PhD in Cinema & Media Studies > Program Overview
Cinema and Media research is rapidly transforming the humanities and fine arts, reflecting the massive global expansion of media technology and the cultural impact of cinema and related media.
The York Graduate Film Program was the first graduate program in film in Canada and continues in York’s interdisciplinary tradition of cutting edge scholarship. Cinema and Media Studies is housed in a Graduate Program that features a dynamic Production MFA (including award-winning filmmakers among its faculty) and Canada’s only BFA and MFA in Screenwriting.
The PhD in Cinema and Media Studies is a broadly humanities-based, interdisciplinary program in which students acquire a comprehensive knowledge of cinema and media through theoretical, historical and critical frameworks. We welcome applicants with educational backgrounds in Film Studies, Media Studies, Communications, Cultural Studies, Art History, English, Women’s Studies, Queer and Sexuality Studies, Comparative Literature, Philosophy, Area Studies, and other disciplines that nurture research in sound and moving image media.
The PhD offers three fields of specialization:
In addition to these areas of expertise, faculty members pursue wide-ranging research in documentary and experimental film and media, emerging media, and film history.
Each year the program selects a small group of exceptional students who will join a lively intellectual community, attending innovative seminars, and receiving close attention from faculty supervisors.
Teaching, publication, and professional academic development are key components of this minimum four-year degree. After completing course work and comprehensive exams, students write a research dissertation that makes a decisive intervention in the discipline.
The PhD prepares students for academic and research careers in cinema and media studies and related fields like cultural and visual studies and communications research. Students’ highly developed historical and contemporary knowledge of cinema and media work is applicable to careers in the arts, entertainment and other media-related research areas.
Students are mentored by faculty supervisors who number among Canada’s finest cinema and media studies researchers. Cinema and Media faculty includes two Canada Research Chairs in the areas of digital media and globalization (housed in a state of the art research facility that includes a Digital Urban Media Lab and an Augmented Reality Lab) and numerous recipients of Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Standard Research and Research/Creation Grants.
York Film is the largest film department in Canada, and is situated in the centre of film culture in English Canada. Toronto provides students with exceptional exposure to film screenings (from TIFF Bell Lightbox to numerous repertory cinemas), festivals (more than 100 film festivals occur each year, including the Toronto International Film Festival, Hot Docs, and Images Festival), and resources (research collections, studios, and industry offices).
Recent guests at York include:
- Dudley Andrew
- Michel Brault
- Ian Christie
- Mary Ann Doane
- Thomas Elsaesser
- David Gatten
- Guy Maddin
- Yvonne Rainer
- Hito Steyerl
- Clement Virgo
- The Yes Men