Society for Cinema and Media Studies
Media in the Public Sphere

The Society for Cinema and Media Studies is the largest organization in the US dedicated to film, television, sound, and new media scholarship from a critical perspective.  This year’s Chicago conference location offers an intellectually vibrant, cosmopolitan, and multilayered film, television, and new media environment in which to explore the conference theme, “Media in the Public Sphere.” As the media we teach and consume increasingly move into the digital sphere, questions of intellectual property, copyright, and fair use affect our institutional, professional, and everyday lives. With this year’s conference, the SCMS aims to foster a genuinely cross-media and interdisciplinary exploration of these issues, relating their impact to the most pressing and broad-ranging concerns of our time.

Press, Photography, Film, Radio and Television in the Era of Modern Imperialism


We are entering a whole new era where the circulation of images is concerned, due to the large-scale digitisation of archives and collections, which has revolutionised existing practices of preservation, retrieval and distribution. We signal therefore an urgent need to rethink the relationship between media and modern imperialism, particularly in light of the complex process of globalisation. These developments invoke critical discussions between various disciplines, such as media studies, ethnology and history.
The conference will focus on the politics of representation and media practices, from the emergence of mass media and modern imperialism in the mid-nineteenth century, to the successive episodes of decolonisation, as well as on more current issues surrounding heritage and ownership of media collections. The conference welcomes papers from disciplines such as history, anthropology, media studies, history of art, visual culture studies, social and political science, literary and cultural studies. The organisers welcome participation from all over the world.

Media 101: Creating the Future by Understanding the Past


Technology might be changing at the speed of light, but the basics we teach our students remain important and relevant. Interesting programming is a must no matter if you deliver it to a battery-operated portable radio, a high-definition flat panel television, or an iPod. Good writing is good writing, no matter if it is done with a pen, a typewriter, or a Wi-Fi enabled laptop. Creating ethically responsible communicators was our job in 1955 and it is our job today. And the scholarship that we create about what we teach and how we teach it is possible only because of the scholars who came before us. So let’s use BEA 2007 to reflect on the core issues and values that we convey to our students and each other. How do we teach students to write? How do we teach students to frame the perfect shot or tell the perfect story? And why do these basics still matter when technology becomes obsolete before you open the box?

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page last modified: January 25, 2011 9:34 AM