Queen's Film and Media

Film and Media Studies
Film and Media Studies
Scott MacKenzie Picture

Scott MacKenzie

Full Professor / Undergraduate Chair / Assoc. Head
Film and Media

My most recent research addresses global Arctic moving images cultures; film manifestos; process and handmade films; national and transnational identity in global cinemas; re-imagining Hollywood cinemas; and Situationist practices and moving image activism. My published books and articles reflect these interests. I have recently co-edited three books on Critical Arctic Studies. The first, Films on Ice: Cinemas of the Arctic (co-edited with Anna Stenport, Edinburgh UP, 2015), is the first book to address the vast diversity of Arctic cinemas from a transnational perspective. The second volume, part of the Palgrave Studies in World Environmental History series, entitled Arctic Environmental Modernities: From the Age of Polar Exploration to the Era of the Anthropocene (co-edited with Lill-Ann Körber and Anna Stenport, Palgrave, 2017), offers a diverse account of the intersections between modernities and environments in the circumpolar global North, foregrounding the Arctic as a critical space where the past, present, and future of the planet’s environmental, Indigenous and political systems are projected and imagined. The third volume, Arctic Cinemas and the Documentary Ethos (co-edited with Lilya Kaganovsky and Anna Stenport, Indiana UP, 2019), examines the global history in Arctic documentary moving images, from expedition and experimental films, to Indigenous rights and climate change.

Other recent work includes Process Cinema: Handmade Film in the Digital Age (co-edited with Janine Marchessault, McGill-Queen’s UP, 2019), which traces out the neglected history of handmade and hand processed film in historical and contemporary contexts, and from a global, transnational perspective. I also recently published Film Manifestos and Global Cinema Cultures (U California P, 2014), which is the first historical and theoretical study of film manifestos and their influence on film production, distribution and circulation from the cinema’s emergence to the present. The book brings together approximately 175 key manifestoes of the last 110 years, alongside many little-known manifestoes that have nevertheless served to challenge and re-imagine cinema aesthetics, politics, distribution, production and exhibition. To this end, the book includes the major Europeans manifestos, Third Cinema political manifestos, those of the post-colonial nation-state independence movements and those of avant-garde filmmakers and writers. The book also includes thematic sections addressing documentary cinema, Hollywood, feminist and queer film cultures, film archives, and aesthetics and digital cinemas. Selected reviews can be found herehere, and here. With Brenda Longfellow and Thomas Waugh, I also recently co-edited The Perils of Pedagogy: The Works of John Greyson (McGill-Queen’s UP, 2013), an anthology on the film, video, digital and activist works of queer filmmaker and agent provocateur John Greyson.

Earlier works on transnational and European cinemas include an anthology I co-edited on Dogme ‘95, with Mette Hjort, entitled Purity and Provocation (BFI, 2003), which considers Dogme in relation to national and transnational cinemas in light of globalisation. Cinema and Nation (Routledge, 2000), a central text in the field on cinema and national identity, also co-edited with Mette Hjort, addresses the way in which minor, ‘small’, national, alternative and oppositional cinemas can be understood through the emerging discourses of transnationalism, globalisation, multiculturalism and post-colonialism. My first monograph Screening Québec: Québécois Moving Images, National Identity and the Public Sphere (Manchester UP, 2004) examines the role played by publicness and the public sphere in relation to contested notions of national identity in Québec cinema from its inception in the 1910s to the cinema of Denys Arcand and Robert Lepage.

My forthcoming monograph Guy Debord: The Cinema, too, Must Be Destroyed (Manchester UP) provides the first English-language account of Debord’s six films, their importance to French cinema (especially to the French avant-garde, la nouvelle vague, and to post-’68 cinema) and their role in the development of Dedord’s concepts of psychogéographie, la dérive, détournement, and la société du spectacle. The book reclaims Debord’s importance as a filmmaker, the relevance of his cinematic practices to his Situationist thought and his central, yet nevertheless neglected, position in French cinema history more generally.

My work on transnational film and media continues, and I am presently working on an anthology with Gunnar Iversen on the global history of the rockumentary entitled Images of Sound and Fury: Mapping the Rockumentary.

I have curated and co-curated film and media programs for venues such as: The Polar Film Festival (NYC); The EYE Museum (Amsterdam); The Arctic Moving Image and Film Festival (Harstad, Norway); Verzio International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival (Budapest); and the international documentary conference Visible Evidence.

Click here for a list of publications.