Domitor is a nonprofit society—501(c)(3)—dedicated to the study of early cinema. Our bylaws are available in English and in French.



Martin L. Johnson (USA)

Frank Kessler (Netherlands)


Grazia Ingravalle (UK)

Céline Ruivo (Belgium)


Clara Auclair (Sweden)

Hugo Ljungbäck (USA)


Dimitrios Latsis (USA)


Patrick Ellis (USA)


Michael Cowan (USA)

Rafael de Luna Freire (Brazil)

Ana Grgić (Romania)

Maggie Hennefeld (USA)

Louis Pelletier (Canada)

Stéphanie Salmon (France)


Ian Christie (UK)

Tami Williams (USA)

Full executive committee membership and term information available here.

Full Biographies


Martin L. Johnson is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author of Main Street Movies: The History of Local Film in the United States (Indiana UP, 2018), and has published articles in Film History, Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television, Early Popular Visual Culture, and The Moving Image.

Frank Kessler is professor of Media History at Utrecht University. He is one of the founders of KINtop. Jahrbuch zur Erforschung des frühen Films and the KINtop – Studies in Early Cinema book series. His research interests are focused on the emergence of cinema as a multi-faceted medium and a cultural form. In his current research project, he works on the role of the optical lantern as a tool for knowledge communication in the 19th and early 20th centuries.


Grazia Ingravalle is Assistant Professor in Film at Queen Mary University of London. She has published extensively on film archives, early cinema, digitization, and decolonization in edited collections and journals including The Moving Image, Screen, and JCMS. Her first monograph is titled Archival Film Curatorship: Early and Silent Cinema from Analog to Digital (AUP, 2023).

Céline Ruivo served as the head of the film archives of the Cinémathèque Française in Paris from 2011 until 2020. She holds a PhD from University of Paris III and is a graduate of the L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation. Ruivo is currently finishing a postdoc at the University of Louvain-la-Neuve in Belgium, where her research focuses on the history of magic lanterns. She is a member of the Technical Commission of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF), which she headed from 2016 to 2020.


Clara Auclair is a film scholar and trained film preservationist based in Stockholm, Sweden. She holds a joint PhD from Université Paris Cité and the University of Rochester. Her dissertation explores the history of the short-lived French film industry settled in Fort Lee, NJ, in the 1910s, and highlights the influence of immigration and social networking in the early days of the film industry in the United States. With Aurore Spiers, she is currently working on an edited collection of essays dedicated to the films of Alice Guy Blaché.

Hugo Ljungbäck is a PhD student in Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago. His research focuses broadly on the intersections of experimental film, media archaeology, and archival studies, and examines the afterlives of early cinema in contemporary media and culture, including the reuse of silent films in fine arts and found footage filmmaking practices. He is also a filmmaker and archivist.


Dimitrios Latsis is Assistant Professor in Digital and Audiovisual Preservation at the University of Alabama’s School of Library and Information Studies. He is the author of How the Movies Got a Past: A Historiography of American Cinema, 1894–1930 (Oxford UP, 2023) and co-editor of Art in the Cinema: The Mid-Century Art Documentary (Bloomsbury Academic, 2020) and a special issue of The Moving Image on “Digital Humanities and/in Film Archives” (Fall 2017).


Patrick Ellis is an Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of Tampa. He is the author of Aeroscopics: Media of the Bird’s-Eye View (UC Press, 2021), and he has otherwise published in Early Popular Visual Culture, The British Journal for the History of Science, Film History, Imago Mundi, and The Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, among other journals.


Michael Cowan is Professor and Chair of the Department of Cinematic Arts at the University of Iowa. A specialist for early German cinema, he is the author of numerous articles and several books including Walter Ruttmann and the Cinema of Multiplicity (AUP, 2014) and, most recently, Film Societies in Germany and Austria 1910–1933: Tracing the Social Life of Cinema (AUP, 2023).

Rafael de Luna Freire is Associate Professor of Brazilian Film History at Fluminense Federal University, where he is the founder and director of the Audiovisual Preservation University Lab (LUPA), dedicated to the preservation of amateur cinema of the state of Rio de Janeiro. His latest book is O negócio do filme: a distribuição cinematográfica no Brasil, 1907–1915 (2022), a history of film distribution in Brazil between 1907 and 1915.

Ana Grgić is Associate Professor at Babeș-Bolyai University and Adjunct Lecturer at Monash University Malaysia. She is the author of Early Cinema, Modernity and Visual Culture: The Imaginary of the Balkans (Amsterdam UP, 2022) and co-editor of Contemporary Balkan Cinema: Transnational Exchanges and Global Circuits (Edinburgh UP, 2020), as well as two special issues, “Albanian Cinema” (KinoKultura, 2016), and “Women Cutting Movies: Editors from East and Central Europe” (Apparatus, 2018).

Maggie Hennefeld is Associate Professor of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She is the author of Specters of Slapstick and Silent Film Comediennes (Columbia UP, 2018), an editor of the journal Cultural Critique (UMN Press) and of two volumes: Unwatchable (Rutgers UP, 2019) and Abjection Incorporated: Mediating the Politics of Pleasure and Violence (Duke UP, 2020). She is a curator of the 4-disc DVD/Blu-ray set, Cinema’s First Nasty Women (Kino Lorber, 2022).

Louis Pelletier holds a PhD in Communication from Concordia University, where he is currently Research Coordinator of the Canadian Educational, Sponsored and Industrial Film project. He is also research professional for the International Research Partnership Technès at Université de Montréal and researcher in residence at Cinémathèque québécoise. He has published on silent cinema, amateur cinema, and film technology in many journals, including Film History, The Moving Image, 1895, Found Footage Magazine, and Journal of Film Preservation.

Stéphanie Salmon is scientific director of the Collections of the Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé Foundation. She is also responsible for exhibitions, publications, conferences, and correspondence with researchers. Her dissertation was published under the title Pathé, à la conquête du cinéma (Tallandier 2014). She co-directed the publication of the conference proceedings Recherches et innovations dans l’industrie du cinéma: les cahiers des ingénieurs Pathé (2017) and Les Mille et un visages de Segundo de Chomón (2019), published by the Foundation.


Ian Christie (Co-President, 2021–2023) is a film historian, curator, broadcaster, and professor of film and media history at Birkbeck College, University of London. He has written and edited many books on Russian, British, and American cinema, including Arrows of Desire: The Films of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, Inside the Film Factory (co-edited with Richard Taylor), and Scorsese on Scorsese (co-edited with David Thompson).

Tami Williams (2016–2023) is Associate Professor of English and Film Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is the author of Germaine Dulac: A Cinema of Sensations (UI Press, 2014) and editor/co-editor of Provenance and Early Cinema (Indiana UP, 2021), the 2020 CNC Prix du Livre de Cinéma recipient Germaine Dulac’s What is Cinema? (Light Cone, 2019), Global Cinema Networks (Rutgers UP, 2018), “Early Cinema and the Archives” (The Moving Image, 2016), and Performing New Media, 1895-1915 (Indiana UP, 2014).

Scott Curtis (2007–2015)

Frank Kessler (2003–2007)

Tom Gunning (1999–2003)

Paolo Cherchi Usai (1995–1999)

André Gaudreault (1987–1995)