Sheila J. Petty is acting director of the Institut français, professor of media studies and dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Regina (Canada), where she is project leader of the New Media Studio Laboratory, a Canada Foundation for Innovation-funded lab which she founded in 2001 and which focuses on interdisciplinary digital research spanning Fine Arts, Computer Science and Engineering. She is also a member of two other Canada Foundation for Innovation-funded labs: Interactive Media, Poetics, Aesthetics, Cognition, and Technology Lab at the University of Regina and NT2: Valorisation, interfaces et visualisation at the Université du Québec à Montréal.
Sheila Petty has a long established record in interdisciplinary research focusing on issues of cultural representation, identity and nation in African and African diasporic cinema, television and new media studies. She has curated film, television and new media exhibitions for galleries across Canada. She is author of Contact Zones, Memory, Origin and Discourses in Black Diasporic Cinema, Wayne State U. Press, 2008 – shortlisted for the 2008 Saskatchewan Book Award for Scholarly Writing, and co-editor of the following: Expressions culturelles des francophonies (Québec: Éditions Nota bene, 2008); Atlantis: a Women’s Studies Journal, special issue, “Digital Feminisms,” Issue 32.2 (2008); Canadian Cultural Poesis, (Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2006), the forthcoming Directory of World Cinema: Africa to be published by Intellect Books. She is currently preparing a book-length manuscript for the University of Toronto Press on traveling aesthetics in key fiction and documentary films from sub-Saharan Africa. Over the course of her career, she has published and/or presented over 180 papers and attracted over three million dollars in external research funding. She has acted as a visiting professor in the Faculty of Design and Art, Xiamen University of Technology, Xiamen, China, where she has guest professorship until 2016. She is a member of the editorial board of Journal of African Cinemas and Cinema Journal and as an Associate Editor of The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism.