Kass Banning

Associate Professor, Teaching Stream
Innis College, IN-322E, 2 Sussex Avenue, Toronto, ON M5S 1J5


Kass Banning’s research focuses on aesthetics and screen alterity, to include minor cinemas and new media, ranging from diasporic to Indigenous to queer. Complementing her research on cultural translation and local / global intersections, her work revisits national, transnational and planetary analytics, from theoretical and philosophical perspectives that privilege mobility and affect. A specialist in Canadian cinema since the 1990s, she has published in the areas of minor Canadian and Black British cinemas, migratory aesthetics, and hybrid documentary media, has co-edited an anthology on Canadian women’s cinema (University of Toronto Press), and co-founded and co-edited two path-breaking Canadian quarterlies CineAction and Borderlines for over a decade.

Professor Banning’s current research interests include moving image installation and migratory aesthetics, British artist / filmmaker John Akomfrah; CBC director / producer Mario Prizek; and she has longstanding, ongoing engagements with Inuit media and the work of artist Isaac Julien. In association with the Jackman Humanities institute, she is co-lead of the Image / Movement / Sound quadrant of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funded project Aesthetic Education: A South-North Dialogue. She currently serves on the executive of the Film Studies Association of Canada.

At the undergraduate level Professor Banning teaches courses on race (to include critical race, diaspora and postcolonial theory), transnationalism, documentary media, contemporary film and media theory, local film cultures, minor Canadian cinema and visual culture, and moving images in the gallery, in addition to courses that critically explore national/regional cinemas, such as British and Sub-Saharan African. At the graduate level, courses include: “Expanding Black Visuality,” “Installation of the Real” and “Theories and Practices.”

Edited Books

Gendering the Nation: Canadian Women's Cinema. Co-edited with Kay Armatage, Brenda Longfellow, and Janine Marchessault. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999. 331 pp.

Articles in Journals

The Nine Muses: Recalibrating Migratory Aesthetics.” Black Camera, 6:2 (Spring 2015).

Canadian Film Classics Review Essay. “Letters in Canada”, University of Toronto Quarterly, 83:2 (Fall 2014).

“Local Channels: Zach Kunuk Remodels T.V.” Parallelogramme, XV11 (1991), pp. 24-31.

“The Canadian Female Spectatorial Position,” (co-authored) Camera Obscura, (Fall 1990).

Articles in Books

“Tomorrow or the End of Time.” In John Akomfrah: Purple. Barbican Art Gallery, London, UK (October, 2017)                                              

“‘Strike a Pose’: Notes Towards Tableau and Temporality in the work of John Greyson.” In The Work of John Greyson, Ed. Thomas Waugh & Brenda Longfellow. Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2013.

“Nation Time at Kwacha House: The Transitional Modalities of Encounter at Kwacha House.” In Challenge for ChangeActivist Documentary at the National Film Board of Canada.  Ed. Thomas Waugh, Michael Baker, and Ezra Winton. Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 2010, pp. 190-200.

“In Limbo: Creolisation and Untranslatability: Isaac Julien.“ In SUBTITLES: On the foreignness of film. Ed. Ian Balfour and Atom Egoyan.  Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2005, pp. 355-380.

“Conjugating Three Moments in Black Canadian Cinema.” In North of EverywhereEnglish Canadian Cinema since 1980. Ed. William Beard and Jerry White. Edmonton: University of Edmonton Press, 2002, pp. 84-100.

The Ties That Bind: Here we Go Again.” In Feminism-art-theory: an anthology, 1968-2000. Ed. Hilary Robinson. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2001.

“Playing in the Light: Canadianizing Race and Nation.” In Gendering the Nation: Canadian Women's Cinema. Ed. Kay Armatage, Kass Banning, Brenda Longfellow & Janine Marchessault. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999, pp. 291-310.

“Textual Excess in Joyce Wieland's Hand-Tinting.” In The Films of Joyce Wieland. Ed. Catherine Elder. Waterloo: Wilfred Laurier Press, 1999, pp. 129-135.

“The Mummification of Mummy: Joyce Wieland as the AGO's First Living Other.” In Sitelines: Reading Contemporary Canadian Art, Eds. Jessica Bradley and Lesley Johnstone. Montreal: Artextes, 1994.

“From Didactics to Desire: Building Women's Film Culture.” In Work In Progress: Building Feminist Culture. Toronto: Women's Press, 1987   


Things I Cannot Change,” 100 Years of Canadian Cinema, TIFF (September, 2017) (web)

“Streaming of Ways of Seeing (in) African Cinema,”Higher Learning, TIFF Bell Lightbox. (February 17th 2012.) Streaming commenced February 2013.

“Lookin’ for the Watermelon Woman,” Border/Lines, #44, (1997).

“What's Love, Science and Singing Got to Do With IT? John Greyson’s Zero Patience,” CineAction, #33 (Feb. 1994), pp. 59-65.

“Necrophilia and the Black Imaginary,” Border/Lines, #32, (Winter 1994).

“The Canadian Feminist Hybrid Film.” CineAction, no. 26-27 (Winter 1992), pp. 108-115.

“The Salvage Paradigm,” C Magazine (Fall/Winter 1990).

“Rhetorical Remarks Towards the Politics of Otherness,” CineAction, (May 1989).

“It’s My Party: Twisting and Shouting at the International Experimental Film Congress,” Cinema Canada, (August 1989).

Reflections on "A Critical Dialogue",” Cinema Canada, (March 1988).

“Revision: The British Film Institute and the Canadian Avant-garde Cinema,” A Commonwealth, Toronto: the Funnel Theatre, 1984.