Dominique Bregent-Heald


Dominique Brégent-HealdPosition



  • Ph.D. Duke University (2004)
  • M.A. George Washington University (1997)
  • B.A. University of Toronto (1995)


Department of History
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John's, NL A1C 5S7
Phone: (709) 864-8430
Fax: (709) 864-2164

Teaching and Supervision

I teach a wide range of undergraduate and graduate courses, mainly in the areas of United States, film, and cultural history/studies. In particular, my courses explore the relationship between film and history; the ways in which film culture informs our notions of the past and the interpretation of motion pictures as primary sources.

I am interested in working with graduate and/or honours students whose research interests include: Film History; Popular Culture; American History (late 19th-20th century); Border studies; and Tourism. Students will be trained in multidisciplinary approaches to history and will learn advanced techniques in archival and digital research, particularly in the use of visual primary source materials. 

Research Interests

I am an established scholar of 19th and 20th century cultural history in Canada and the United States specializing in film.

My current research interrogates the interconnected histories of motion pictures and world’s fairs during the heyday of the international exhibition movement in the United States, that is, between 1893 and 1964. Drawing from the fields of film, exhibition studies, and cultural history, I investigate how film and world expositions engaged in nation-branding practices to advance their cultural, economic, or political agendas on an international stage. I also examine the ways in which film screenings at American world’s fairs functioned as sites of ethnographic representation that buttressed the logics of imperialism and settler colonialism.

My two additional areas of research interest have been:

1. comparative border studies and film: I investigate representations of the North American borderlands through the lens of Hollywood cinema, specifically the significance of national borders; the ever-changing concepts of race, gender, and enforced boundaries; the racialized ideas of criminality; and how international conflict significantly influenced the United States’ relations with its immediate neighbours. 

2. film and tourism in Canada: I consider the role that tourism has played in shaping filmic representations of Canada during the first half of the 20th century. I uncover the economic, pedagogical, geopolitical, and sociocultural contexts of the tourism film in Canada, revealing that the Dominion was an innovator in using motion pictures to shape a recognizable destination brand to sell to the American tourist market. 

Publications (Since 2015)


  • Northern Getaway: Film Tourism, and the Canadian Vacation. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2022.
  • Borderland Films: American Cinema, Mexico and Canada during the Progressive Era. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2015.

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

  • “The Canadian Travel Film Library: Non-Theatrical Distribution and Tourism in the Postwar Period,” Canadian Journal of Film Studies, 31, no. 2 (Fall 2022): 26-39.
  • “‘Come to Canada’: Wartime Tourism Promotion and the Amateur Film Movement,” Canadian Journal of Film Studies 31, no. 1 (Spring 2022): 23-48.

  • “Landscapes, Wildlife, and Grey Owl: Settler Colonial Imaginaries and Tourist Spaces in William J. Oliver’s Parks Branch Films, 1920s-1930s,” in Cinematic Settlers: The Settler Colonial World in Film, edited by Janne Lahti and Rebecca Weaver-Hightower, 165-76 (New York: Routledge, 2020).

  • “James Oliver Curwood: Advertising Canada Across the Border,” Journal of Canadian Studies 52, no. 3 (2019): 691-717.

  • “Five Little Stars: The Dionne Quintuplets, Motherhood, and Tourism during the Great Depression,” Historical Journal of Film, Television, and Radio 39, no. 1 (2019): 54-74.

  • “All Aboard: Travel Films, Railroads, and the North American West, 1897-1910,” American Review of Canadian Studies 45, no. 1 (2015): 8-25.