Cinema Studies Institute

Throughout the 20th century, cinema continued to adapt as audience tastes shifted, as technological innovations changed the possibilities for entertainment, as the art world underwent its own permutations, and as the global landscape shifted. Now, in the early years of the 21st century, cinema continues as a fascinating multi-faceted phenomenon that intersects with other information and entertainment technologies and delivery systems, even as it retains connections with its iconic past. The Cinema Studies Institute’s undergraduate and graduate programs are designed to provide students with courses that reflect the diverse nature of the cinematic experiences that have unfolded over time, and that exist in today's intensely intermedial environment.

Cinema studies has been taught on the St. George campus of the University of Toronto since 1974, making ours one of the most established and longstanding cinema studies programs in Canada, and, indeed, North America. In 2007, Cinema Studies attained institute status, and inaugurated an MA program; in 2013, the Cinema Studies Institute launched a PhD program by welcoming its first cohort of doctoral students.

Amidst all this change, one thing that has remained consistent is the academic reputation of CSI, which is unsurpassed in Canada and rivals the best in North America. This is evident in the high quality of our graduates, applicants, and faculty. Numerous graduates from our undergraduate and MA programs have successfully pursued further study of cinema and media at any number of top institutions (including Harvard, UCLA, University of Chicago, Brown, University of Michigan, Oxford, University of Wisconsin, and Concordia) or gone on to forge formidable careers as programmers, curators, critics, archivists, and creators, in Canada and abroad. Our faculty is both accomplished and multi-faceted, having won prestigious book prizes, highly competitive fellowships, and major research grants with scholarship in a wide array of subfields, including the following: animation, authorship, cinema and technology, digital media, early cinema, ecocinema, feminist film culture, genre, performance, philosophy and film, postcolonialism and cinema, queer media, race and cinema, transnationalism, and a host of national cinemas with a global reach.

With this wealth of research and teaching expertise, CSI covers a wide range of film and media areas, offering an exceptionally challenging and diverse undergraduate program of study and an innovative and rigorous suite of graduate programs. A fusion of analysis, history, and theory has been a hallmark of the cinema studies curriculum since its inception and, as such, continues to inform our approach to the study of cinema and media at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. 


Screenwriter in Residence