Michael Cowan studied German, French, Film and Media Studies, and is head of the Film Studies Department at St Andrews University. He has taught at universities in Canada, Germany, the UK and the US.
His work encompasses film and the moving image, media theory and history (with a focus on early German cinema), visual and design cultures, the body and techniques of subjectivity, literature and the avant-garde.
In both his teaching and research, Cowan is interested in examining the role that visual media have played within changing understandings of the self, of knowledge and of culture in modernity.
Recent publications include an award-winning monograph on Walter Ruttmann Walter Ruttmann and the Weimar Advertising Film; a comprehensive sourcebook of early German film theory; and articles on the emergence of cinephilia, screen cultures of Weimar cinema and film and radio between the wars.