School of Cinematic Arts Directory Profile

Directory Profile

Michael Renov, Ph.D.

Vice Dean of Academic Affairs
Haskell Wexler Endowed Chair in Documentary
Research Areas: Documentary Theory, Autobiography in Film and Video, Video Art and Activism, Representations of the Holocaust

Affiliated Divisions:

Division of Cinema & Media Studies

Work Phone: 213.740.2804
Office: SCA 465

Michael Renov, professor of Critical Studies and Vice Dean for Academic Affairs, is the author of Hollywood's Wartime Woman: Representation and Ideology and The Subject of Documentary, editor of Theorizing Documentary, and co-editor of Resolutions: Contemporary Video Practices, Collecting Visible EvidenceThe SAGE Handbook of Film Studies and Cinema’s Alchemist: The Films of Peter Forgacs.

In 1993, Renov co-founded Visible Evidence, a series of international and highly interdisciplinary documentary studies conferences that have, to date, been held on five continents. He is one of three general editors for the Visible Evidence book series at the University of Minnesota Press, which has published 27 volumes on various aspects of nonfiction media since 1997. In 2005, he co-programmed the 51st annual Robert Flaherty Seminar, a week-long gathering of documentary filmmakers, curators, and educators, creating 20 screening programs and filmmaker dialogues on the theme "Cinema and History."

In addition to curating documentary programs around the world, he has served as a jury member at documentary festivals including Sundance, Silverdocs, the Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival, Brazil's It's All True, the International Environmental Festival of Film and Video, also in Brazil, and DocLisboa in Portugal. He has taught graduate seminars at the University of Stockholm, Tel Aviv University and Central European University in Budapest, Hungary and has led documentary workshops in Jordan for the Royal Film Commission and in Cyprus. Renov's teaching and research interests include documentary theory, autobiography in film and video, video art and activism, and representations of the Holocaust.


Hollywood’s Wartime Woman: Representation and Ideology (UMI Research Press, 1988)

Theorizing Documentary (editor, Routledge/American Film Institute, 1993)

Resolutions: Contemporary Video Practices (co-editor, University of Minnesota Press, 1995)

Collecting Visible Evidence (co-editor, University of Minnesota Press, 1999)

The Subject of Documentary (University of Minnesota Press, 2004)

Handbook on Film Studies (co-editor, Sage Publications, 2008)

Cinema’s Alchemist: The Films of Peter Forgacs (co-editor, University of Minnesota Press, 2011)