Friday, June 5th: Joel Snyder

Please join us on Friday, June 5th from 11 am to 12:30 pm via Zoom.

We are delighted to welcome Joel Snyder, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Art History, who will be presenting a paper titled “Photography, Ontology, Analogy, Compulsion.”

Man Ray, Space Writing, 1935

You can access the document here.

Please do not circulate without permissionEmail either Sophie (sophielynch@uchicago.edu) or Tanya (tanyad@uchicago.edu) for the password and the link to the Zoom meeting.

We look forward to seeing you!

Yours in Mass Cult,

Tanya and Sophie

May 22nd, 2020–Ariel Rogers

Please join us on Friday, May 22nd, 2020 from 11 am to 12:30 pm over Zoom.

We are delighted to welcome Ariel Rogers, Associate Professor, Department of Radio/Television/Film, Northwestern University, who will be presenting her paper titled “Framing VR.”

Sasha Crawford-Holland, PhD Student at the Department of Cinema and Media Studies, will serve as a respondent.

 

Ariel’s document is available for download here.

**Please do not circulate without permission.**
Email either Sophie (sophielynch@uchicago.edu) or Tanya (tanyad@uchicago.edu) for the password and the link to the Zoom meeting.

‘Framing VR’ explores the ways in which recent experiments with virtual reality (VR) can help us to reassess the notion of the frame and the practice of framing. VR is often situated within a genealogy of immersive media that are taken to eliminate or transgress a notion of the frame aligned with objects such as picture frames, proscenia, and film screens. This essay, however, argues that VR is better understood to transform the frame. Suggesting that we consider the frame of moving-image media not only as the delimitation of a view but more broadly as a frame of reference, the essay proposes means of conceptualizing the VR frame and the framing practices that employ it. In examining VR “films” such as Dear Angelica (Saschka Unseld, 2017) and Traveling While Black (Roger Ross Williams and Ayesha Nadarajah, 2019), it seeks to show how the VR frame—like the cinematic frame—works to organize and demarcate representation, giving shape to its formal, social, and political functions.

Ariel Rogers is an associate professor in the Department of Radio/Television/Film at Northwestern University. She is the author of Cinematic Appeals: The Experience of New Movie Technologies (2013) and On the Screen: Displaying the Moving Image, 1926-1942 (2019). Focusing on emerging technologies and media with particular attention to issues of spectatorship, she has worked on topics such as widescreen cinema, digital cinema, special effects, screen technologies, and virtual reality. Her current project explores the concept of the frame and the practice of framing across cinema and “new” digital media.

March 6th, 2020–Gustavo Jardim

Please join us on Friday, March 6th, 2020 from 11 am to 12:30 pm in Cobb 311.

We are delighted to welcome Gustavo Jardim, PhD Fellow, Poetics of Experience, UFMG (Federal University of Minas Gerais.), who will be giving a presentation titled “Image Entanglement: Perspectives on Cinema and Education.”

There is no pre-circulated paper. Gustavo will provide a presentation and a short program of three films:
Ghosts (2016) created with youth from juvenile homes and in Belo Horizonte.
Speak To Me (2017) made with youth in the land occupation movement in Brazil.
Silence (2019) made with public school teachers and cultural activists in small districts of Minas Gerais.

The following is an excerpt from the introduction of Gustavo’s article ‘Cinema and Education: The Art of Taming Horses in Films’:

Time figures: hidden curriculum and a cinema to be learned

“What then is time? If nobody asks me, I know; if I wish to explain it to anyone who asks, I don’t know anymore” (Augustine, 397, Chapter XIV). It is certain that it takes different forms, physical and psychological, that needs to be experienced to be understood and can also be invented. The nature of time is a scientific and artistic debate, but also a political and philosophical one. We are going to argue that this state of uncertainty makes it subject of high interest in education, which we understand to be responsible for the transmission and creation of concerns about knowledge and life. Now, if time is also the raw material to be sculpted in cinema, as Andrei Tarkovsky argues, perhaps then its manipulation can find a place in education more for its principles than for its ends. Combined with philosophy and focused on the ingenuity of undiscovered imagery for our space / time, through collaborative filmmaking, cinema offers itself in the capacity of establishing different possibilities of apprehension and conception of this mysterious matter among artists, teachers and students.

We raise these relationships between cinema, time and education as a background, taking into account that learning occurs through an awareness of the world – among children, youth and adults – as well as by the discovery of the inventive powers of our bodies. Thus, we propose to observe the cinematographic mechanisms (temporal gears from which films are made) and the forms of thought (temporal gears from which ideas are made), placing them in connection through what we will call time figures, that is, images of cinema that allow us to see the philosophical dimension of a certain temporality in a film, through the problems they pose for time/space and their way of organizing the real, aiming to understand them as a powerful ingredient to activate the search for the unknown – what is there to learn – in training environments.

A time figure indicates the way – in terms of temporality – the film makes us think. This operation takes place to the extent of the images’ involvement with the body and the thought of those who see it or who produce it. These figures create rhythms for the imagination, they teach us in the ways of thinking and producing novelties between logic and poetics. Accordingly, it allows us to engage in practices of freedom and raises the question, how to approach time in training processes in order to exercise them? This research seeks to analyze the relationships of the time figures with the conditions they offer to support the processes of creative learning and making films in these contexts.

We ask ourselves what is at stake in these types of activities and how to connect the images dynamics with educational purposes? How can one see, in these time figures, a linking between the invention of cinematographic language to the difficult mission of problematizing and acting from our places in the world? Our fieldwork with cinema and education has privileged its insertion in spaces of resistance, often in situations of social risk, perceiving them as fertile ground for seeking elements of social renewal and for producing essential images to rethink current policies. That is why those questions matter, in order to unveil a hidden curriculum that shows itself in the act of making films with people in these places. In this article, we use philosophy, therefore, to track and pursue meanings in four different time figures in distinctive cinematographic regions. With this approach, we hope not only to find a basis for methodologies to teach, but above all to open up to the emergence of a cinema to be learned.


Gustavo Jardim is a filmmaker and educator. His films and video installations have been shown around the world and awarded in VideoBrasil-SP, Instants Video-Marseille and Tiradentes Cinema, among other festivals. His last film The Night Through premiered this year in Chicago at the Panorama Latinxs 2020. He holds a master’s in Education and works as a researcher with Poetics of Experience (UFMG) and holds a PhD fellowship at University of Chicago (Cinema and Media Studies). Since the beginning of his work as an artist, he is involved in projects using cinema in inclusive pedagogies with communities with high rates of social risk.

February 21st, 2020–Jenisha Borah

Please join us on Friday, February 21st, 2020 from 11 am to 12:30 pm in Cobb 311.

We are delighted to welcome Jenisha Borah, PhD Student in Cinema and Media Studies, who will be presenting a draft of a paper titled “Maratha Mandir: Cartography of a Neighborhood Theater.”

Jenisha’s document is available for download here.

**Please do not circulate without permission.**
Email either Sophie (sophielynch@uchicago.edu) or Tanya (tanyad@uchicago.edu) for the password.

We look forward to seeing you!

Yours in Mass Cult,
Sophie and Tanya

February 7th, 2020–Gabriel Ojeda-Sague

Please join us on Friday, February 7th, 2020 from 11 am to 12:30 pm in Cobb 311.

We are delighted to welcome Gabriel Ojeda-Sague, PhD Student in English Language and Literature, who will be presenting a draft of a paper titled “The Apology of Tiger Tyson: Identity in the ‘Ethnic’ Gay Pornography Market.”

Gabriel’s document is available for download here.

**Please do not circulate without permission.**
Email either Sophie (sophielynch@uchicago.edu) or Tanya (tanyad@uchicago.edu) for the password.

We look forward to seeing you!

Yours in Mass Cult,
Sophie and Tanya

January 24th, 2020–Sasha Crawford-Holland

Please join us on Friday, January 24th 2020 from 11 am to 12:30 pm in Cobb 311.

We are delighted to welcome Sasha Crawford-Holland, PhD Student in Cinema and Media Studies, who will be presenting a draft of a paper titled “The Birth of a Nation (1915) in Canada: Anti-Americanism and Anti-Blackness during World War I.”

Jacqueline Stewart, Professor in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies and the College, will provide a response.

What can Canadian society’s reception of American white supremacist cinema tell us about the racial politics of Canadian nationalism? D.W. Griffith’s racist epic The Birth of a Nation (1915) took Canada by storm during a period of intense anti-Americanism. While Black Canadians protested the film in nationalist language that affirmed Canada’s myth of sanctuary, white censors, journalists, and politicians mobilized the rhetoric of Canadian exceptionalism to justify the film’s presentation. This study investigates how The Birth of a Nation’s reception in Canada agitated contradictions and reconciled them through the violent logic crystallized in the film itself. Through analyses of historical discourse in mainstream newspapers, the Black Canadian press, trade publications, and censorship documents, I argue that a nationalistic investment in the idea that Canada is utterly distinct from the United States has historically ensured the contrary.

Sasha’s document is available for download here.

**Please do not circulate without permission.**
Email either Sophie (sophielynch@uchicago.edu) or Tanya (tanyad@uchicago.edu) for the password.

We look forward to seeing you!

Yours in Mass Cult,
Sophie and Tanya


Sasha Crawford-Holland is a PhD student in the Department of Cinema & Media Studies at the University of Chicago, where he researches documentary practices and media technologies that comprise the visual culture of imperialism. His work has been published in Television & New Media and Synoptique and was awarded Screen‘s essay prize for best debut article.