The School of Media, Film and Journalism, with thanks to Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation, presents:
Documenting the Arctic Sublime
Public Lecture: Professor Michael Renov
This talk examines how the notion of the sublime has come to be so strongly associated with human encounters with the far north while offering a framework – historical and conceptual – for understanding the documentative urge that has arisen from and is tied up with those encounters. How, this talk asks, does the mixture of awe, rapture and terror associated with the sublime of 19th century European romanticism and the writings of Burke, Kant, Wordsworth and Coleridge, come to have a particular connection to the experience and representation of the far north? It maps out this notion of the arctic sublime as a quite specific context for and instance of what I have elsewhere called “documentary desire,” that unquenchable drive to record and meditate on the sounds and images of the world. To that end I sketch out the role of artists, photographers, filmmakers and videographers as agents of an Arctic-based documentative urge culminating in a brief look at one film, Skagafjörður (2002-2004), produced by American experimental filmmaker Peter Hutton.
Michael Renov is the Haskell Wexler Chair in Documentary and Vice Dean for Academic Affairs in the USC School of Cinematic Arts. He is the author of Hollywood’s Wartime Woman: Representation and Ideology and The Subject of Documentary, editor of Theorizing Documentary, and co-editor of Resolutions: Contemporary Video Practices, Collecting Visible Evidence, The SAGE Handbook of Film Studies and Cinema’s Alchemist: The Films of Peter Forgacs. In 1993, Renov co-founded Visible Evidence, a series of international and highly interdisciplinary documentary studies conferences and is one of three general editors for the Visible Evidence book series at the University of Minnesota Press.
Professor Michael Renov is an ACJC Dr Jan Randa Visiting Scholar.
He is at Monash to participate in Rethinking Holocaust Paradigms – Dr Jan Randa Aftermath Conference 2016
Date/Time: Mon 19 Sep / 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Location: H238, Building H, Caulfield Campus
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