Prof. Kirsten Moana Thompson

Photo of Dr. Kirsten Thompson in front of flowering shrubs

PhD, Cinema Studies

Chair, Department of Film and Media
Professor of Film and Media

Phone: 206-296-2564

Building/Room: Casey 430-02

Kirsten Moana Thompson CV (PDF)


Kirsten Moana Thompson is Professor of Film and Media and Chair of the Film and Media Department at Seattle University.

She teaches and writes on animation and color studies, as well as Pacific, and American studies. Recent work has focused on the animated ‘useful’ film; intersectional animated surfaces in Moana; the material color history of Disney 2D animation and the ink and paint department, and Ludwig von Drake and the Disney promotional film. She is the author of Animation and Advertising (co-ed. M. Cook, Palgrave, 2019), the first book to examine the relationship of animation with non-theatrical media. She has also published Apocalyptic Dread: American Cinema at the Turn of the Millennium (SUNY Press, 2007); Crime Films: Investigating the Scene (Wallflower: 2007), and coedited with Terri Ginsberg Perspectives on German Cinema (GK Hall: NY, 1996), and is currently working on three other books,  Color, American Animation and Visual Culture, 1890-1960; Bubbles; and Animated America: Intermedial Promotion, from Times Square to Walt Disney.

Areas of professional expertise: animation, color aesthetics, classical and contemporary American cinema, media archaeology, Pacific and New Zealand studies, visual culture and American studies and German film.

Recent Courses: Animation; Color in Film; Film Noir; Crime Film; UCOR Race/Sex/Gender; Pacific Cinema

Forthcoming Publications:

'Drawn to Life’: Intermedial Promotion in Disney and Cirque du Soleil"  for Companion to American Film History, eds Pam Wojcik and Paula Massood, Media and Cultural Studies Companion Series (Routledge, NY), forthcoming 2024

“American Animation and Color” Color in Motion: A Chromatic Exploration of Color (Los Angeles: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences), forthcoming 2024

“Hallucinogenic Color in the Disney Musical: Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros”, The Oxford  Handbook of the Disney Musical, eds.  Dominic Broomfield-McHugh and Colleen Montgomery, Oxford, (forthcoming) 2023.

"Animation und Werbung", Malcolm Cook and Kirsten Moana Thompson, Handbook Animation Studies,  (In German) eds. Franziska Bruckner, Julia Eckel, Maike Reinerth, and Erwin Feyersinger. Springer, (forthcoming) 2023.

Recent Publications:

Disney, DuPont and Faber Birren: Hollywood and the Color Revolution" eds. Katherine Spring and Phillipa Gates, Resetting the Scene: Classical Hollywood Revisited. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2021: 118-130. 

“Tattooed Light and Embodied Design: Intersectional Surfaces in Moana eds. Paula Massood, Angel Daniel Matos, and Pamela Robertson Wojcik, Media Crossroads: Intersections of Space and Identity in Screen Cultures. Durham: Duke University Press, 2021: 250-261.

Copyright under COVID-19. Special Teaching Media Dossier, coed. with Brendan Kredell, Journal for Cinema and Media Studies (JCMS), teaching Dossier, March 2021

Animation and Advertising: eds. Malcolm Cook and Kirsten Moana Thompson, London and New York: Palgrave, Dec. 2019

"Live Electrically with Reddy Kilowatt, Your Electrical Servant" in Animation and Advertising: eds. Malcolm Cook and Kirsten Moana Thompson, London and New York: Palgrave, 2019; 127-145.

"The Colour Revolution: Disney, DuPont and Faber Birren" Cinéma&Cie International Film Studies Journal, ed Elena Gipponi and Joshua Yumibe, vol XIX, No. 32 (Spring 2019), 39-52.

"Light, Color and (E)Motion. Animated Materiality and Surfaces in Moana", Emotion in Animated Films, ed. Meike Uhrig, New York: Routledge University Press, 2019: 142-160.

BA, English Literature and History, Auckland University

MA, English Literature (with Concentration in Film), Film Class Honors, Auckland University

PhD, New York University (Cinema Studies)