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May Chew

Assistant Professor, Art History
Assistant Professor, Cinema

May  Chew
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 4702

May Chew teaches at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema and the Department of Art History. Her research focuses on interactive and immersive technologies in diverse museum and exhibit spaces across Canada, and how these technologies facilitate the material practice of nation and cultural citizenship. Chew has collaborated on Houses on Pengarth, a research and curation project centred on developing a socially-engaged, experimental art lab in Toronto’s Lawrence Heights community. Before coming to Concordia, she received her PhD in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University, and held a postdoctoral fellowship at York University’s Sensorium Centre for Digital Arts & Technology. Her recent work includes a chapter in the anthology Material Cultures in Canada (WLU Press, 2015); articles in Imaginations, the International Journal of Heritage Studies, the Journal of Canadian Art History; and Public 57: Archives/Counter-Archives, which she co-edited with Susan Lord and Janine Marchessault.

She collaborates on the research projects Archive/Counter-Archive and Worlding Public Cultures

She currently serves on the executive committee of the Media Architecture Biennale (MAB23), and is a member of EAHR Media (Ethnocultural Art Histories Rearch in Media), the Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Artand the Centre for Sensory Studies.


Selected Publications

“Setter Imbroglios and Affective-EcologicalEntanglements in the Work of Peter von Tiesenhausen, Kara Springer, and Jin-me Yoon,” in Speculative Affect Theory: Objects and Emotions. Ed. Charmaine Eddy. [co-written with Jessica Jacobson-Konefall] (Forthcoming)

“Diasporic Archives and Hauntological Accretions," Frames Cinema Journal 19 (2022).

"Phantasmagoric City: Technologies of Immersion and Settler Histories in Montreal’s Cité Mémoire,” Public 58 (2019).

"Landscape Language Labour Love," Moire 5 (2019). 

“Sounding Nation: Acoustiguides and Myths of Participation at the National Gallery of Canada’s Centennial Exhibit,” Journal of Canadian Art History 39:2 (2018). 


Public 57: Archive/Counter-Archives (2018) [co-edited with Susan Lord and Janine Marchessault] 

 “Songlines, not Stupor: Cheryl L’Hirondelle’s nikamon ohci aski: songs because of the land as Technological Citizenship on the Lands Currently Called ‘Canada,’” Imaginations 8:3 (2017) [co-written with Jessica Jacobson-Konefall and Daina Warren]

“Mooring subjects of heritage: proprioceptive emplacement at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo  Jump,” International Journal of Heritage Studies 22:9 (2016). 

“Archeological Detritus and the Bulging Archive: Staging He Named Her Amber at the Art Gallery of Ontario,” Material Cultures in Canada. Ed. Thomas Allen and Jennifer Blair (Waterloo: Wilfred Laurier University Press, 2015). 

“Towards the Other: Instances of the Grasp and Caress within the Museum,” University of Toronto Art Journal 3 (2010). 



Teaching activities

Current Teaching


ARTH/FMST 348 - Visual Culture: Themes, Methods, Debates

ARTH/FMST 448 - Haunting & the Atmospheric 
ARTH 450 - Art & the Senses


FMST 605 - "New" Canadian Documentary
FMST 605 - Indigenous & Diasporic Canadian Cinema
ARTH 668 - Art, Embodiment & the Senses
FMST 802 - Critical Genealogies of Immersion

Graduate Supervision



Claire Grey | FilmStudies (Completed 2020)

Thesis: "In My Dreams I Was Almost There": Personal Music Players, Curated Soundscapes and the Contemporary Québécois Coming-of-Age Film


Madeline Bogoch | Art History (Completed 2021)

Thesis: Migratory Patterns: Media, Materiality, and Circulation in Moving Image Works


Richard Son-Nam Luong | Art History (Completed 2022)

Thesis: “Fleshing Out Her Ghosts”: A Hauntological Analysis of Nước (Water/Homeland)

 Vania Ryan | Art History (Completed 2023)

Thesis: Reckoning with a Haunting: Creating Indigenous Future Imaginaries through Relationality and Engagement within Human-Technology Relationships

Jess Stewart-Lee | Film Studies  (Completed 2023)

Thesis: Beyond the Archive: A Study of Auto/biographical Documentaries and the ‘Moment of Discovery’


Max Holzberg | FilmStudies (In Progress)

Thesis: Replaying the Past: Queer Canadian Documentary Film as a form of Counter-Archive


Emma Kredl | Film Studies (In Progress)

Thesis: Look at Me, Now Look Away: Autoethnography and the Ethics of Spectral Intimacy


Megan Quigley | Art History (In Progress)

Thesis: (yet untitled project on social-engagement, land, stewardship, and 221A’s Semi-Public 半公開)

Yujia Liu | Film Studies (In Progress) 

Thesis: Marginalized Ethnic Cultures in News Discourse and Social Media Environments

Melinda Pierre-Paul Cardinal | Art History, Co-supervision (In Progress)

Thesis: A Labour of Love: Black Feminist Healing in Tau Lewis’ T.A.U.B.I.S. (2020)

C. DeFrias | Art History (In Progress)

Thesis: Locating the Queer Gesture: Point and Line to Cube



Matthias Mushinski | Film Studies | (In Progress)

Thesis: Bound Up in Beauty: Radical Resonance Across Free Jazz and Cinema


Marco Meneghin | FilmStudies (In Progress)

Thesis: Making Visual Sovereignty: Participatory Practices and Indigeneity in the Films of Marta Rodríguez, Jorge Silva and the CRIC (1959-1981)


Rodrigo D'Alcântara | Art History, Co-supervision (In Progress)

Thesis: Dissident Present: Disrupting Colonial Legacies through Brazilian Contemporary Art

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