ERNEST MATHIJS  (PhD Brussels) heads the Centre for Cinema and Media Studies. He researches the receptions of what can broadly be called ‘alternative cinema’ – cult film, genre cinema, independent films, David Cronenberg, and European horror films. He has also written on The Lord of the Rings, Belgian cinema, the reality-TV series Big Brother, the literature of Thomas Pynchon, the art of Joseph Beuys, and on theories of mimesis.

His most recent books are John Fawcett’s Ginger Snaps (2013), Cult Cinema (with Jamie Sexton, 2011), The Cult Film Reader (co-ed. with Xavier Mendik, 2008), The Cinema of David Cronenberg (2008), and Watching the Lord of the Rings (co-ed. With Martin Barker, 2007). His book 100 Cult Films (2011, with Xavier Mendik) is also available as an app for iTunes.

His research has been published in Screen, Cinema Journal, Literature/Film Quarterly, Television and New Media, FlowTV, Film International, Tijdschrift voor Filosofie, History of Political Economy, and Cineaste.

He was a regular contributor to editions of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, 501 Movie Stars, 501 Movie Directors, 101 Cult Movies, 101 Horror Movies, and similar volumes.

He chairs the editorial board of the online journal Participations ( and he is co-editor of the book series Cultographies (, and an associate of the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies at UBC (


Courses Taught Recently:

  1. FIST 200: Intro to Canadian Cinema
  2. FIST 300: Cult Cinema
  3. FIST 340 Media Audiences
  4. FIST 331: Film Theory
  5. FIST 531A: Theories and Practices of Film Criticism
  6. FIST 534b: Seminar in Film Studies: David Cronenberg
  7. THTR 311: Theory of Performance and Dramaturgy
  8. THTR445: From Stage to Screen

Recent Graduate MA Thesis Supervisions:

Jonathan Cannon, Ambivalent Ambulation: Fan Pilgrimage and the Itinerantextual Cult Film.

Dax Sorrenti, VHS 2.0 Amateur Archiving on the Internet and the Nostalgic Reclamation of Retro Media

Seth Soulstein, Macbeth as Avatar: fandom in British Romantic Theatre Audiences

Joshua Ferguson, Queer Japanese Cinema: A Rich and Diverse

Cultural History’s Challenge to Hegemonic Ideologies of Gender and Sexuality

Colleen Montgomery, Pixarticulation: the Voice in Contemporary Animated Cinema

Brenda Cromb, Ambivalent Passion: Pedro Almodovar Postmodern Melodrama

Andrew deWaard, Malraux and the Intertextual Museum: towards a Cultural Economy of Intermediality

Graeme Krautheim, Subjectivity, Pornography, and the Construction of Comfort: Liliana Cavani, The Night Porter and Seed of Evil

Winter 2017

FIST240 Media Industries Sections

Overview of today's film and media industries, and of the concepts governing their practices.

Winter 2017

FIST300 Cult Cinema Sections

Overview of world cult cinema.

Winter 2017

FIST340 Media Audiences Sections

Overview of approaches for studying audiences and receptions of film and contemporary media.

Winter 2017

FIST449 Honours Essay Sections

A course allowing honours students to work with a faculty member on a major research paper.

Winter 2017

FIST547A Directed Studies in Film - DIRECTED ST FILM Sections

Winter 2017

FIST549B Thesis - MASTER'S THESIS Sections

Winter 2017

FIST549A Thesis - MASTER'S THESIS Sections

Winter 2017

FIST520 Advanced Film and Media Criticism Sections

Film and media criticism, with detailed interrogation of conceptual foundations and contemporary case-studies.

Selected Publications:

Mathijs, Ernest (2013), John Fawcett’s Ginger Snaps. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 143 pages.

Mathijs, Ernest (2011), ‘Referential Acting and the Ensemble Cast,’ Screen 52 (1): 89-96.

Mathijs, Ernest, and Xavier Mendik (2011), 100 Cult Films, London: British Film Institute/Palgrave-Macmillan, 244 pages

Mathijs, Ernest and Jamie Sexton (2011), Cult Cinema. Oxford-Boston: Wiley-Blackwell Publishers. 299 pages.

Mathijs, Ernest (2008), The Cinema of David Cronenberg: From Baron of Blood to Cultural Hero. London: Wallflower Press. 317 pages.

Mathijs, Ernest and Xavier Mendik (eds) (2008). The Cult Film Reader. London/New York: Open University Press/McGraw-Hill. 549 pages.

Barker, Martin and Ernest Mathijs (eds) (2007). Watching The Lord of the Rings: Tolkienճ World Audiences. New York: Peter Lang. 297 pages.

Mathijs, Ernest (ed) (2006), The Lord of the Rings: Popular Culture in Global Context, London: Wallflower Press. 341 pages.

Mathijs, Ernest and Murray Pomerance (eds) (2006). From Hobbits to Hollywood: Essays on Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings. New York/Amsterdam: Editions Rodopi. 403 pages.

Barker, Martin, Ernest Mathijs and Xavier Mendik (2006), Menstrual Monsters: The Reception of the Ginger Snaps Cult Horror FranchiseFilm International, 21 (4/3), 68-77.

Mathijs, Ernest (2005), Bad Reputations: the Reception of Trash CinemaScreen, 46 (4), 451-472.

Mathijs, Ernest and Janet Jones (eds.) (2004). Big Brother International: Format, Critics and Publics. London: Wallflower Press. 261 pages.

Mathijs, Ernest and Xavier Mendik (eds) (2004). Alternative Europe; European Exploitation and Underground Cinema Since 1945. London: Wallflower Press. 269 pages.

Mathijs, Ernest (ed.) (2004), The Cinema of the Low Countries, London: Wallflower Press. 266 pages.

Mathijs, Ernest (2003), AIDS References in the Critical Reception of David Cronenberg: It May Not Be Such a Bad Disease after All. Cinema Journal, 42 (4), 29-45

Mathijs, Ernest (2002), Big Brother and Critical Discourse: the Reception of Big Brother Belgium, Television and New Media, 3 (3), 311-322.

I have also contributed several dozen entries to the encyclopedia 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die100 European Horror Films101 Horror Films You Must See Before You Die101 Science-Fiction Films You Must See Before You Die501 Movie Directors, and 501 Movie Stars.

Professional Service (Selected):

BA and MA advisor Film Studies

Chair of the editorial board of Participations, online Journal for Audience and Reception Research ( (2003-ongoing).

Editor of the book series: Contemporary Cinema (Editions Rodopi): (with Steven Jay Schneider) (2003-ongoing).

Editor of the book series: Cultographies (Wallflower Press/Columbia University Press): (with Jamie Sexton) (2005-ongoing).