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COMS 600Communication Theory


Editor, Canadian Journal of Film Studies

Co-investigator, Advanced Research Team on the History and Epistemology of Moving Image Studies

Co-investigator, Screen Culture Research Group
This website also includes the Canadian Education, Sponsored and Industrial Film Project


Charles R Acland

Professor and Concordia University Research Chair in Communication Studies

BA, Commerce (Economics and Marketing), Carleton University

PhD, Institute of Communications Research (Cultural Studies), University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana

Postdoc, Media Studies, Concordia University

Areas of Research:

Media and Cultural Theory, Film and Moving Image Studies, Cultural History, Audiovisual Technology, Popular Culture, Taste Formations

Selected Publications:


2012, Swift Viewing: The Popular Life of Subliminal Influence, Duke University Press, pp. 328.

2011, Useful Cinema, edited with Haidee Wasson, Duke University Press, pp. 386. Awarded honorable mention as the 2013 SCMS Best Edited Book and finalist for the 2012 Kraszna-Krausz Best Moving Image Book Award.

2007, Residual Media, an edited collection, University of Minnesota Press, pp. 416.

2003, Screen Traffic: Movies, Multiplexes, and Global Culture. Duke U. Press, pp 337. Winner of the 2004 Robinson Book Prize for Best Book by a Canadian Communication Scholar.

1999, Harold Innis in the New Century: Reflections and Refractions, edited with William Buxton, Montreal: McGill-Queen’s U. Press, pp. 435.

1995, Youth, Murder, Spectacle: The Cultural Politics of “Youth in Crisis,” Boulder, CO.: Westview Press, pp. 176.

Book Chapters

2013, “The End of James Cameron’s Quiet Years,” in Media Studies Futures, ed. Kelly Gates, London, Blackwell Press, pp. 269-295.

2011, “Celluloid Classrooms: Post-WWII Consolidation of Community Film Activism,” in Learning with the Lights Off: Educational Film in the United States, eds. Dan Streible, Marsha Ogeron, and Devin Ogeron, Oxford UP, 377-396.

2011, “Hollywood’s Educators: Mark May and Teaching Film Custodians,” in Useful Cinema, eds. Charles R. Acland and Haidee Wasson, Duke UP, 59-80.

2011, “Utility and Cinema,” co-authored with Haidee Wasson, in Useful Cinema, eds. C. Acland and H. Wasson, Duke UP, 1-14.

2009, “Screen Technology, Mobilization, and Adult Education in the 1950,” in Patronizing the Public: American Philanthropy’s Transformation of Culture, Communication, and the Humanities, ed. William J. Buxton, Lanham, Maryland: Rowan and Littlefield/Lexington Books, 261-279.

2008, “Classrooms, Clubs, and Community Circuits: Reconstructing Cultural Authority and The Film Council Movement, 1946-1957,” in Inventing Film Studies, edited by Lee Grieveson and Haidee Wasson, Durham: Duke University Press, 149-181.

2008, “Theatrical Exhibition: Accelerated Cinema,” in The Contemporary Hollywood Film Industry, eds. Paul McDonald and Janet Wasko, London: Blackwell Press, 83-105.

2007, “‘Opening Everywhere': Multiplexes, E-Cinema and the Speed of Cinema Culture,” in Hollywood and the Social Experience of Movie-going, eds. Robert Allen, Richard Maltby and Melvyn Stokes, Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 2007, 364-382 and 462-467.

2007, “Theatrical Exhibition: Accelerated Cinema,” in The Contemporary Hollywood Film Industry, eds. Paul McDonald and Janet Wasko, London: Blackwell Press, 2008, 83-105.

Refereed Journal Articles

2013, “Senses of Success and the Rise of the Blockbuster,” Film History, 25.1/2, 11-18.

2012, “The Crack in the Electric Screen,” Cinema Journal, 51.2, 167-171.

2009, “Curtains, Carts and the Mobile Screen,” Screen, 50.1, 148-166. Winner of the 2010 Kovacs Prize for Best Essay, from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies.

2006, “Harold Innis, Cultural Policy, and Residual Media,” International Journal of Cultural Policy, 12.2: 171-185.

2004, “Moore Than This: Fahrenheit 9/11, Screen Numbers, and Political Community,” Environmental Planning D: Society and Space, 22: 901-906.

2003, “Haunted Places: Montreal’s Rue Ste. Catherine and its Cinema Spaces,” Screen, 44.2.

2001, “Patterns of Cultural Authority: The National Film Society of Canada and the Institutionalization of Film Education, 1938-41,” Canadian Journal of Film Studies 10.1: pp. 2-27.

Non-Refereed Articles

2011, “Avatar as Technological Tentpole,” FlowTV, 13.14, “Flow Favorites Special Issue,” Reprint from issue 11.05.

2011, “You Haven’t Seen Avatar Yet,” FlowTV, 13.08,

2010, “Everybody Knows,” FlowTV, 13.03,

2010, “Marshall’s Children,” FlowTV, 11.08,

2009, “The Last Days of Videotape,” FlowTV, 11.02,

Consultancy Report

2012, “From International Blockbusters to National Hits: Analysis of the 2010 UIS Survey of Feature Films,” UNESCO Institute of Statistics, Montreal, pp. 24. Also translated as “Des superproduction internationales aux succès nationaux : analyse de l’enquête 2010 sur les statistiques des films de long métrage.”

Last update: December 09, 2013 – 12:15