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Student profile

Zoë Anne Laks

Zoë Anne Laks is a PhD student in Film and Moving Image Studies at Concordia University. Her MA thesis explored affective memory representations in film and proposed an original theory of nostalgia and nostalgic aesthetics. She is currently researching representations of non-human memory in film and new media, specifically object-memories and their function as fabulative archives.

  • Cinema Development Fund Award, Concordia University, 2020
  • Doctoral Graduate Fellowship, Concordia University, 2019-2022
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Government of Canada, 2017
  • Brian McIlroy Scholarship in Film Studies, University of British Columbia, 2017
  • Graduate Support Initiative, University of British Columbia, 2016
  • Film Studies Prize, University of Alberta, 2014
  • Wallflower Press Book Prize, University of Alberta, 2013

Supervisor: Dr. Martin Lefebvre

Thesis title: Eco-Empathy and the Empathized: North American Popular Culture in Climate Crisis

Research Interests:

film theory; film philosophy; ecocriticism; phenomenology; digital new media; Canadian film; Indigenous studies; posthumanism; decolonization; aesthetics; animal studies; empathy; memory; nostalgia


  • FMST 201: Film History to 1945 (2022)
  • FMST 331: Film Directors (2021)
  • FMST 350: Studies in Film Genres: The Horror Film (2020)
  • FMST 391: Sexual Representation in Cinema (2019)
  • FIST 100: Introduction to Film Studies (2016, 2017, 2018)
  • ASIA 354: Introduction to Japanese Cinema (2017, 2018)
  • FIST 300: Cult Cinema (2017)
  • FIST 220: Hollywood Cinema 1930-1960 (2018);
  • FIST 340: Media Audiences (2018)

Selected Publications:


“Excavating Animal Planet’s Lost Tapes: The Unruly Images of a Posthuman Counter-Archive.” Canadian Journal of Film Studies, pp. 1-26, forthcoming.

“On Longing for Loss: A Theory of Cinematic Memory and an Aesthetics of Nostalgia.” New Review of Film and Television Studies, pp. 1-23, forthcoming.

“Projecting a Nostalgic Future: Nostalgia as Time Machine.” Cinémas: Revue d'Études Cinématographiques, special issue Écrans de Nostalgies, pp. 1-19, forthcoming.

“Melancholic Memory: Time Rewound and the Haptics of Loss in Life Is Strange.” Recherches Sémiotiques/Semiotic Inquiry, pp. 1-12, forthcoming.

“Derelict Dolls and Strange Spaces: The Horror of the Uncanny Valley in the Films of Roman Polanski.” Studies in Eastern European Cinema, vol. 6, no. 2, 2015, pp. 154-168.


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