Joshua Yumibe

Man with short black hair wearing a black jacket and button-down shirt

Contact Information

Office: C639 Wells Hall


Joshua Yumibe’s research focuses on the aesthetic and technological history of cinema. Other areas of interest include avant-garde and experimental cinemas, nineteenth and early twentieth century visual culture, Frankfurt school theory, and archival theories and practices.

He is the author of Moving Color: Early Film, Mass Culture, Modernism (Rutgers University Press, 2012), which examines early color cinema in relation to the cultural and aesthetic horizon of modernism and modernity. He is  the co-author of Fantasia of Color in Early Cinema (Amsterdam University Press, 2015), with Giovanna Fossati, Tom Gunning, and Jonathon Rosen. With  Sarah Street (University of Bristol), Yumibe is also co-author of Chromatic Modernity: Color, Cinema, and Media of the 1920s (forthcoming, Columbia University Press, 2019). The book investigates the major spheres of color expression in commercial and experimental motion pictures of the 1920s, and derives from research conducted through the Leverhulme Trust funded project, “Colour in the 1920s: Cinema and Its Intermedial Contexts.”

Since 2003, Yumibe has  been collaborating with Paolo Cherchi Usai on the archival collection, Davide Turconi Project. In 2011, they launched the project online to provide access to the collection as part of the 30th anniversary of the Giornate del Cinema. In 2018, Yumibe has curated the related exhibit “Dreaming in Color: The Davide Turconi Collection of Early Cinema” at the George Eastman Museum.

In 2016, he was a recipient of the Michigan State University Teacher-Scholar Award, which is granted to faculty who early in their careers have earned the respect of students and colleagues for their devotion to and skill in teaching, and whose instruction is linked to and informed by their research and creative activities.

Since 2013 he has served as the Director of the Film Studies Program at Michigan State University. He has also served on the executive committee of Domitor, the International Society of the Study of Early Cinema, since 2011 and has been the vice-president of the organization since 2016.


Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2007

Selected Publications

Chromatic Modernity: Color, Cinema, and Media of the 1920s (forthcoming, Columbia University Press, 2019)

The Colour Fantastic: Chromatic Worlds of Silent Cinema, co-edited Giovanna Fossati, Vicky Jackson, Bregt Lameris, Elif Rongen-Kaynakçi,  Sarah Street, and Joshua Yumibe (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2018).

The Image in Early Cinema: Form and Material, co-edited Scott Curtis, Philippe Gauthier, Tom Gunning, and Joshua Yumibe  (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2018).

Fantasia of Color in Early Cinema, co-authored with Tom Gunning, Giovanna Fossati, Jonathon Rosen, and Joshua Yumibe; foreword by Martin Scorsese (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2015). Shortlisted for the Kraszna-Krausz Moving Image Book Award, 2016.

Guest editor, The Moving Image 15.1, Special Issue: Restoring Color (2015).

Performing New Media: 1890–1915, co-edited Kaveh Askari, Scott Curtis, Frank Gray, Louis Pelletier,  Tami Williams, Joshua Yumibe (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2014).

Moving Color: Early Film, Mass Culture, Modernism (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2012). Honorable Mention for the SCMS First Book Award, 2013.

Chariots of Fire Re-run: Locating Film’s Cultural Capital in a Post-Industrial Age,” co-authored with Tom Rice, British Journal of Cinema and Television 12.3 (2015): 321–341.

From Nitrate to Digital Archive: The Davide Turconi Project,” co-authored with Alicia Fletcher, The Moving Image 13.1 (April 2013): 1–32.

Visual Diplomacy: Projections of Power from the Field in Ethiopia,” Early Popular Visual Culture 9.4 (November 2011): 309-323. Shortlisted for the British Association of Film, Television, and Screen Studies’ Best Article in a Refereed Journal Award, 2011–2012.

See all publications.

Recent Courses

  • Theory and Practice of Research in Film Studies
  • Film Technologies and Aesthetics: Color Cinema
  • History of Film to Midcentury
  • Classical Film and Media Theory
  • Film Theory, Culture, and Entertainment
  • Modernism and Modernity in Film
  • Film and the Archive

Fantasia of Color in Early Cinema