial representation, hybrid documentary and film festivals.




Cameron Eidlitz

Joseph Fiumara

photo of Melissa GonikMelissa Gonik earned her BA in the York University Cinema and Media Studies program, and is now in the first year of her MA degree. Melissa has always been interested in the role that film festivals have in the greater Toronto identity, and the opportunities that they provide in Toronto society. Melissa is currently conducting her Master’s research on the topic, studying the ways that festivals have a positive impact on the city through their programming and philosophies. Currently, her research is primarily being conducted via Regent Park Film Festival and ImagineNATIVE Film Festival, completing an internship with the former.





Nikita Helewa

Elina Lex

Nick White