Colin Williamson

Wolf Humanities Center Regional Fellow

20172018 Forum on Afterlives

Colin Williamson

Assistant Professor of Film and Screen Studies, Pace University (NYC)

Colin Williamson is a film historian who specializes in media archaeology, early cinema, critical theory, and the history of science. His current research is on aesthetics, education, and technological innovation in histories of the moving image. He is the author of Hidden in Plain Sight: An Archaeology of Magic and the Cinema (Rutgers UP, 2015), and has published in such edited collections and journals as Thinking in the Dark: Cinema, Theory, Practice (Rutgers UP, 2016), Leonardo, and The Moving Image. He is also a reviews editor for Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal and serves on the Executive Committee for Domitor, The International Society for the Study of Early Cinema. His work has been supported by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard University, and the Center for Cultural Analysis at Rutgers University. Colin received his Ph.D. (2013) in Cinema and Media Studies from the University of Chicago. 


(Re)Animating Film History: Dead Media and the Art of Visual Education

Increasingly, artists and scholars in the field of media archaeology are resurrecting centuries-old (audio)visual media through creative works that reimagine how apparently “dead” artefacts take on new lives once they “die.” My project asks how cinema studies might use these creative works pedagogically. I plan to extend my scholarship on histories of visual education and the “afterlives” of film and related media to exploring artful ways of teaching film history, like having my students create digital animations of pre-cinematic photographs from the Eadweard Muybridge Collection at the University of Pennsylvania. My goal is to provide a historical and theoretical context for an “experimental film history” while appealing to broader discourses on the digital humanities, interdisciplinarity, and pedagogical innovation in the liberal arts.