Derek Long


About Me

After completing my BA in History at Middlebury College, I earned an MA in Film Studies at Emory University in 2010. At Emory, I wrote my master's thesis on the history of the Poverty Row studio Majestic Pictures in the early 1930s. I then moved to Madison, Wisconsin, where I completed and defended my PhD in Communication Arts (film area) in 2017. My dissertation, "Reprogramming the Movies: Distribution Strategy and Production Planning in the Early Studio System, 1915–1924," examined the mutually-determined relationship that structured distributors' distribution and production priorities.

In 2017, I moved to Champaign-Urbana to take up my current position as Assistant Professor of Media and Cinema Studies in the College of Media at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. My research here focuses on media distribution, media history, aesthetics and style, and digital humanities, and I teach courses in World Cinema, animation, digital film production, and graduate cinema historiography.

My research and teaching are based in digital practice. In 2013 I co-wrote a successful six-figure grant funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council to create an online application, Arclight, that enables scholars, students, and other users to search nearly 2 million pages of trade journals, yearbooks, and fan magazines produced by the film and broadcasting industries.

I am also the developer and project manager for a scaled database for media history: Early Cinema History Online, or ECHO. You can read more about my digital work here, and my full CV is available here.