Undergraduate Research Explorer
U of T logo

Conorr Norquay

Conorr is a fourth-year student in the Cinema Studies program within the Faculty of Arts & Science. Throughout his undergraduate studies, Conorr has participated in numerous research opportunities that largely involved combing through archival materials to tell the stories of filmmakers and filmmaking in historical context.

Through independent study courses and research assistantships, Conorr reviewed microfiche and physical documents in the Archives of Ontario, the Northern Ontario theatre records and Canadian periodicals. Part of his work was often scanning these documents and uploading them to a digitized archive to allow them to be more publicly accessible. For Conorr, this experience taught him “the value of preserving historical records in accessible forms to ensure their survival for future generations” as well as to appreciate “the extensive (and ongoing) work done by historians, librarians and archivists in their preservation efforts.” 

Along with sharing his own work about filmmakers and filmmaking, Conorr has also shared the work of his colleagues through Caméra Stylo, the undergraduate student journal for the Cinema Studies Student Union. As Editor-in-Chief in 2022-2023, Conorr was responsible for hiring and managing a team of editors to analyze, discuss, edit and publish a series of research papers. Conorr discussed his approach to selecting the Caméra Stylo team. In the process of determining the editorial board, Conorr wanted to offer opportunities to more junior colleagues with more limited editorial experience, ensuring they acquired the knowledge necessary to carry on the work of Caméra Stylo. “Although this was a leadership risk,” Conorr explained, “I was able to manage it by pairing novices with seasoned journal editors to ensure a smooth publication process and continue the journal’s legacy project.”

Conorr’s next steps are to investigate the history of industrial/sponsored film in early Canadian cinema history. This is a larger-scale project than his previous work, so Conorr plans to employ a more rigorous, organized approach to assembling a research log in “a format that enhances the clarity and chronology of information so as to allow the iterative process of the research to shine through and hopefully embolden exciting new insights!”

Research Type(s): Independent / Supervised Study Courses (Research-Intensive), Research Assistantships