Media & Communication
Associate Professor, Media & Communication
Director, Film Studies Program
B.A., University of Guelph
B.Ed., University of Western Ontario
M.A., Wilfrid Laurier University
Ph.D., Northwestern University
Paul McEwan has two major research areas. The first is the history of the reception of D.W. Griffith's 1915 racist epic The Birth of a Nation. As one of the only films to be in continuous public circulation for close to 100 years, The Birth of a Nation is an ideal text with which to study changes in race relations and the status of film as an art over the past century. The film was important in the early development of both the NAACP and the modern Ku Klux Klan, and became embroiled in debates about communism in the 1940s, film culture in the 1950s, and civil rights in the 1960s. Professor McEwan has written about the film for Cinema Journal, Film History, and Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film. He is the author of a book in the BFI Classics series on The Birth of a Nation and also working on a full-length monograph entitled Recut, Revived, Remixed: The Birth of a Nation and the Development of American Film Culture.
His other primary area of study is Canadian Cinema. His first book, Bruce McDonald's Hard Core Logo (2011), was published by the University of Toronto Press and the Toronto International Film Festival. Hard Core Logo, a 1996 cult film, is the story of a punk band on a last gasp tour of Western Canada. The book examines the film’s treatment of the idea of Canadian identity and the challenges of creative success in a small nation, and is also a study of the film’s complex treatment of masculinity and male bonding.
Professor McEwan is also the author of a bibliography on film pedagogy published by Oxford Bibliographies.
Professor McEwan’s other interests include Bollywood cinema, historical fiction films, and popular music studies. Essays on various subjects have appeared in the International Journal of Cultural Studies, Symploke, and the collection Affiliations: Identity in Academic Culture. As a journalist, he has written about books and media culture for The Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail in Canada, and covered popular music for Time Out Chicago. He teaches Bollywood Cinema, Film History, Film Reviewing, French New Wave, Introduction to Film Analysis, Popular Music, Video Production, Advanced Video Production, and Writing the TV Spec Script. He is the Director of the college's interdisciplinary program in Film Studies.