Deb Verhoeven

Professor, Faculty of Arts - Womens & Gender Studies

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Professor, Faculty of Arts - Womens & Gender Studies


Area of Study / Keywords

Digital Humanities Feminist Studies Interdisciplinary Film Studies Production Studies Cultural Studies Gender Equity Policy Queer Studies


Before taking her current position as a professor jointly appointed to the University of Alberta’s Digital Humanities and Women’s and Gender Studies Departments, Deb Verhoeven held many high-level academic and non-profit roles. Born in Australia, she attended the University of Melbourne and graduated with a PhD in cinema studies in 2005. Many of her positions and appointments involve either, or both, research into inequality in the film industries and the development of innovative digital research platforms. 

In 2008, the Australian Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts appointed Verhoeven the inaugural deputy chair of the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA), a position she held until 2011. Between 2009 and 2012, she was chair of Senses of Cinema, a widely read scholarly online film journal. Among her many other positions and honours, she was awarded the title of Australia’s most innovative academic in 2012 for pioneering crowdfunding research platforms. 

In 2019, Verhoeven was appointed the Canada 150 Research Chair in Gender and Cultural Informatics at the U of A. She currently teaches several masters-level courses, and concurrently holds a variety of governance positions in Canada. She is a board member of CANARIE the organization that runs Canada's national high-bandwidth network for research & education. She was appointed as an inaugural board member of NDRIO (now the Digital Research Alliance), an national organization that deploys advanced research computing systems, storage, and software solutions to Canadian researchers. She currently serves on the boards of several peer-reviewed, open-access publications including The Journal of Cultural Analytics, dedicated to the computational study of culture and KULA: Knowledge Creation, Dissemination, and Preservation Studies, a journal intended to encourage the formation of a multidisciplinary community of scholars studying human knowledge processes.

Verhoeven’s film research spans many topics, extending the scope of conventional cinema studies through collaboration with economists, cultural policy theorists, information managers, data scientists, social scientists, visual artists as well as government policymakers and advocacy organizations. Her pioneering development of large-scale cultural datasets and archival research platforms,  such as the Humanities Networked Infrastructure, the Workplace Inclusion Diversity and Gender Equity Tool (WIDGET)  underpins and extends much of her research. She is the author of more than 150 academic articles and book chapters. Her book, Jane Campion published by Routledge, is a detailed case study of the commercial and cultural role of the auteur in the contemporary film industry. And her work can also be found in non-traditional outlets as gallery exhibitions, on-stage musical performances of research data and a wide variety of media publications and appearances.


Selected Publications since 2020

Selected Online Articles since 2020