Message from Principal Charlie Keil
Welcome to Innis College! As principal, one of my most important roles is to make you feel like you are a part of something special—and you are.
Innis is one of the smallest colleges on campus, with an inclusive, diverse, and tight-knit community.
You’ll discover and pursue your academic and life choices knowing you’re surrounded by a supportive circle of staff, faculty, and friends.
We are here to help. Please reach out with any questions or comments.
Take a walk through Innis with Principal Charlie Keil
In this short welcome video, meet Principal Keil, learn about some Innis “firsts,” and how we’re dedicated to making your student experience even better.
Meet the Principal's Office team
This year I am serving as the acting principal of Innis College and am thrilled to be working with the students, staff, and faculty here. I am also a professor in the teaching stream in the Department of Computer Science, and I have been working with the Center for Teaching Support and Innovation (CTSI) on courses for faculty on effective teaching.
My favourite courses to teach look at systems programming and operating systems because they allow us to have a better picture of how computers run programs — and because students find these courses practical. I’m honoured to have received the President’s Teaching Award and the Ontario Colleges and University Faculty Associations Teaching Award.
I have also enjoyed working with students on a number of software projects including MarkUs, a web-based tool that helps us grade student submissions. These projects help students learn essential software development skills while working on an application that they themselves will use.
During my 20+ years at the U of T, I’ve looked for opportunities to get to know different parts of the University. Although I’ve only been at Innis a short time, I already feel at home. I look forward to meeting and working with all Innis students, and I hope you will stop me in the hallway or on the street to talk about your experience here at the College.
In 2015, I became principal of Innis College; it’s an exciting role that allows me to work with students, faculty, and staff to make the student experience as rich and fulfilling as possible. Beyond my duties as principal, I am a professor in the Cinema Studies Institute (CSI), and the Department of History, and a former director of CSI.
I’ve been in teaching and leadership roles at U of T for over 20 years, and in fact received my undergrad BA here, and then my MA and PhD in film studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
I’m passionate about teaching, and specialize in teaching and researching early cinema, particularly the pivotal “transitional era” of the 1910s. You’ll often find me in the Innis Town Hall lecturing or engaged in a post-film discussion with students. I am particularly honoured to have received a Faculty of Arts & Science Outstanding Teaching Award.
I have published several books and numerous scholarly articles on early cinema, as well as on other topics including documentary, contemporary cinema, authorship, and stardom. Right now, I’m excited about two current projects, The Oxford Handbook of Silent Cinema, a co-editing project with Rob King, and a history of early Hollywood with Denise McKenna.
I consider myself incredibly fortunate to be able to meet and connect with students in both my roles as professor and principal. I’m here to listen, and to learn from you, and to support your journey through Innis College.
Ever since I became vice principal of Innis College in 2022, I have felt so fortunate to be a part of this warm and vibrant community of students, instructors, and staff. I am a professor of Spanish and comparative literature, and I have been acting director of the Latin American Studies Program and the Centre for Comparative Literature here at U of T.
I love the Latin American cinema course that I teach, as well as the seminars on environmental issues and on creative writing. I am passionate about creative nonfiction writing and have written a memoir, Take Her, She’s Yours, and various essays alongside my more academic research. I’m now working on a book about family, place, and land set in Catalonia, Spain (where my mother is from), and interior British Columbia (where my kids and I are learning how to farm). I still haven’t figured out if it’s fiction or memoir or something entirely different!
Whether we’re chatting in the hallway, meeting to talk about your Innis experience, or starting exciting new initiatives together, I look forward to getting to know and supporting you in any way I can. My hope is that every student at Innis will flourish and feel at home here.
Assistant to the Principal
Over the past 10 years, Innis College has been a home away from home for me. In fact, my son recently graduated from here! Interacting with students is one of the best parts of my role. I enjoy supporting the Office of the Principal, and engaging with the Innis and wider university community. Please reach out to the Office with any questions.