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

Area(s) of Expertise

digital cinema, contemporary documentary, film and new media studies


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 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

Awards \ Grants

Co-applicant on SSHRC Connection Grant awarded to workshop "Affective Encounters," directed by Dr. Alanna Thain and held in Montreal, August 14-17, 2015

OCAD University Award for Excellence in Early Stage Research, Scholarship & Creative Activity

Selected Publications

"Redefining Documentary Materialism: from Actuality to Virtuality in Victor Erice's Dream of Light" in The Philosophy of Documentary Film, David LaRocca, ed. Lanham, MA: Lexington Books, 2016: 343-361

"Anthropocenema: Cinema in the Age of Mass Extinctions" in Post-Cinema: Theorizing 21st Century Film, Julia Leyda and Shane Denson, eds. Reframe Books, 2016

Contemporary Documentary. Co-edited with Daniel Marcus. New York: Routledge, 2015

"Introduction: Unruly Documentary Artivism." Co-authored with Camilla Mohring Reestorff. Studies in Documentary Film 9 (1). pp. 1-9 (February 2015)

"Rebels without Regret: Documentary Artivism in the Digital Age." Studies in Documentary Film 9 (1). pp. 42-54 (February 2015)

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

 “Review: Carnal Knowledge: Towards a 'New Materialism' through the Arts,” Humanities and Technology Review 33 (Fall 2014): 146-154

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

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

"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 2009): 259-274.

“The Perpetual Bachelorette: Seduction and Simulation in Michel Gondry’s Bjork Videos,” Co-authored with Carole Lyn Piechota, POIESIS: A Journal of the Arts & Communication (Issue on Jean Baudrillard) 10 (2008): 58-68

Co-translator (Turkish to English), Modernity and Multiculturalism. Istanbul: Iletisim Yayinlari, 2001.

Professional Affiliations / Boards / Juries

Organizational Committee Member, Toronto Film and Media Seminar

Member, Society of Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) and Modern Language Association (MLA)

Editorial Board Member, Film Criticism

Advisory Board Member, The Journal of Environmental Media