Photo of Selmin Kara
Photo of Selmin Kara
Selmin Kara
Associate Professor
Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Graduate Studies

Area(s) of Expertise

Film & Video, digital cinema, documentary film


Selmin Kara is an Associate Professor of Film and New Media Studies, and the co-organizer of the Culture Shifts documentary series at OCAD University. She received her BA and MA in Istanbul, Turkey, and PhD in Detroit, USA. Dr. Kara's primary research interests are digital aesthetics and ecological sensibilities in film as well as the use of sound and new technologies in contemporary documentary. Selmin is the co-editor of Contemporary Documentary and Cybermedia: Explorations in Science, Sound, and Vision [forthcoming. Her work has also appeared in Post-Cinema: Theorizing 21st Century Film, The Oxford Handbook of Sound and Image in Digital Media, Sequence, Music and Sound in Nonfiction Film, The Philosophy of Documentary, and Studies in Documentary Film. She is currently working on her book project on cinema and the Anthropocene. In addition to her appointment in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dr. Kara is an affiliated faculty member of the graduate programs CADN (Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories) and Digital Futures at OCAD.


BA in Translation Studies, Bogazici University (Istanbul, Turkey)

MA in Radio, Television, and Film, Marmara University (Istanbul, Turkey)

Certificate in "Digital Discourse: Theory, Art, Archive," The School of Criticism and Theory, Cornell University (Ithaca NY, USA)

PhD in Film and Media Studies, Wayne State University (Detroit, USA)

Professional Experience

Assistant Producer at Ajans21, Istanbul (Turkey), 1999-2003.

Research Assistant, "Inspirations" (52'), directed by Nurdan Arca, Turkey, 2007

Assistant Editing Director, Entre Chien et Loup, directed by Cem Madra, France and Turkey, 2002

Production Assistant, Damming the Euphrates, directed by Paxton Winters, Turkey, 2001

Editor, Is Anybody There?, directed by Togay Senalp, Turkey, 2001

Assistant Producer, In Pursuit of Lost Time, directed by Ozcan Arca, Turkey, 2001 (Best Film on Excavations in the 7th Icronos Archaeological Film Festival of Bordeaux, France)

Assistant Producer, The Encounter, directed by Szymon Zaleski, Turkey, 2000

Selected Publications

[Forthcoming]       Kara, Selmin. “Across the Sonorous Desert: The Audiovisual Ecology of Migration in El Mar La Mar,” in Cinema and Migration. Ed. Robert Burgoyne and Deniz Bayrakdar. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

2020                     Kara, Selmin, and Cydney Langill. “Weirding Climate Realism in Sunshine and Ex-Machina,” Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities, 7.2-3 (Spring-Fall): 60-81.

2020                     Kara, Selmin. “The Anthropocene Project and the Archiviolithic Imaginary,” Screen, 61.2 (Summer): 315–321.

2016                     Kara, Selmin. “Redefining Documentary Materialism: from Actuality to Virtuality in Victor Erice’s Dream of Light,” in The Philosophy of Documentary Film. Ed. David LaRocca. Lanham, MA: Lexington Books: 343-361.

2016                     Kara, Selmin. “Anthropocenema: Cinema in the Age of Mass Extinctions,” in Post-Cinema: Theorizing 21st-Century Film. Ed. Shane Denson and Julia Leyda. REFRAME: Open-Access and Multimedia Publishing in Media, Film and Music Studies: 750-785. (also online, April 2016).

2015                     Kara, Selmin. “Rebels Without Regret: Documentary Artivism in the Digital Age,” Studies in Documentary Film, 9.1 (February): 42-54.

2015                     Møhring Reestorff, Camilla, and Selmin Kara. “Introduction: Unruly Documentary Artivism,” co-authored with Camilla Møhring Reestorff, Studies in Documentary Film, 9.1 (February): 1-9.

2014                     Kara, Selmin, and Alanna Thain. “Sonic Ethnographies: Leviathan and New Materialisms in Documentary,” in Music and Sound in Documentary Film. Ed. Holly Rogers. New York: Taylor and Francis/Routledge: 180-192.

2014                     Kara, Selmin. “Beasts of the Digital Wild: Primordigital Cinema and the Question of Origins,” Sequence: Serial Studies of Media, Film and Music 1. 4 (Online, Summer).

2013                     Kara, Selmin. “The Sonic Summons: Meditations on Nature and Anempathetic Sound in Digital Documentaries,” in The Oxford Handbook of Sound and Image in Digital Media. Ed. John Richardson, Amy Herzog, and Carol Vernallis. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 582-598.

2009                     Kara, Selmin. "Reassembling the Nation: Iraq in Fragments and the Acoustics of Occupation," Studies in Documentary Film (Issue on Documentary Films after 9/11), 3. 3 (September): 259-274.

Professional Affiliations / Boards / Juries

Co-chair, Toronto Film and Media Seminar

Member, Society of Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS)

Editorial Board Member, Film Criticism

Advisory Board Member, The Journal of Environmental Media and Sonic Scope: New Approaches to Audiovisual Culture