Originally from Ottawa, I began my undergraduate studies in film at the University of Western Ontario, before heading further west to Vancouver and completing my degree at SFU. Continuing with film studies, my Master’s thesis research addressed approaches to canon formation, or canon busting, in response to the growth of Canadian independent feature filmmaking through the late 1980s and early 1990s.
My interest in Canadian cinema led my involvement with the Vancouver International Film Festival, where I started out as a volunteer pre-screener and eventually became the Canadian Images programmer. During this period, I was also working away, part-time, on a PhD in Communication at SFU. My dissertation research focused on the Canadian international film festival as a major institutional force in the development of national cinema culture.
My teaching at UBC has included many years with the Film Studies unit in the Department of Theatre and Film, and in 2012, brought me to Arts Studies in Research and Writing. Since I’ve been teaching WRDS 150 (formerly ASTU 150), my own research has shifted to focus on how the emerging field of film festival studies frames its objects of study. For example, how do festival scholars theorize the interconnections between festivals, and what is meant by the term festival circuit? Recently, my course topic of social media converged with my festival research for an article on the Internet Cat Video Festival (#catvidfest), in which I explore how memes and virality have impacted the festival format.