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Michael Cowan

(Sabbatical Sept. 1 2012 - Aug. 31 2013)

Associate Professor,
William Dawson Scholar in Film and Visual Studies

I completed my BA in Cultural Studies at the University of North Carolina in 1996, an MA in French at UC-Berekeley in 1998 and a PhD in German at Berkeley in 2004. Before coming to McGill, I also taught at the University of Virginia. Currently, I am an Associate Professor in LLC with a focus on European cinema and culture, as well as co-chair of McGill's Program in World Cinemas and co-director of the Moving Image Research Laboratory (MIRL). My research interests include film and the moving image, visual culture, history of the body and subjectivity, media technologies and the avant-garde. My last book TECHNOLOGY’S PULSE (2012) examines the remarkable role played by rhythm as a means of conceptualizing industrial modernity and mediating technological experience in the science, art, film, literature and performance cultures in the early 20th century. My next major project examines the links between film, advertising and visual culture between the wars. Recent and forthcoming publications include a monograph on Walter Ruttmann; a co-edited collection on Hans Richter; and articles on abstract film and dance, silhouette design in print and film, radio and the emergence of ‘political’ cinema between the wars, Abel Gance’s LA FIN DU MONDE , the history and epistemology of the ‘cross-section’ in Weimar visual culture, and the screen cultures of early advertising film. For a detailed list of publications and projects, see my website here.