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EA 185 - Cinema and Audiovisual Studies Research Institute

Address :
Université Sorbonne Nouvelle
Bureau A113
4, rue des Irlandais
75005 PARIS
Email :
on Internet :


Founded in 1983, the IRCAV is currently home to 11 full professors, 7 emeritus professors, 17 lecturers, 2 honorary lecturers and 2 associate lecturers. As of January 1, 2020, the center also includes 2 temporary lecturers (ATER), 14 funded PhD candidates with teaching duties, approximately 40 recent PhD holders and about 50 associate researchers who hold positions at other institutions. A total of over 80 graduate studients [PDF - 414 Ko] are pursuing a PhD at the institute.

IRCAV is a founding member of the LabEx ICCA, a laboratory for the study of cultural industries and artistic creation. As of January 1, 2020, the laboratory is involved in one research program funded by the ANR, the French national research agency.

There are four centers of interest between which research programs are developped.
  • Aesthetics of cinema, audiovisual, and the image

Research on the aesthetics of the image in general and of cinema in particular, with an array of objects studied: narrative and documentary forms, experimental cinema and museum installations, documentaries, auteur and popular cinema, music videos. Questions of film analysis are paramount in the center's studies. Issues related to theories of the visual, of space and geoaesthetics, the “documentary turn in art”, film form, actors' performance, gestures, postures, and choreographies, relationships between music and cinema, image and sound.
  • History and cinema/Film and audiovisual history

Research on the complex relationships between cinema, audiovisual media, and history. In film history: silent cinema and other periods; genetic studies of films; non-film archives; television history. In cinema and history: the audiovisual (and digital) writing of history; cinema and politics; uses of archives and individual accounts; docufictions. The Theaters of Memory research program links the poetics of cinematic works, the construction of a collective imagination and the relationships between reproducible images and memory, technology and the archive.

  • Film and audiovisual economics, sociology, and law

Research on the economic, social, and institution dimensions of cinema and audiovisual activities. Special attention is given to actors’ strategies and the corresponding industry dynamics. Studies focus especially on the cinema-market relationship, film distribution and theater operations, as well as the project management dimension of film production and directing. Economics of the film industry; cinema and public policy; film production and financing; economic and institutional history of French cinema; audiences and markets; promotion, publicity, and marketing; cinema, television, and communications industries; cinema and audiovisual professions; participative practices; cinema, internet, and mobile phones; creative territories.

  • Cultural studies and cinema/audiovisual pragmatics
Research conducted within a variety of disciplinary approaches, converging around the analysis of cinema, television and other audiovisual productions as social phenomena that determine forms representation and uses. The pragmatics of cinema and audiovisual media are brought into dialog with a broad conception of cultural studies (cultural anthropology, cultural history, cultural mediation, cultural studies, gender studies, post-colonial studies, etc.) as well as with other approaches (theories of public space, sociology of innovation, bio-cultural approaches, media education). Situated aspect of film and audiovisual media from the point of view of reception and interpretation. Analysis of objects seen as having little cultural value (popular cinema, television, games...), new media (mobile, webdocumentaries), and audience practices (fans) and discourses.

Axe(s) of research

The research developed within the IRCAV covers the entire field of cinema and audiovisual media studies: from early silent cinema to digital productions, from fiction films to documentaries, from family films to experimental cinema, from television to video, from photography to mobiles phones, from advertising to works created for museums and art galleries. These studies fall within multiple academic disciplines, including aethetics, history, economics, sociology, law, anthropology, cultural studies, semiology, and communications. 

Research themes

Cinema and image aesthetics. Film art. Cinema and new technologies. Cinema and contemporary art. Film history. Cinema and history. Early silent cinema. Cinema from 1908 to 1919. The New Wave. Multiple versions. Economics of the film industry. Actor's strategies and industry dynamics. Professions of the film industry. Audiences and markets. Economic and institution history of cinema. Cinema, television and communications industries. History of professions, techniques, and intermediality. Mobiles phones and artistic creation. Documentaries and webdocumentaries. Television and sporting events. Television and popular culture. Mass art and popular cinema. World cinema and television (West Africa, Brazil, India, former Soviet bloc). Films genres and cultural transfer. Family films and experimental cinema. Modes of reception and production of meaning. Research on teaching and cinema mediation, media education. Film and cultural representations. Films and the construction of a collective imagination.

Research programs

  • Projects IRCAV / LABEX ICCA - Cultural Industries and Artistic Creation
  • ANR - CINE08-19 (2018-2021)
  • ANR - CLUSTER93 (2016-2019)
  • ANR - CINEPOP50 (2012-2015)
  • Filming the Gulag (2020-)
  • Producing the Post-National Popular. The Expanding Imagination of Mainstream French Films and Television Series (2019-)
  • The Sites of the Virtual (2018-)
  • Film and Literature International Colloquium Series (2017-)
  • Film Exhibition at French Cultural Centers and Alliances françaises Around the World (2017-)
  • HESCALE - History, Economics, Sociology of African and Middle-Eastern Cinemas (2016-)
  • Deceptive Arts: Machines, Magic, Media (2015-2018)
  • Cinephilias, Seriphilias 2.0 (2015-)
  • Platform 14: A Family in the Great War (2012-)
  • Mobile Phones and Creation (2012-)
  • EPHESE - French Movies Theaters and their Operators (1960-2015) (2011-2019)
  • Theaters of Memory (2003-)

Research seminars

  • CREAViS - Research Center on the Aesthetics of Visual and Sound Arts
  • Genre Cinemas: Forms, Uses, Labels
  • Cinema, audiovisuel media, and innovations
  • Roger Odin Chair (doctoral seminar)
  • Usage of Interpretation, Interpretation of Usage (doctoral seminar)
  • Contained Freedom(s): History and Current Events
  • Amateur Audiovisual Practices
  • Regimes of Historicity in Cinema from 1960 to the Present: Crises of Time, Traces, (Re)construction
  • CINE0819
  • IRCAV PhD Candidates' Seminar: French Cinema

The IRCAV's Academic Journal

brings together the research conducted within the IRCAV. This journal aims to publish and circulate original and ambitious academic work on film and audiovisual media. 33 issues publishes as of April 15, 2021.

The IRCAV's Production

Publications, conferences, development from January 2012 to June 2017 [PDF - 3 Mo]
(2018 evaluation by the HCERES - French national research evaluation council). 

Academic activities


1. Conferences organized by the IRCAV since 2016
(see also below: 2. Conferences co-organized by the IRCAV since 2017)

  • Turkish-speaking screens: the industrialisation of the audiovisual sector in Turkey, 23-24 June, 2022
  • Socio-economic approaches to cinema and audiovisual in France: objects, methods, perspectives, 16-17 June, 2022
  • Against the clock: taking and re-taking filmed images in an authoritarian regime, 7-9 June, 2022
  • Sound spaces in films and audiovisual productions, April 14-15, 2022
  • Film Criticism: Cinema and Marxism, conference, April 4-6, 2022
  • Fareway, So Close, March 16-18, 2022
  • Creative Failure in the Digital Arts, March 16-18, 2022
  • The Affective Interiors of Chantal Akerman: Aesthetic Passages – Films and Installations, January 26-28, 2022
  • Guy Hennebelle : Film Critic, Cinema and Politics, October 12, 2021
  • Pandemix.mob, December 08-09, 2020
  • Musidora, who are you ?, November 18-20, 2020
  • Ecology Mobile, February 11-12, 2020
  • Filming the Gulag ?, January 29-30, 2020
  • Killing the fathers: Women behind the camera on home movies, December 9, 2019
  • The Sounds of Exotism in Cinema (Sounds, Music, Speeches), November 13-14, 2019
  • John Carpenter, "master of horror", international conference, October 30-31 2019
  • Shapes and Spaces of the Virtual : An Initial Cartography, June 20, 2019 - June 21, 2019
  • Nuclear Energy in Words and Images, May 28, 2019 - May 29, 2019
  • Conserving and Exhibiting Cinema in the Rhône-Alpes Region: A Meeting with the Grenoble and Saint-Étienne Cinematheques, April 12, 2019
  • Thinking Space in Cinema and Literature, March 7, 2019 - March 9, 2019
  • #foodporn, December 13, 2018 - December 14, 2018
  • The Development of Cinephilia and the Premotion of French and Local Cinemas: The Contribution of French Cultural Centers and Alliances françaises, November 29, 2018 - November 30, 2018
  • Crisis, What Crisis? Cinema, Television, New Media, November 22, 2018 - November 23, 2018
  • Transcontinental Exchanges: Interactions between France and Latin America through Cinema, November 13, 2018 - November 14, 2018
  • Hungarian Cinema: The End of a Century? Histories, Sociologies, Aesthetics, September 21, 2018
  • Programming, Audiences, Training Programs at French Cultural Centers and Alliances françaises in the Maghreb and Africa, July 7, 2018
  • The 2008 Financial Crisis and its Images in France, June 8, 2018
  • What Films Do to Us, May 23, 2018 - May 24, 2018
  • Film Forms: Figure and Background in Cinema, May 18, 2018
  • Thinking Film and Literature through Visual Culture, April 12, 2018 - April 14, 2018
  • Thinking Cinema through Childhood, Thinking Childhood through Cinema: Films, Discourse, Theories, April 5, 2018 - April 6, 2018
  • The Image and Its Double: The Role of French Women Film Producers from the New Wave to the Present, March 29, 2018 - March 30, 2018
  • The Aesthetic Potential of the Virtual: Device, Form, Idea, March 28, 2018 - March 30, 2018
  • Everything Has Changed/Everything Must Change: Documentaries of the Future, March 22, 2018
  • Oh What a Short! Encounters with Short Films, March 14, 2018
  • Deceiving, Creating, Innovating: Special Effects in France, March 8, 2018 - March 10, 2018
  • Brands, Publicity and Audiovisual Creation, February 8, 2018 - February 9, 2018
  • International Distribution and Sales of Films and Television Programs in the Digital Era, December 8, 2017 - December 9, 2017
  • Bodies and Mobile Phones: 6th International Conference of the Mobile and Creation Program, December 4, 2017 - December 5, 2017
  • Writing about Animation, December 1, 2017 - December 2, 2017
  • Digital Magic, November 13, 2017 - November 14, 2017
  • GIF Mechanics and the Movement of Virtual Loops, October 13, 2017 - October 14, 2017
  • Sensibility and the Senses. Media, Bodies, Practices, June 29, 2017 - July 1, 2017
  • Authentic Artifice, May 18, 2017 - May 22, 2017
  • Producing in/with Africa and the Middle East, March 13, 2017 - March 17, 2017
  • Training for Film Industry Professions: Comparative Approaches between Africa and the West, February 27, 2017 - February 28, 2017
  • Hollywood Franchises: Artistic, Technological, and Indistrial Innovations (1975-2015), December 8, 2016 - December 9, 2016
  • Magic and Philosophy, November 24, 2016 - November 25, 2016
  • Plant Powers: Animist Cinema and Anthropology of the Living, November 22, 2016 - November 23, 2016
  • Comparative Views of French Cinema: Forms, Representations, Production, Teaching, October 12, 2016 - October 13, 2016
  • Stereoscopy and Illusion, September 29, 2016 - October 1, 2016
  • Machines, Magic, Media, August 20, 2016 - August 28, 2016
  • Audiovisual Archives and Studies in History: Experiences and Methods, July 11, 2016 - July 12, 2016
  • The Popular Front and French Cinema, June 8, 2016
  • The Digital Society, March 22, 2016 - March 23, 2016· Goldorak, 40 Years Later, March 18, 2016 - March 19, 2016
  • Recreative Media. Between East And West Technological innovations and new forms of narration in cinema, March 15, 2016
  • The Ateliers Varan and Documentary Cinema, March 9, 2016 - March 11, 2016
  • Cinema and Television Professions and Techniques: Diverse Approaches (Objects, Methods, Limits), February 12, 2016 - February 13, 2016
  • Cinephilias/Seriphilias 2.0, January 26, 2016 - January 27, 2016

2. Conferences co-organized by the IRCAV since 2017

  • Tac au Tac. Comics and television: what is at stake, conference, 30 November, 2022, Paris
  • Museums and heritage institutions and immersive devices, 19 May, 2022, Paris,
  • Kino-Ukraïna. Meetings on contemporary Ukrainian cinema, 18-19 April, 29 June 2022, Paris
  • Decolonizing the digital? Debates around the critical spaces of digital ecologies, 18 March, 2022, Paris
  • Picturing the margins: peripheries, minorities and taboos in the films of Marcel Lozinski, Pál Schiffer et Zelimir Zilnik, conference, April 15-16, 2021, Paris
  • Women and Cinema, conference, December 6-7, 2019, Marrakech, Faculté des Sciences et des Lettres
  • Korean Cinema: construction and deconstruction (1919-2019), conference, Octobre 23, 2019, Paris, Maison de la recherche de Paris 3 (salle Athéna)
  • Cinematheques, cine-clubs and canonised films during the 1950s, conference, September 11, 2019, Paris, Maison de la Recherche de Paris 3 (salle Claude Simon) / Centre Censier (salle 49)
  • Film Festivals in Contemporary Africa: Operation, Perception, Stakes, international conference, May 28-29, 2019, Institut français de Douala
  • Enlarged Documentary: Extensions, Movements, and Reconfigurations, international conference, May 27-29, 2019, Paris, Centre Pompidou/ Columbia Global Centers Paris
  • Shedding Light on Marginal Brazilian Cinema, seminar, May 15, 2019, Paris, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3
  • Shooting: Archeology and Poetics of a Gesture in Cinema, conference, April 16-17, 2019, Paris, Maison de la Recherche / Université Paris 7
  • Culinary Graphic Arts: Europe-Asia, conference, Paris, March 18-19, 2019
  • When Showing is Doing: Performing the Screening, Kinétraces Conference, Paris, December 11-12, 2018
  • Before, After and Beyond Cinematography: Émile Reynaud (1844-1918) and the Question of Animation and the Animated Image, conference, Paris, December 7, 2018, Maison de la Recherche
  • Les Tontons flingueurs, international conference, November 13-14, 2018, Paris, Sorbonne
  • Possible Worlds: The RTF/ORTF Research Department and Animated Cinema, international conference, November 5-6, 2018, Université de Picardie Jules Verne, Amiens
  • What Films Do to Us, May 23-24, 2018, École nationale supérieure Louis Lumière/La Fémis
  • The Ethos of the Breach: From Antiquity to the Present, October 12-13, 2017, Maison de la Recherche/Université Paris-Est Créteil


On average, IRCAV members publish over 20 books each year. The following list includes titles that represent the variety of research conducted at the institute. 

Previous publications (before 2016)


The IRCAV maintains partnerships with numerous institutions outside France, including the university of Campinas and Sao Paulo and the Federal Universityof Rio de Janeiro in Brazil; the universities of Iowa, Chicago, and New York University (NYU) in the United States; the University of Montreal in Canada; the University of London in the United Kingdom; Radboud University in Nijmegen, The Netherlands; the University of Bremen in Germany; the universities of Bologna, Udine, Milan, and Pisa in Italy; Saint Joseph University in Beirut, Lebanon; and the Art Institute at the University of Jakarta, Indonesia.

Two IRCAV PhD candidates currently have contracts funded through partnerships with Lobster Films and Gaumont.

Date of update June 20, 2022

--- Scholars and students in cinema from Ukraine, Russia and Belorussia are welcome to contact us if they need help. ---


Cinema. Audiovisual media. Television. Video. Art. Images. Sound. Fiction. Documentary. Photography. Publicity. Video games. Mobile. Webfilm. New technology. Aesthetics. History. Economics. Sociology. Anthropology. Law. Pragmatics. Communications. Cultural studies.

Head of research unit

Vice director