Alanna Thain

Alanna Thain is professor of cultural studies, world cinemas and gender, sexuality and feminist studies at McGill University. She directs the Moving Image Research Lab, which explores the body in moving image media broadly conceived, and is former director of the Institute for Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies. She runs the research-creation project Cinema Out of the Box, a bike powered itinerant outdoor cinema. She is also PI on the FRQSC funded research team CORÉRISC (Epistemologies of Embodied Risk), focused in its first iteration on queer, feminist and minoritarian horror in media, art and performance.  Her book, Bodies in Suspense: Time and Affect in Cinema, looks at how unusual or aberrant experiences of time resensitize us to our own corporeal volitility around the body’s primary capacity: change over time or “anotherness”. Her current research includes the soft spaces of outdoor cinemas, post-digital screen dance as rehearsals for survival, and feminist approaches to “sexo-somatic” technologies for the bodies and worlds we desire.  

“Anarchival Images: The Labour of Chronic Collage” Intermedialites 33 (“Restituer le Temps/ Rendering Time). Fall 2019. 


“Drawing Light: Gesture and Suspense in the Weave” With Nicole De Brabandere. Necsus: European Network of Cinema Studies Journal. Fall 2019 Special issue on #gesture.   


The Half-Lives of Horror: The Differential Embodiments of Dollhouse” Joss Whedon vs. Horror: Fangs, Fans and Genre in Buffy and Beyond. Edited by Kristopher Karl Woofter and Lorna Jowett, I.B. Tauris, 2019. 


“Anarchival Impulses: A Performance Theory of Media” Special issue of Public (Archives/ CounterArchives). Eds. Janine Marchessault, May Chew and Susan Lord. Summer 2018.  21-29. 


“Animal Unfamiliars: A Bestiary of Time-Travel Cinema” In Animals and Animality in the Literary Field.  Bruce Boehner, ed. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2018. 


From Specular to Speculative: Intimate Encounters @ Uterine Concert Hall (Dayna McLeod). Exhibition catalogue, published by FADO Performance Art Centre, Summer 2018. 


 “Reading Room #17 – Anarchival Practices” Parts 1 + 2. Conversation with Christoph Brunner, Alanna Thain, Nik Forrest, Jonathan Reus, Flora Reznik and Sissel Marie Tonn. and 


Bodies In Time: Suspense, Affect and Cinema.  Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2017. 


“#True.” Special Issue of Necsus: Journal of the European Network of Cinema Studies Co-edited with Ilona Hongisto and Toni Pape. Spring 2017. 


“Gilles Deleuze’s Ectoplasm” Inflexions 10: “Modes of Exhaustion”. November 2017. 


 “One way out between two worlds: the dance moves of Twin Peaks” Kirsty Fairclough, Michael N. Goddard, and Anthony N. Smith eds., Senses of Cinema 79, Summer 2016. 


“In the Blink of an Eye: Norman McLaren Between Dance and Animation”. Douglas Rosenberg, ed. Oxford Handbook of Screendance Studies. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2016.  


“A Birds’ Eye View of Leviathan” Visual Anthropology Review 31.1. Mark Westmoreland, ed. Spring 2015. 41-48. 


“Sonic Ethnographies: Leviathan and New Materialisms in Documentary”, Co-authored with Selmin Kara. In Music and Sound in Documentary Film, Holly Rogers, ed. New York: Taylor and Francis/ Routledge, 2014. 180-192. 


“Welcome to This Situation: Tino Sehgal’s Impersonal Ethics”. Co-authored with Toni Pape and Noemie Solomon. Dance Research Journal (December 2014). 89-100. 


 “Tendering the Flesh: The ABCs of Dave St-Pierre’s ‘Contemporary Utopias’”. Co-authored with Virginia Preston. TDR 57.4 (2013) 28-51. 


“Crime/Scene: Reanimating the Femme Fatale in David Lynch’s Hollywood trilogy”, Aprehendiendo al delincuente: Crimen y medios en América del norte. Eds. G. Martinez-Zalce, W. Straw and S. Vargas Mexico City: CISAN/UNAM and Media@McGill, 2011. 85-97. 


 “Anarchival Cinemas”, Inflexions 4 (Winter 2011), special issue on “Transversal Fields of Media”, Eds. Christoph Brunner and Troy Rhodes. 23 pages. 


“Affective Commotion: Minding the Gap in Research-Creation”, Editorial Introduction for “How is Research-Creation”, Inflexions: A Journal of Research-Creation 1 (May 2008). 12 pages. 


 “Wandering Stars: William Kentridge’s (Err)ant Choreographies”, Parallax 14.1 (Winter 2008), 68-81.