Objectives

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The main goal of the conference is to expand both Cinema & Media Studies and Digital Humanities by means of interrelation; DH tools enhanced by critical approaches to technology and critical research enabled by DH methods. Such expansion of DH methods for Cinema & Media Studies research may surprise us with new modes of inquiry that do not rely on computational methods alone. The challenge of scholars trained in Cinema and Media Studies today is to configure the “death of cinema?” as a historical question relative to emerging platforms and new industries of exhibition and production. In a perfect twist, scholars trained in critical theory themselves become media-making producers in order to both quantify and extrapolate. Or, beginning as film and video makers who became theorists, they return to their production roots. What then is the special relation of these researchers to what are now called Digital Humanities projects?

The two-day symposium expects to critically approach the questions, analyzing the C&MS /DH research undertaken to date, beginning with tools developed as early as Cinemetrics, the on-line average shot length calculation project, and continuing with Digital Formalism and the elaborate Indiancine.ma project designed in Bangalore, India. We expect to consider the academic preparation of DH-ers and how it differs from the preparation of teaching and research in motion pictures and digital media. Undoubtedly, we will discover shared and divergent philosophical approaches. Participants will consider future forms of the Cinema Studies dissertation as well as all scholarly publication that can take full advantage of Digital Humanities innovations. In addition, the symposium will cover research, teaching and funding opportunities for faculty and graduate students, digital tools for research, and a special showcase of pioneering DH Cinema projects.

Questions to take up: What does the crossover conversation between computer programmers, software engineers and humanities scholars sound like? What do mutually expanded definitions of DH that include Cinema & Media Studies entail? How versed in computing do scholars trained in the traditional disciplines need to be? Does the term “Digital Humanities” describe what we are doing? Why this term?

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