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Peter Morris, film studies pioneer, was born in Blackpool, UK in 1937. After completing a Bachelor of Science from the University of Nottingham in 1958 and a Masters of Science with a focus in chemistry from the University of British Columbia in 1961, his interest shifted to Canadian film.
Morris moved to Ottawa to become the founding curator of the Canadian Film Archives after a warehouse containing Canada's historic films burned down in 1967. He also taught at several universities including McMaster, Carleton, and the University of Ottawa. From 1976 to 1988, Morris accepted a position at Queen's University in the film department. During this time, he authored "The Film Companion" in 1984 and was praised by the francophone community for including French films in his book. Morris then accepted a position at York University in 1988 where he served as director of the Graduate Program in Film from 1991 to 1994, chair of the Department of Film from 1993 to 1996, and coordinator of the interdisciplinary Fine Arts Cultural Studies Program from 1999 to 2003 in the Faculty of Fine Arts. In 2002, Morris retired from the university at the rank of Professor Emeritus. Morris also served on the committee of the International Federation of Film archives from 1966 to 1969 and 1972 to 1973, was the founding president of the Film Studies Association of Canada, and the founding editor of the Canadian Journal of Film Studies from 1989 to 1993.
Morris authored many books including an English translation of Georges Sadoul's "Dictionary of Films and Dictionary of Film Makers" (1972), "Embattled Shadows: A History of Canadian Cinema 1885-1939" the first detailed history of Canadian cinema (1978), "The Film Companion" (1984) for which he was praised by the francophone community for the inclusion of French Canadian films, and "David Cronenberg: A Delicate Balance" (1994). He was working on a manuscript covering Canadian film and television from 1939 to 1968, when he died on 2 February 2011 in Hamilton, Ontario.
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2014/03/12 Minimal biographical sketch created and added sources
2019/04/12 KCP. Expanded biographical sketch and added VIAF.