Derek Long

Derek Long
Assistant Professor of Media & Cinema Studies
23 Gregory Hall

Ph.D., Communication Arts, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 2017 
M.A., Film Studies, Emory University, 2010 
B.A., History, Middlebury College, 2008

  • Assistant Professor of Media and Cinema Studies
Course Specialties
  • Film History
  • Media Distribution
  • Digital Tools and Historiography

Derek Long is a historian of media industries, specializing in the Hollywood studio system, film distribution, and digital approaches to cinema history. His first book, Playing the Percentages: How Film Distribution Made the Hollywood Studio System (University of Texas Press, 2024), examines the history of film distribution as a dynamic struggle over booking, marketing, and sales practices in the 1910s and 1920s. His articles have been published in Cinema JournalFilm HistoryHistorical Journal of Film, Radio, and TelevisionThe Velvet Light Trap[in]Transition, among other journals and anthologies.

His work also applies digital datasets and tools to questions of media history. As a member of the Project Arclight team, he helped to map “trends” in media history to quantitatively assess the cultural influence of stars, films, studios, the trade press, and other institutions. As creator and manager of Early Cinema History Online (ECHO), a database based on the extensive work of film historians Einar Lauritzen and Gunnar Lundquist, he has indexed and compiled filmographic information covering over 35,000 individual films released in the United States from 1908–1920.

Here at the College of Media, he has taught MACS courses in world cinema, production, film theory, animation history, and graduate media historiography. His other research interests include animation, videographic criticism, early cinema, broadcasting history, avant-garde and cult cinema, and low-budget filmmaking.