Dr Miriam Harris - Digital Design

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Senior Lecturer, Department of Digital Design, School of Visual Art & Design

Phone: +64 921 9999 extension 7969

Email: miriam.harris@aut.ac.nz

Physical Address:

WE 600
Department of Digital Design
City Campus


  • PhD, Auckland, 2011. Thesis entitled ‘Words & Images That Move: The relationship between text and drawing in the animated film and graphic novel’.
  • Post Graduate Certificates in Digital Animation & Visual Effects, Sheridan College, Toronto, Canada, 2001-2002.
  • Master of Arts in English Literature (1st Class Hons), Auckland, 1995.
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts, Auckland, 1990.

Memberships and Affiliations:

  • SAS (Society for Animation Studies)
  • Society for Word & Image Studies


My experience includes:

  • Senior Lecturer, Digital Design Department, AUT (Studio and Theory), 2015 - now.
  • Senior Lecturer, Graphic Design & Animation (Studio and Theory), Unitec, 2003 - 2014.
  • Visiting Professor in Animation Aesthetics, Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA), Portland, Oregon, 2013 & 2011.
  • Programme Leader, Graduate Diploma in Digital Animation, Unitec, 2006 - 2008.
  • Co-writer, Graduate Diploma in Digital Animation, Unitec, 2005.
  • Tutor for students with learning disabilities, Sheridan College, Toronto, 2002.
  • Tutor in Children’s & Adolescent Literature, Department of English, University of Auckland, 1996 - 1997.
  • Moderating panel, Media Design School’s Bachelor’s programme in Communication, Animation, and Gaming Design.
  • External examiner, Elam School of Fine Arts, and Auckland University of Technology.

Research Areas:

  • Animation & moving image: 2D and 3D, hybridity, stop-motion, animation and fine art relationships, motion graphics, the animated documentary, experimental animation, digital media aesthetics, narrative, the animated installation, phenomenological, cultural and psychoanalytical perspectives.
  • New media: digital interactive publications.
  • Image and text relationships: in fine arts, illustration, the graphic novel.

Research Summary:

Drawing on a background in fine arts, literature, creative writing and film studies, together with training in digital animation and visual effects, Dr Miriam Harris is an award-winning animator. She has had work screened at a variety of international festivals, contributed to the production of both independent and commercial projects, curated animation and moving image exhibitions, and written extensively on areas such as the relationship of animation, moving image, and the graphic novel with fine arts, digital media, narrative, memory, and culture. She is on the editorial board of the international academic journal Animation Practice, Process, and Production edited by UK Professor Paul Wells, and published by Intellect Ltd.

Current Research Projects:

  • Co-editor of forthcoming book Experimental Animation: From Analogue to Digital, published by Routledge, UK, 2017.
  • Empathy Machine, a collaborative, animation installation with nine international experimental animators exploring patterns of trauma and resilience, Pah Homestead, Auckland, April 12 – May 25.


Selected Exhibitions & Screenings:

  • Harris, M. (2016). Huixiang, Of Echoes: Artists in Chengdu-Auckland, (group show), Chengdu, China, 3 – 13 December, 2016.
  • Harris, M. (2016). ThreeD Words: NZ Women Comic Makers, (group show), Ramp Gallery, School of Media Arts, Wintec, Hamilton, 31 October – 15 November, 2016.
  • Harris, M. (2016). Image Power (group show), Art School of Renmin University, Beijing, China, September – October, 2016.
  • Harris, M. (2014). Warsaw, January 2011, an animated experimental film co-directed by Miriam Harris and Juliet Palmer. Screened at the following international film festivals: Catskill Mountains Film Festival, New York (Best Animation Award), New Media Film Festival, Los Angeles (Best in the New Media category), Brooklyn Film Festival, New York (Spirit Award), Dada Saheb Phalke International Film Festival, New Delhi (Special Mention), FIFE Experimental Film Festival, Romania (First Prize), Women’s Independent Film Festival, Los Angeles (Honorable Mention), Melbourne International Animation Festival, Portland Experimental Film Festival, Oregon, New York Independent Film Festival, New York, Animator Festival, Poznan, Poland, Fear No Film Festival, Utah, Picknic Film Festival, Fundacion Santander Creativa, Spain, Dokumentarts Film Festival, Bucharest, Romania.
  • Harris, M. (2011). Warsaw, January 2011, animation installation, NZ Film Archive, Karangahape Rd, Auckland, November - December 2011.
  • Harris, M. (2009). Soaring Roaring Diving, an animated experimental film by Miriam Harris (visuals and animation) and Juliet Palmer (music and sound), screened at the following international film festivals: Brooklyn International Film Festival, New York (Best Experimental Film Award), Marfa International Film Festival, Texas, Artsfest Film Festival, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, In The Palace International Film Festival, Bulgaria, SSG Summer Shorts Film Festival, Los Angeles, Slovakian Animation Festival, Fest Anca, Slovakia, Kansk International Film Festival, Russia, Antimatter Film Festival, Vancouver, Cambodian Film Festival.

Curatorial Projects:

  • Harris, M, and Bennett, G. (2014). NZ Film Archive Screening: Animation Showcase, Animation Revelations Festival, WG Building, AUT.
  • Harris, M. (2013). 24 Czech & Polish Animators exhibition, Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA), Portland, Oregon, July – August 2013.
  • Harris, M. (2011). A Playful Movement: Czech & Polish Animation, Pah Homestead, October 2011 - February 2012.

Research Dissemination: Conference Papers and Presentations include:

  • Harris, M. (2016). ‘Drawing on the Unconscious: The relationship between text and drawing in two films by Robert Breer and William Kentridge’, paper presented at the CONFIA Conference, Barcelos, Portugal, June 2016.
  • Harris, M. (2015). ‘Political Activism in Motion: The animated infographics of Patrick Clair’, paper presented at the Animation and Public Engagement Symposium, Newcastle, UK, November 2015.
  • Harris, M. (2014). ‘Hybridity in Animation: The mixture of live footage and animation’, paper presented at the Blend Symposium, Melbourne International Animation Festival, Australia, June 2014.


Books & Book Chapters:

  • Harris, M. (2011). 24 Czech and Polish Animators, 112-page catalogue, Rim Publishing, Auckland, 2011.
  • Harris, M. (2009). ‘Cartoonist as Matchmaker: The vibrant relationship of text and image in the work of Lynda Barry’, in Catriona MacLeod, Véronique Plesch (Eds.), Elective  Affinities, Rodopi Press, Amsterdam, 2009.
  • Harris, M. (2008). ‘Releasing the Grip of the Ghostly: Bernice Eisenstein’s “I Was A Child of Holocaust Survivors”’, in Samantha Baskind and Ranen Omer-Sherman (Eds.) The Jewish Graphic Novel: Critical Approaches, New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 2008.
  • Harris, M. (2007). ‘Literary Len: “Trade Tattoo” and Len Lye’s Relationship with the Literary Avant-Garde’, in Suzanne Buchan (Ed.) Animated Worlds, Eastleigh, UK: John Libbey Publishers, 2007.


  • Harris, M. (2009). ‘Checking Out A Czech Animator: How Michaela Pavlatova both incorporates and rebels against the Czech animation tradition’, Amanda Third and Dirk de Bruyn (Eds.) Australasian special edition of ‘The Animation Journal’, 2009, online journal.


William Georgetti Scholarship for Academic Excellence, 2002.