Charlie Keil

Principal, Innis College; Professor, Department of History and Cinema Studies
Affiliated Faculty, CSUS


Innis College, Room 233A 2 Sussex Ave.



Charlie Keil has been appointed as the new Principal of Innis College. Prof. Keil is past director of the Cinema Studies Institute, and a Professor in the History Department at the University of Toronto. He has published extensively on the topic of early cinema, especially the pivotal ‘transitional era’ of the early 1910s, in such books as Early American Cinema in Transition; American Cinema’s Transitional Era (co-edited with Shelley Stamp); and American Cinema of the 1910s (co-edited with Ben Singer).  He has also published on documentary, contemporary cinema, authorship, and stardom.

His most recent publications are an anthology examining the relationship between humour and animation, co-edited with Daniel Goldmark, entitled Funny Pictures, and Beyond the Screen: Institutions, Networks and Publics of Early Cinema, co-edited with Marta Braun, Rob King, Paul Moore, and Louis Pelletier.  He is currently editing an anthology on D.W. Griffith for Wiley-Blackwell, co-editing (with Kristen Whissel) another anthology on editing and special effects for Rutgers, and completing research on a history of the origins of Hollywood.

research interests

Early cinema
Contemporary cinema


Ph. D University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1995

M. A. University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1985

B.A. University of Toronto, 1981

awards and distinctions

Chancellor Jackman Research Fellowship in the Humanities, 2010-11
TVO Lecturer of the Year Finalist, Top 20, 2006
Richard Wall Memorial Award, Theatre Library Association, Finalist, 2002
Society for Cinema Studies Student Essay Contest, 2nd Place, 1987

selected publications

“Leo Rosencrans, Movie-Struck Boy: A (Half-)Year in the Life of a Hollywood Extra.” Film History 26, 2 (2014), pp. 31-51.

“Acting Like a Star:  Florence Turner, Picture Personality.”  In Theorizing Film Acting. Ed. Aaron Taylor.  New York:  Routledge, 2012, pp. 201-09.

“D.W. Griffith and the Development of American Narrative Cinema.”  In The Wiley-Blackwell History of American Film.  Ed. Cynthia Lucia, Arthur Simon, and Roy Grundmann.  Oxford:  Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, 2012, pp. 130-54.

“Narration in the Transitional Cinema:  The Historiographical Claims of the Unauthored Text.” Cinémas 21, 3 (Spring 2011), pp. 106-30.

Funny Pictures:  Animation and Comedy in Studio-Era Hollywood.  Co-edited with Daniel Goldmark.  Berkeley:  University of California Press, 2011.  313 pp.


Key Developments in Film History
Film Cultures I
The City Where Movies are Made
Introduction to Film Study
Film Historiography
Models of Film Analysis
Film Noir



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