Queen's University

Dr. Scott Mackenzie

Assistant Professor, Cultural Studies Program, Department of Film and Media

Visiting Research Fellow


After completing my PhD in Communications at McGill University, I went to Scotland to undertake a post-doctoral fellowship on minor national cinemas at the University of Glasgow. Before coming to Queen's, I taught at universities in the UK (University of Glasgow, University of East Anglia, University of St Andrews) and then Canada (York, University of Toronto).

At Queen’s, I have taught courses on classical hollywood cinemas, Arctic transnational cinemas, transnational European cinemas and terrorism, film manifestos, culture and technology, advertising and consumer culture, among others. I have published over 40 articles and book chapters on film and activism, transnational cinemas, Arctic film, popular culture, European cinemas, documentary film, and cinema and the public sphere.

My most recent research addresses global Arctic moving images cultures; film manifestos; process and handmade films; national and transnational identity in global cinemas; re-imagining Hollywood cinemas; and Situationist practice and moving image activism. My published books and articles reflect these interests. I recently co-edited, with Anna Westerståhl Stenport, Films on Ice: Cinemas of the Arctic (Edinburgh University Press, 2015), which is the first book to address the vast diversity of Northern circumpolar cinemas from a transnational perspective. With chapters on polar explorer films, silent cinema, documentaries, ethnographic and indigenous film, gender and ecology, as well as Hollywood and the USSR’s uses and abuses of the Arctic, this book provides a groundbreaking account of Arctic cinemas from 1898 to the present.

I also recently published Film Manifestos and Global Cinema Cultures (University of California Press in 2014), which is the first historical and theoretical study of film manifestos and their influence on film production, distribution and circulation from the cinema's emergence to the present. The book brings together approximately 175 key manifestoes of the last 110 years, alongside many little-known manifestoes that have nevertheless served to challenge and re-imagine cinema aesthetics, politics, distribution, production and exhibition. To this end, the book includes the major Europeans manifestos, Third Cinema political manifestos, those of the post-colonial nation-state independence movements and those of avant-garde filmmakers and writers. The book also includes thematic sections addressing documentary cinema, Hollywood, feminist and queer film cultures, film archives, aesthetics and digital cinemas and includes texts that have been traditionally left out of the canon of film manifestoes, such as the Motion Picture Production Code. Selected reviews can be found here and here.

With Brenda Longfellow and Thomas Waugh, I also recently co-edited The Perils of Pedagogy: The Works of John Greyson, an anthology on the film, video, digital and activist works of queer filmmaker and agent provocateur John Greyson. My chapter addresses, in part, Greyson's use of digital media as a means of détournement.

Earlier works on transnational and European cinemas include an anthology I co-edited on Dogme '95, with Mette Hjort, entitled Purity and Provocation (BFI, 2003), which considers Dogme in relation to national and transnational cinemas in light of globalisation. Cinema and Nation (Routledge, 2000), a central text in the field on cinema and national identity, co-edited with Mette Hjort, also addresses the way in which minor, 'small', national, alternative and oppositional cinemas can be understood through the emerging discourses of transnationalism, globalisation, multiculturalism and post-colonialism. My first monograph was entitled Screening Québec: Québécois Moving Images, National Identity and the Public Sphere (Manchester UP, 2004) which examines the role played by publicness and the public sphere in relation to contested notions of national identity in Québec cinema from its inception in the 1910s to the cinema of Denys Arcand and Robert Lepage.

I am also working on a book with Janine Marchessault entitled Process Cinema: Handmade Film in the Digital Age. Over the last twenty years, the significant resurgence of handmade film and the development of the concept of process cinema can be understood as a response in part to the rise of the digital, and the subsequent transformation of the analogue into an artist’s medium. The aim of Process Cinema: Handmade Film in the Digital Age is to trace out the neglected history of handmade and hand processed film in historical and contemporary contexts, and from a global, transnational perspective.

Most Recent Project

Films on Ice: Cinemas of the Arctic

A comprehensive study of films made in a region of the world central to its future: The Arctic. The first book to address the vast diversity of Northern circumpolar cinemas from a transnational perspective, Films on Ice: Cinemas of the Arctic presents the region as one of great and previously overlooked cinematic diversity.

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Other Projects

  • Film Manifestos and Global Cinema Cultures

    Film Manifestoes and Global Cinema Cultures is the first book to collect manifestoes from the global history of cinema, providing the first historical and theoretical account of the role played by film manifestos in filmmaking and film culture. Focussing equally on political and aesthetic manifestoes, Scott MacKenzie uncovers a neglected, yet nevertheless central history of the cinema, exploring a series of documents that postulate ways in which to re-imagine the cinema and, in the process, re-imagine the world.

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  • The Perils of Pedagogy: The Works of John Greyson

    The first book to examine the works of controversial film and video-maker, queer activist, and agent provocateur, John Greyson.

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  • Purity and Provocation: Dogma '95

    This book brings together leading scholars from a number of disciplines--film studies, literature, philosophy--in order to focus on some of the keyhistorical and conceptual issues associated with the manifesto's original formulation. In addition to identifying many of the epistemological and aesthetic puzzles to which Dogme 95 gives rise, the book looks at the relationships posited between the avant-garde and popular cinema, the role of "minor cinemas" in a world dominated by Hollywood, and the history and future of art-cinema as a means of cultural exchange between national cinemas.

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  • Screening Québec: Québécois Moving Images, National Identity and the Public Sphere

    Screening Quebec explores the connections between Quebecois image-making practices, national identity and the possibility of film, television and video functioning as the site of an alternative public sphere.

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  • Cinema and Nation

    Ideas of national identity, nationalism and transnationalism are now a central feature of contemporary film studies, as well as primary concerns for film-makers themselves. Embracing a range of national cinemas including Scotland, Poland, France, Turkey, Indonesia, India, Germany and America, Cinema and Nation considers the ways in which film production and reception are shaped by ideas of national belonging and examines the implications of globalisation for the concept of national cinema.

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