Queen's Film and Media

Film and Media Studies
Film and Media Studies

Susan picture

I am a Professor in the Department of Film and Media at Queen's University, jointly appointed to the Departments of Art and Gender Studies, and currently serving as the Director of the Graduate Program in Cultural Studies. I am Director of the Vulnerable Media Lab.

My research interests have landed in the areas of cinema and media arts, cosmopolitanism, gendered spaces and the city, and Cuban cinema and visual culture. I have undertaken curatorial projects of media arts and worked with artists’ groups and artist-run centres for over 30 years. With a background in feminist and critical theory, my research has been dedicated to the histories of vulnerable media and in the remediation of these histories through curatorial and cultural events. These projects are necessarily collaborative, engaging with other researchers, cultural producers, policy and social actors to advance citizenship practices, expand the civic spaces, and decolonize the lands on which we live and work. Theories of publicity, temporality and affect are of ongoing concern. To this end, I am Director of the CFI-awarded Vulnerable Media Lab (https://www.queensu.ca/vpr/social-ecology-vulnerable-media), a new collaborative research project (with Dylan Robinson and Rosaleen Hill) dedicated to the social ecology of media arts collectives and collections, and to the preservation, migration and remediation of media arts archives by women, Indigenous peoples, and local groups. Directly linked to the VML is my involvement as a co-applicant on a partnership project entitled Archive/Counter Archive, headed by Dr. Janine Marchessault at York University. The Vulnerable Media Lab has been awarded a Canadian Foundation for Innovation grant. I have also received multiple SSHRC, Canada Council, OAC and Queen's research awards.  

My publications include two recent special issues of PUBLIC: Archive/Counter Archives  and Havana (http://www.publicjournal.ca/issues/).  A book on the Afro-Cuban filmmaker Sara Gómez is forthcoming in 2019 from University of Indiana Press. Other books include one on the visual culture of gender and violence-- Killing Women: Gender, Violence and Representation (with Annette Burfoot) Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2006; and a collaborative project on the global 1960s, New World Coming: The Sixties and the Shaping of Global Consciousness (with K. Dubinsky, C. Krull, S. Mills, S. Rutherford) Between the Lines Press, 2009.

I also published Fluid Screens: Expanded Cinema and Digital Cultures (with Janine Marchessault) Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007; Paperback edition 2008); and worked as co-director of Visible City Project + Archive. Both were results of a SSHRC-funded project on translocalities wherein Dr. Marchessault and I developed an extensive archive on media artists and collectives in Havana, Toronto and Helsinki.

My most recent SSHRC-funded project as PI is a major international and collaborative research initiative that includes a special issue of the journal Public (2016) < http://www.publicjournal.ca/52-havana/> and an online database (launching Feb 2019) called Archives of the Future/Digital Havana. Archives of the Future holds over 2000 digital objects from the 1960s Havana, hosted at Queen’s, and will encourage users to remediate the archival materials through acts of translation, recontextualization, and historical elaboration. This project emerges from collaborations with Cuban researchers, curators and artists that I have been involved with since the late 1990s. One of the ongoing parts of this collaboration is the course Cuban Culture and Society, an interdisciplinary winter/spring course that is part of an exchange agreement with the University of Havana. https://www.queensu.ca/devs/undergraduate/international-study-program-cuba. And part of this agreement includes hosting a Cuban researcher at Queen’s.

I have been a member of the Public Access collective since 1995. Public Access is an artist-run collective that publishes PUBLIC: art, culture, ideas. PUBLIC has provided a forum combining critical thinking with visual art since 1986, producing an aesthetically engaging journal which explores themes in-depth in each issue. PUBLIC is committed to critical work and reflection, and provides a unique perspective as a journal coming from Canada. I am also a board member and founder of Corridor Culture, an artist-researcher group based in Kingston. The Corridor Culture collective builds social connectivity in Kingston and the region's cultural sector by bridging visiting scholars and artists with diverse audiences here and along the corridor.