Nicholas Sammond

Associate Professor
& Graduate Coordinator
inema Studies Institute and Department of English

Office: Room 231, Innis College
Phone:  416-978-7271


Research and Teaching:

Nicholas Sammond studies the cultural history and political economy of popular film and media. His previous book, Babes in Tomorrowland: Walt Disney and the Making of the American Child, 1930-1960 (Duke University Press, 2005) charted the circulation of concepts of childhood through popular child-rearing and the public relations and films of Walt Disney Productions. It won the 2006 Society of Cinema and Media Studies Katherine Singer Kovacs award for the most important contribution to the field. Professor Sammond is also the editor of the volume Steel Chair to the Head: the Pleasure and Pain of Professional Wrestling (Duke University Press, 2005). He is currently working on the book Biting the Invisible Hand: Blackface Minstrelsy and the Industrialization of American Animation (Duke University Press, forthcoming), which explores the historical relationship between blackface minstrelsy and the origins of the American animation industry. He has also created the Early Animation Wiki (, a research tool developed in collaboration with the International Film Animation Society (ASIFA Hollywood), and the animation research station in the Innis College Library, which offers access to thousands of rare film shorts, original artwork, and biographical and bibliographic information on animators and animation studios.

Professor Sammond regularly teaches courses on film and media history, animation, film and cultural practice, comedy, and media and childhood. At the graduate level, he teaches courses on cinema and culture, media and racial formation, theories of viewing, and film theory.


Select Publications:

Biting the Invisible Hand, Blackface Minstrelsy and the Origins of American Animation (Duke University Press, forthcoming).

"Gentlemen, Please Be Seated: Racial Masquerade and Sadomasochism in 1930's Animation." Stephen Johnson, ed. Burnt Cork: Traditions and Legacies of Blackface Minstrelsy (University of Massachusetts Press, 2012).

“A Space Apart: Animation and the Spatial Politics of Conversion” Rob King, guest ed. Film History 23:3 (2011).

"‘Who Dat Say Who Dat?’: Race and Humor in American Animation” in Daniel Goldmark and Charlie Keil, eds., Funny Pictures: Animation and Comedy in Studio-Era Hollywood (University of California Press, 2011).

Babes in Tomorrowland: Walt Disney and the making of the American child, 1930-1960. (Duke University Press, 2005).
Steel Chair to the Head: Essays on Professional Wrestling. Nicholas Sammond, ed. (Duke University Press, 2005).

“Hidden, or Fear of a Black Planet.” Jump Cut 52 (Summer 2010).

“Walt Disney’s Dumbo: Governing Individualism.” In Julia Mickenberg and Lynn Vallone, eds. The Oxford Handbook of Children’s Literature (Oxford University Press, 2011).

“Picture Yourself: Lillian Gilbreth’s Industrial Cinema for the Home.” Camera Obscura 21:3 (December 2006).

“Squaring the Family Circle.” In Nicholas Sammond, ed. Steel Chair to the Head: Essays on Professional Wrestling. (Duke University Press, 2005).

“ ‘What You Are ... I Wouldn’t Eat’: ethnicity, whiteness, and performing ‘the Jew’ in Hollywood’s Golden Age” (Primary author; Chandra Mukerji, co-author). In Daniel Bernardi, ed. Classic Whiteness/Classic Hollywood (University of Minnesota Press, 2001),

“Commodities, Commodity Fetishism, and Commodification.” The Encyclopedia of Sociology, George Ritzer, ed. (Blackwell 2006).

“Domestic Comedy and Family Drama.” The Encyclopedia of American Boyhood, Priscilla Clement, ed. (ABC-CLIO, 2001).

“Manufacturing the American Child: Child-rearing and the Rise of Walt Disney.” Continuum 13:1 (April 1999).

“Early Animation Wiki: