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



Tami Williams (UK/USA) (2021)
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Department of English
P.O. Box 413
Milwaukee, WI 53201


Ian Christie (UK) (2022)

Valentine Robert (Switzerland) (2023)


Clara Auclair (France/USA) (2021)

Grazia Ingravalle (UK) (2023)


Dimitrios Latsis (Canada) (2023)


Colin Williamson (USA) (2023)


Camille Blot-Wellens (Sweden) (2022)

Michael Cowan (USA) (2023)

Patrick Ellis (USA) (2021)

Maggie Hennefeld (USA) (2023)

Martin L. Johnson (USA) (2024)

Louis Pelletier (CAN) (2021)


Scott Curtis (USA/Qatar) (Past-President, 2021)

Full Biographies


Tami M. Williams (PhD, UCLA) is Associate Professor of English and Film Studies at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Her books as author/editor/coeditor include Provenance and Early Cinema (2021), 2020 CNC Prix du Livre de Cinéma recipient Germaine Dulac’s What is Cinema? (2019), Global Cinema Networks (2018), The Moving Image special issue, 16.1: Early Cinema and the Archives (2016), Germaine Dulac: A Cinema of Sensations (2014), and Performing New Media, 1895-1915 (2014).  She has a passion for early cinema and the archive, and the diverse intersections of wordlessness, gesture, and symbolist aesthetics in Belle époque performance arts, French impressionism, and the films of contemporary women directors. She is a founding coordinator of the paper prints pilot Media Ecology Project-Domitor-Library of Congress (MEP-D-­LOC), SCMS Silent Cinema Cultures Scholarly Interest GroupUWM Film Studies Archive Preservation Project, and Media Studies Research Collaboratory, and a board member of Women Film History International. (


Ian Christie is professor of Film and Media History at Birkbeck College, and a film historian, curator and broadcaster. He has written and edited books on Powell and Pressburger, Russian cinema, Scorsese and Gilliam. He has also contributed to exhibitions ranging from Film as Film (Hayward, 1979) to Modernism: Designing a New World (V&A, 2006). In 1994 he wrote and co-produced The Last Machine, a BBC TV series on early cinema presented by Terry Gilliam. In 2006 he was Slade Professor of Fine Art at Cambridge University with a series of lectures entitled “The Cinema Has Not Yet Been Invented.” He is also a Fellow of the British Academy, director of the London Screen Study Collection, and a past president of Europa Cinemas. His recent publications include The Art of Film: John Box and Production Design (Columbia University Press, 2009), Audiences (Amsterdam University Press, 2012), Doctor Zhivago (Palgrave MacMillan, 2016), and chapters and articles on early film copyright, film in the museum, the representation of the ancient world in early cinema, trick films and special effects, stereoscopy, and space and place on screen. (

Michael Cowan heads the Department of Film Studies at St Andrews University. He is the author of numerous books and articles on film, media history, visual culture, and German modernity, including the award-winning Walter Ruttmann and the Cinema of Multiplicity (2014). He also served as co-editor (with A. Kaes, N. Baer) of The Promise of Cinema: German Film Theory, from 1907-1933 (2016).

Valentine Robert is Senior Lecturer of Film Studies at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. She was Visiting Scholar at the Université de Montréal (GRAFICS) and Swiss National Researcher (SNSF) on the interdisciplinary project She is co-editor of Le film sur l’art, entre histoire de l’art et documentaire de création (PUR, 2015) and of Corporeality in Early Cinema: Viscera, Skin, and Physical Form (Indiana University Press, 2018). Her research focuses on the interplay between film and painting, especially about tableaux vivants, in connection with theater, photography, lantern slides. She was the curator of “Tableaux Vivants,” an early films and paintings program featured at the Pordenone Film Festival 2017 (and then in Bonn, Munich, Helsinki, Lausanne, Barcelona, Paris…), and contributed to the curation of the cinematic sections of exhibitions on Gustave Dore (Musée d’Orsay & National Gallery of Canada, 2014);  James Tissot (Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco & Musée d’Orsay, 2019-2020); Enfin le cinéma! (Musée d’Orsay & LACMA, 2019-2020). She is currently preparing a book titled L’origine picturale du cinéma.


Clara Auclair is a PhD Candidate in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester (Rochester, NY) and in Histoire et Sémiologie du Texte et de l’Image at Université Paris Diderot (Paris, France). Her dissertation, entitled ‘L’intime des collections technologiques: Mémoire(s) de l’industrie cinématographique française à Fort Lee, NJ,’ explores the history of the French film community settled in Fort Lee (NJ) in the 1910s through archival research, individual memoirs and film analyses. Clara’s research is interested in the franco-american network of relationships created in Fort Lee, and how it shaped both the film frame and the spaces of the burgeoning city.

Grazia Ingravalle (PhD, St Andrews) is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in Film and Media Studies at Brunel University London. By examining archival film acquisitions, restorations, digitizations, and online dissemination, Grazia’s work explores the role that audiovisual archives have played in historicizing film and old media in the wake of the digital turn, shaping public visual histories, questioning historiographic trends, and contributing to cultural diplomatic efforts. Grazia’s work appeared in The Moving Image, for which she also coedited a special issue about digital humanities and film archives in 2017, and in Screen. She delivered a keynote at the 2018 Domitor Graduate Workshop and contributed to the forthcoming book Provenance and Early Cinema (ed. Williams, Yumibe, Bernardi, Cherchi Usai, IUP, 2020). Her latest article about the provenance, preservation, and exhibition history of a BFI collection of colonial films shot in India (1899–1947) will appear in the Journal of Cinema and Media Studies in the Spring of 2022. She is currently working on her book manuscript Museums of Cinema: Archival Film Curatorship from Analog to Digital.


Dimitrios Latsis is Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the School of Image Arts, Ryerson University in Toronto where he teaches in the Film Studies and Film and Photography Preservation and Collection Management programs. He received his PhD in Film Studies from the University of Iowa and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Visual Data Curation at the Internet Archive where he served as film archivist. His work on American visual culture, early cinema and the Digital Humanities has been supported by the Smithsonian Institution, Domitor and the Mellon and Knight Foundations among others. He has published and lectured widely in the fields of American Visual Culture, the historiography and theory of cinema and archival studies. He recently edited a special issue of the journal of the Association of Moving Image Archivists on Digital Humanities and/in Film Archives. He is currently co-editing an anthology on documentaries about the visual arts in the 1950s and 60s (for Bloomsbury Academy), and writing a monograph on the historiography of American cinema during the early and silent years, tentatively entitled: Through a Glass Darkly: Film History in the Making, 1895-1930.


Camille Blot-Wellens is an independent researcher and archivist. She has studied History at University Paris 1 and Film Archives at University Paris 8 and the European program Archimedia. She started collaborating with Filmoteca Española in 2000 as independent researcher, and more specifically on the identification and analysis the Sagarmínaga Collection (more than hundred films produced between 1895 and 1906) together with Encarni Rus Aguilar and the Joly-Normandin films of the Sagarmínaga collection and from the Cinemateca Portuguesa. Alongside, she obtained the grant Lavoisier from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2001) to assist Luciano Berriatúa on the restoration of Der letzte Mann (F. W. Murnau, 1925). She continued working with Luciano Berriatúa on other Murnau’s films: Schloss Vogelöd (1921) and Phantom (1922) for the Murnau-Stiftung. In 2007, she joined the Cinémathèque française as Head of the Films Collections where she developed researches to better restore the silent films of the collections. Since 2012, she has been an independent researcher and historian residing in Stockholm, where she works on restoration and research projects for European and International archives.

Patrick Ellis (PhD, Berkeley) is an Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of Tampa. He is the author of Aeroscopics: Media of the Bird’s-Eye View (University of California Press, 2021), which provides a history of aerial vision in the era prior to commonplace flight. Beyond the history of film, his interests include the histories of cartography, medicine, and technology. He has work published or forthcoming in The British Journal for the History of Science, Early Popular Visual Culture, Film History, Imago Mundi, and The Journal of Cinema and Media Studies. He co-organized the Second International Berkeley Conference on Silent Cinema, and has curated exhibits and silent film programs for, amongst others, the Center for Puppetry Arts, the Media Archaeology Lab, the Pacific Film Archive, retroTECH, and the Wolfsonian Museum.

Maggie Hennefeld is Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota. She is author of the award-winning book, Specters of Slapstick andSilent Film Comediennes (Columbia UP, 2018), an editor of the journal Cultural Critique, and co-editor of two volumes, Unwatchable (Rutgers UP, 2019) and Abjection Incorporated: Mediating the Politics of Pleasure and Violence (Duke UP, 2020). Her research focuses on comedy, gender politics, and silent film history. Her articles have appeared in volumes and journals including Camera Obscura, differences, Discourse, Early Popular Visual Culture, Film History, and Journal of Cinema & Media Studies. She is also a cultural critic and contributor to magazines such as Los Angeles Review of Books, Film Comment, Ms. Magazine, and Open Democracy. She is co-curator (with Laura Horak) of “Nasty Women,” a silent film program spotlighting cinema’s first feminist rabble-rousers, which has been featured at the Pordenone Giornate del Cinema Muto (2017, 2019) and numerous other venues across North America and Europe–with plans for a 4-disc DVD/Blu-ray set. She is currently writing a book about the history of women who allegedly died from laughing too hard, considered alongside theories of female hysteria and historiographies of early cinema.

Louis Pelletier (PhD, Concordia University) is a postdoctoral fellow at the International Research Partnership on Cinema Technology Technès, Université de Montréal. He wrote his PhD dissertation on the institutionalisation of film exhibition in Montreal. Some of the findings of his research on early and silent cinema, film exhibition, film preservation, film technology, and useful cinema have appeared in such journals as Film History, 1895, The Moving Image, The Journal of Film Preservation, and Cinémas. As a coordinator of a digitization project initiated by GRAFICS and Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, he has investigated the coverage of early cinema by Quebec newspapers and periodicals.

Colin Williamson (PhD, University of Chicago) is an Assistant Professor of American Studies and Cinema Studies at Rutgers University – New Brunswick. Previously, he was a fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wolf Humanities Center and the Center for Cultural Analysis at Rutgers University, and a visiting scholar at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Harvard University. His research focuses on aesthetics, intermediality, and animation and special effects in the proto-cinema and early cinema periods. He is the author of Hidden in Plain Sight: An Archaeology of Magic and the Cinema (Rutgers UP, 2015) and has published in Thinking in the Dark (Rutgers UP, 2015), Film History, The Moving Image, Leonardo, and animation: an interdisciplinary journal, where he serves as Reviews Editor.


Scott Curtis (PhD, University of Iowa) is an Associate Professor of Radio/Television/Film at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, USA, and Director of the Communication Program at Northwestern University in Qatar. His areas of expertise include early German cinema and the early use of motion picture technology as a research tool, diagnostic instrument, or teaching aid in science, medicine, and education. His book on this topic, The Shape of Spectatorship: Art, Science, and Early Cinema in Germany (Columbia University Press, 2015), explores the collision between expert vision and moving images in various disciplines. He has published extensively on the use of motion pictures in a variety of scientific fields, such as biology, physics, psychology, and medicine. He has also written on more traditional topics in film history, including animation; early German film and theory; industrial film; the Motion Picture Patents Company; film sound; Alfred Hitchcock; and Douglas Fairbanks. His essays have appeared in numerous anthologies and such journals as Film History, Cinema et Cie, montage/av, Science in Context, and Zeitschrift für Medienwissenschaft.