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Graduate Program in Communication & Culture

Faculty Profiles

Seth Feldman

Technology In Practice

University   York University
E-Mail Address
Phone Number   (416) 650-8247
Office Location   CFT 210
Office Hours   By Appointment


B.A. (Johns Hopkins); M.A.(SUNY Buffalo); Ph.D. English (SUNY Buffalo)


Professor Feldman was one of he founding members of the Joint Programme in Communication & Culture. A much published scholar in Canadian cinema studies, he co-edited the first anthology in the field, Canadian Film Reader as well as a second anthology, Take Two. He has also written on Soviet cinema, documentary cinema, and television and has been the writer/presenter of some 23 feature radio documentaries for the CBC program, IDEAS. Professor Feldman has served as a founder and Past President of the Film Studies Association of Canada, programmer of the Canadian Images Film Festival and Grierson Film Seminar, Associate Dean and Dean of Fine Arts at York University, Chair of the Canadian Association of Fine Arts Deans, and as Robarts Chair of Canadian Studies. In 2001, he was awarded the honorific title of University Professor, one of only twenty such positions at York University. He is currently Director of the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies.

Research Interests

My work over the years has involved consideration of the historical and theoretical contexts of work in Canadian Cinema, documentary cinema and media as a whole. I maintain a longstanding interest in television studies and, by virtue of my work in radio documentary, in the rhetoric of radio. Most recently, I have updated my research on the early Soviet filmmaker, Dziga Vertov and have incorporated a longstanding interest in issues pertaining to animals into my work on documentary and film as a whole. As Director of the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies, I have a broader interest in issues of Canadian culture and communication.

Selected Publications

“Vertov After Manovich.” Canadian Journal of Film Studies. Volume 16, Number 1 (Spring, 2007), 39-50.

“Not Ours: the Disruptive Outsider in Zacharias Kunuk’s Atanarjuat, The Fast Runner.” Literature and Cinema in Canada: Comparing Cultures. University of Bologna. December 12, 2006.
“Expo ’67 and the Narrative of Canadian Documentary History.”Film Studies Association of Canada. University of Saskatchewan, May 30, 2007.
“Grierson Plus v. The Post-Documentarians: Theories of Documentary as Triumphant or Dead.” Keynote: New Directions in Turkish Cinema Conference. Kadir Has University (Istanbul). May 3, 2008.
Nanook of the North: Robert J. Flaherty, Fatty Arbuckle and the Invisible Bride.” Film Studies Association of Canada. University of British Columbia . June 3, 2008.
Inventing Dinosaurs – a one hour program on the Victorian scientists who created the modern understanding of dinosaurs. CBC - IDEAS. Produced by Sara Wolch. Broadcast January 17 and 18, 2006.

Current research projects/journals

I am currently writing a book on the history and meaning of documentary cinema. I am also the principal investigator on two SSHRC grants: a study of the Canadian films screened at Expo '67 (standard research grant) and a multi-media project on cities that share their names with concentration camps (research/creation grant). In 2009, I will be writing and presenting CBC Ideas radio documentary on the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species. I will also be offering a new graduate seminar on Images of Animals (Winter term, through the Humanities graduate program cross-listed with ComCult).


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Harold [Innis] taught us how to use the bias of culture and communication as an instrument of research. By directing attention to the bias, or distorting power of the dominant imagery and technology of any culture, he showed us how to understand cultures.
~ Marshall McLuhan