Cameron Tolton

Professor Emeritus


Cameron Tolton, a Professor Emeritus since 2001, earned his Honours B.A. in Classics and French from the University of Toronto, followed by an A.M. and Ph. D. in Romance Languages and Literatures from Harvard University.  His dissertation was on the Nobel Prize-winning French author, André Gide.  In 1964 he began teaching in the French Department at Victoria College, U of T, where he continued research and publication on Gide and his contemporaries.  His most recent article (on Gide) appeared in 2024.

In 1973 he was invited to teach a Cinema course.  Although the course dealt exclusively with film history, theory and analysis, he promptly enrolled in filmmaking courses at the then Ryerson University and The Three Schools.  In these early film-teaching years he became one of the founding members of the Faculty of Arts and Science Cinema Studies Programme housed at Innis College. During a research leave in 1978-79 he studied Film Semiotics in Paris.  Soon he was teaching further Cinema Studies courses at Innis and in the Graduate Centre for Drama.  From 1994 to 1999 he served as Director of the Cinema Studies Programme.  In 1997 he received an Award for Outstanding Teaching (in Cinema Studies) from the Faculty of Arts and Science. To his surprise he had successfully turned a youthful passion into a successful and rewarding career path.

In relation to Cinema Studies, he was a coordinator of the legendary Norman Jewison Lectures in the 1980s and 90s, and the co-organizer of two conferences, one on Semiotics of Cinema, and another on Jean Cocteau.  His cinema publications reflect his interest in film narratology and in the contributions of Gide and Cocteau to the cinema world.  See especially The Cinema of Jean Cocteau (Legas, 1999). Since retirement, he researches and lectures most winters in Paris.


PhD, Harvard University
AM, Harvard University
BA, University of Toronto