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then, now, next animated purple leaf wave

The Society for

Animation Studies Conference 2018

June 18-22, 2018
Montréal, Canada
Hosted by Concordia University

Animation has always been a critical component of rethinking the stability and politics of the moving image and recorded sound. How might it unpredict or undo the future, critically deform the past, and reinvent the present? This conference seeks interrogations into the temporalities of animation, the past/present/future of animation practices, the spatial locations of its creation and study, and the orientations of animation theory and practice. How can we reinfect our discipline with new narratives about the past, for the present, and into the future? How can these narratives reverberate outside animation studies into the social, cultural, technological, and political spheres?

Wherefrom, Whereat & Whereto?

Our call for proposals went out in Fall 2017 and closed in January 2018.

Montreal and Concordia University enjoy intricate ties to animation and its study. Alongside paper presentations and pre-constituted panels, we welcomed proposals for roundtable discussions, artists’ talks, hands-on workshops, etc. A record number of highly competitive proposals went through a rigorous double blind selection process that promises a terrific conference program. We are proud to be continuing the tradition of excellence at SAS. Letters of invitation are being sent now.



We would like to begin by acknowledging that Concordia University is located on unceded Indigenous lands. The Kanien’kehá:ka Nation is recognized as the custodians of the lands and waters on which we gather today. Tiohtiá:ke/Montreal is historically known as a gathering place for many First Nations. Today, it is home to a diverse population of Indigenous and other peoples. We respect the continued connections with the past, present and future in our ongoing relationships with Indigenous and other peoples within the Montreal community. Indigenous Directions Concordia

Welcome to Concordia

On behalf of Concordia’s Faculty of Fine Arts, welcome to the 2018 Society for Animation Studies Conference. It’s an honour to host the SAS on its thirtieth anniversary.

Concordia University opened a Department of Cinema in 1976 and today, the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema is the oldest film school in Canada and the largest university-based centre for the study of film animation, film production and film studies in the country.

We are known internationally for innovative animation practices and continue to be strong producers of auteur animation in Montreal, birthplace the National Film Board, where the shadow of legendary Norman McLaren looms large.

When I see our students’ animations at the Concordia Film Festival each year, the stunning breadth of what is possible within this medium always inspires me. The dynamism of this interdisciplinary art form is consistently renewed and refreshed here, benefitting immeasurably from the cross-pollination that occurs when performers, visual artists, filmmakers, and scholars study in close quarters.

I believe the future of animation is in good hands in our Faculty and with the SAS. I hope your time at Concordia over the next few days will reinvigorate your passion for the study and practice of animation in all its myriad forms.

Rebecca Duclos
Faculty of Fine Arts
Concordia University


Bienvenue! Welcome to the 2018 Society for Animation Studies Conference.

This years’ conference, in beautiful Montreal, brings us to Canada and a place of great significance to animation (and myself*), the current home of the National Film Board of Canada, which has supported a vast array of pioneering animators in its almost 80 years of history. We are also enjoying the 30th year since the founding of the SAS in 1987 and this is our 30th conference! As befitting our own heritage and that of the city, the conference theme is ‘Then, Now, Next’ and reflects on our past, present and future. I extend my thanks to our hosts, Concordia University, and hope that they enjoy having the SAS in town!

The program is full of diverse topics and themes and this year sees an increase in support for emerging scholars and hands on workshops in animation and sound.

With a balance of papers, excellent keynotes and screenings, the conference promises to be a rich exploration of animation over the week. It is great to see so many new members on the delegate list and I hope that they, along with our established members, will continue to support the SAS through the coming years.

Special thanks of course go to chairs Alison Reiko Loader, Marc Steinberg and their conference team, who have worked hard to put together a fantastic looking program in a stunning setting. I am looking forward to experiencing the location almost as much as the papers!

I wish you all a wonderful conference.

Best wishes,
Dr Nichola Dobson
University of Edinburgh, UK
President of the Society for Animation Studies
*My connection is both as a Scot and a McLaren historian – The NFB was established by John Grierson in 1939, and the animation department developed by Norman McLaren. Both were born in Stirling, Scotland – not far from where I was born!



A message from Alison and Marc

Dear 2018 SAS Conference Attendees, Participants, and Friends,

On behalf of the entire organizing committee and the Society for Animation Studies organization, we warmly welcome you to Montreal! We are delighted to host this 30th year anniversary edition of the SAS conference, and take this opportunity to consider and celebrate the past, present, and future of animation studies. SAS@30: Then | Now | Next is an invitation for reflection, prognostication, and critical reflection about the state of union of animation production and animation studies, and a chance to chart new directions for the next 30 years.

This is a journey we are on together, and we sincerely look forward to the incredible array of panels, presentations, screenings, roundtables, and other events over the coming days, as well as the conversations that will continue over the coming years.

We would like take a moment to thank all of the people and the sponsors who have made this conference possible. We thank our incredible co-organizers, Jacqueline Ristola and Philipp Keidl, as well as everyone else who has helped out in the organization and execution of this conference. We have received much support from the Dean’s Office in the Fine Arts, and Dean Rebecca Duclos and Associate Dean Joanna Berzowska in particular. We also thank Concordia University, the Faculty of Fine Arts, the Concordia University Part-time Faculty Assocation (CUPFA), the Department of Design and Computation Arts, Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, the Sustainability Action Fund, the National Film Board of Canada, Technoculture, Arts and Gaming (TAG), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, for helping to fund this event.

Thanks finally to all of you for coming to this event, and for making it happen! We truly cannot wait for your presentations, screenings, films and conversations. May you have a wonderful conference!

Alison Reiko Loader and Marc Steinberg
Conference co-chairs


animated purple leaf



This conference is proud to welcome some amazing keynotes, screenings, exhibitions and presenters!

> Keynote Speakers

> Program

> Screenings and exhibitions


the Future