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Principal of Innis College and Professor in the History Department and Cinema Studies Institute, University of Toronto

Charlie Keil’s research has consistently focused on what he has termed the “transitional” period of early American cinema, understood to coincide with the single-reel era of production and stretching into the early feature period. As a counterpart to his research on American cinema, he has been engaged in a SSHRC-funded initiative with colleagues at Ryerson University, entitled Early Cinema Filmography of Ontario ( He has also published in the areas of documentary, stardom, and modernism/modernity. His most recent books are two co-edited anthologies, one exploring the connections between humour and animation, entitled Funny Pictures, and the other the published proceedings of the 2010 Domitor conference, Beyond the Screen. His current projects are an investigation of the origins of Hollywood, both as a filmmaking centre and a symbolic site, and the Wiley-Blackwell Companion to D.W. Griffith.

Professor Keil regularly teaches the Introduction to Film Study course, as well as courses investigating different aspects of American cinema, from filmmaking practices to distinct genres. In addition, he has taught courses on early cinema, authorship, film and technology, film history, and how history has been represented on film. At the graduate level, he has most recently offered courses on historiography and on film analysis.

Ph.D. Wisconsin-Madison (1995)
M.A. Wisconsin-Madison (1985)
B.A. Toronto (1981)


  • 2001–present
    Professor, University of Toronto