A Reflection on Unhip Cinema of the 1960s

A public lecture with New York University Cinema Studies expert, Professor Dana Polan

v2 Dana Polan FlyerIllustrated with a variety of clips, The Square Screen: A Reflection on Unhip Cinema of the 1960s suggests how mainstream films of the American Sixties complicate easy divisions of the period into establishment cinema and a hip, cutting-edge alternative.


Dana Polan.
Dana Polan.

Dana Polan is a Professor of Cinema Studies at NYU and author of 8 books in film and media studies, including Power and Paranoia: History, Narrative, and the American Cinema, 1940-1950, Scenes of Instruction: The Beginnings of the U.S. Study of Film, 1915-1935, and Julia Child’s the French Chef.


Event details:

Date: Thursday 11 August

Time: 6.30pm – 8pm

Location: Monash Conference Centre

Level 7, 30 Collins Street, Melbourne

RSVP Kirsten.Stevens@monash.edu by 8th August


Chinese Caribbean Cinema and the Logic of Reeling

Film and Screen Studies, School of Media, Film and Journalism and Asian Cultural and Media Studies Research Cluster, Monash Asia Institute present …

Sean Metzger.
Associate Professor Sean Metzger.

A public seminar with Associate Professor Sean Metzger, Chinese Caribbean Cinema and the Logic of Reeling.

Where: Theatrette B.5.37, Monash Media Lab, Level 5, Building B, Caulfield campus, Monash University on July 1 from 11am to 12.30pm.

This talk examines documentary films featuring Chinese Caribbean connections in regard to which  Associate Professor Metzger elaborates the logic of reeling; this word conjures the cinematic apparatus even as the verb “to reel” suggests both fishing for something (or, more generally, winding something) and staggering as a result of some sort of stimuli.

The visible evidence of the Chinese in the Atlantic highlighted by the documentary genre also raises questions about the affective responses such materials engender.

Associate Professor Metzger explores a wide range of documentaries that visualize particular attachments to places.

His discussion includes films that center on Cuba (work by Rigoberto Lopez), Trinidad (works by Richard Fung and Natalie Wei), Guyana and Martinique (work by Jil Servant), and Jamaica (work by Jeanette Kong) in order to think through the articulation of island and regional imaginaries that inscribe, contest, or otherwise complicate Chinese flows of capital and people.

Ultimately, Associate Professor Metzger is interested in probing an emergent Chinese Atlantic seascape (that is a constellation of images and performative strategies that might collectively begin to figure a Chinese Atlantic aesthetic and epistemology).

He investigates both the lateral connections among the places and populations depicted in the film as well as the cinematic expression of particular localities. In other words, I interrogate Caribbean image-making both “on-location” and in terms of larger discourses of globalization.

Enquiries to: Olivia Khoo olivia.khoo@monash.edu

Sean Metzger is an Associate Professor in the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television. He is the author of Chinese Looks: Fashion, Performance, Race (Indiana U Press, 2014).

His co-edited volumes include: Embodying Asian/American Sexualities (Lexington, 2009); Futures of Chinese Cinema: Technologies and Temporalities in Chinese Screen Cultures (Intellect, 2009); and Awkward Stages: Plays about Growing Up Gay (Cambria, 2015).

He has also co-edited special issues of Cultural Dynamics (2009) and Third Text (2014).


Tribute to FSS alumnus Adrian Slattery

Adrian Slattery  1985-2016

Film and Screen Studies staff, and the Monash community, are saddened to hear of the death of alumnus, Adrian Slattery, on May 14, 2016. 

Adrian is remembered as a kind and talented student who graduated with a BA and BA (Hons), majoring in film and television studies (FTVS).

Adrian was awarded the distinction of best FTVS Honours thesis (2011) for a dissertation titled Systematically Stoned: Genre Theory and the Stoner Film.

One examiner described Adrian’s dissertation as “a superb thesis, very entertainingly written and an absolute joy to read … a really excellent and eminently publishable work”.

FSS staff extend their condolences to Adrian’s family and friends.

Read more here


The Other Paris: Public Seminar with Luc Sante

In his only Melbourne engagement, acclaimed author Luc Sante talks about the why and how of his recent book, The Other Paris (2016), including a reading from a chapter titled “Zone.”

Sante will present in Building B at Monash’s Caulfield campus in Room B5.37 on Thursday, May 26 from 6.30pm to 8pm.

The presentation includes a Q&A with Associate Professor Deane Williams of the School of Media, Film and Journalism, and audience discussion time.  

Luc Sante was born in Verviers, Belgium. His books include The Other ParisLow LifeEvidence, The Factory of Facts, and Kill All Your Darlings.

He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award, an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Grammy (for album notes), an Infinity Award for Writing from the International Center of Photography, and Guggenheim and Cullman fellowships.

He has contributed to The New York Review of Books since 1981, and has written for many other magazines. He is the visiting professor of writing and the history of photography at Bard College and lives in Ulster County, New York.

Event information here.

The Other Paris v2


Verevis invited to present at Berlin conference

Associate Professor Con Verevis.
Associate Professor Con Verevis.

Monash’s School of Media, Film and Journalism academic Associate Professor Constantine Verevis has been invited as a speaker for the Seriality, Seriality, Seriality conference in June.

Associate Professor Verevis is currently a Fellow at the Research Unit in Popular Seriality (Free University, Berlin).

His presentation in Berlin will mark the end of the unit’s six years of DFG-funded research projects.

Conference profile of Associate Professor Constantine Verevis:

Constantine Verevis is Associate Professor in Film and Screen Studies at Monash University. He is author of Film Remakes (Edinburgh UP, 2006), co-author of Australian Film Theory and Criticism, Vol 1: Critical Positions (Intellect, 2013) and co-editor of Second Takes: Critical Approaches to the Film Sequel (SUNY P, 2010), After Taste: Cultural Value and the Moving Image (Routledge, 2011), Film Trilogies: New Critical Approaches (Palgrave Macmillan 2012),Film Remakes, Adaptations and Fan Productions: Remake/Remodel (Palgrave Macmillan,2012), B Is For Bad Cinema: Aesthetics, Politics and Cultural Value (SUNY P, 2014) and US Independent Film After 1989: Possible Films (Edinburgh UP 2015).

Click here for conference details of Seriality, Seriality, Seriality,  and click here for the conference poster.



Monash University launches innovative media lab

The Monash Media Lab’s news room for journalism students.

A state-of-the-art media lab will be officially launched at Monash University’s Caulfield campus on April 7.

Waleed Aly.
The Project’s presenter Waleed Aly.

Waleed Aly, well-known journalist and Monash University academic, will launch the lab, which is part of the Faculty of Arts’ School of Media, Film and Journalism.

The Monash Media Lab will provide a unique environment that will transform the way students learn, giving them the skills to navigate a new, high-tech world of media and journalism.

Waleed’s opening talk will highlight what can be achieved when ideas and media professionalism come together.

The lunchtime launch will be followed by a mini film festival in the Media Lab’s theatrette and an evening panel chaired by the ABC’s Virginia Trioli.

The evening panel, featuring industry professionals and former students, will focus on the rapidly changing media environment and what it means for future careers.

The session will explore the role of technology and media literacy in educating students with the skills they need to be industry ready when they graduate.


The Monash Media Lab’s newsroom and conference room.

Many scholars working in the School of Media, Film and Journalism are journalists and film-makers with significant industry experience.

As part of the launch, a mini film festival will highlight recent works by Dr Romaine Moreton and Associate Professor Tony Moore.

Dr Moreton’s critically acclaimed short films The Farm (2009) and The Oysterman (2013) will be shown as well as Assoc Prof Moore’s feature length documentary Death or Liberty.

The documentary is based on the book co-written by Moore and was broadcast in Ireland in 2015 and on ABC television in early 2016.

Click here for picture gallery of the Monash Media Lab

The media lab features equipment and facilities that will transform the way journalism, film and media are taught and learnt. The facilities include:

• Two radio/sound production studios with an adjacent control-room/audio production and teaching suite;

• An open-plan newsroom;

• Broadcast TV and video production studio announcer/guest desk for six people with mobile tripod mounted cameras, overhead lighting grid and full sound and vision cabling and graphics screen;

• A control room/vision mixing production and teaching suite; and

• Two laboratories, each with 24 student computer terminals, e-lecterns, interactive screens and optical fibre cabling for synchronous and asynchronous blended teaching and learning activities.

The media lab will also provide the means to demonstrate and develop MFJ’s industry engagement and research impact in the community through radio, TV, and online current affairs journalism, documentaries and short films.

For more information contact Assoc Professor Mia Lindgren mia.lindgren@monash.edu or Monash Media & Communications + 61 3 9903 4840 or media@monash.edu

Newsroom Panorama
Students are enjoying state-of-the-art facilities in the new Monash Media Lab.


Hitting the target, Hou Hsiao-hsien style

Associate Professor Adrian Martin.
Associate Professor Adrian Martin.

A public lecture, Hitting the Target, Hou Hsiao-hsien Style, will be held on March 15 from 5pm to 7pm at Monash University in the Menzies Building S704.

Abstract: Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin

Hou Hsiao-hsien has developed a unique and increasingly flexible style of directing. From his adoption of a long take/wide angle/static frame approach in the 1980s, he began to explore, in the 1990s and beyond, what he has called a “freer” approach based on the interplay of narrational objectivity, character subjectivity, and his own shifting ‘regard’ on a scene as it unfolds.

This approach has reached a new peak in his most recent film The Assassin, which mixes elliptical ‘action’ scenes and a complex historical plot.

Over the past year, we have been involved in making six different audiovisual essays on Hou’s work: three for a soon-to-be-released DVD box set of his earliest films (Belgian Cinematek); two for an international conference on Hou in 2015; and a new one prepared for this Monash presentation, on The Assassin.

Reflecting on the variety of Hou’s work and the various means of audiovisual analysis that we have employed (image/sound montage, voice-over, frame masking, repetition, etc), we aim to deepen the critical description and appreciation of Hou’s intricate interweaving of stylistic choices, at the levels of both its craft and its art.


Cristina Álvarez López is a critic and audiovisual artist who lives in Vilassar de Mar. She is the Co-Founder of the Spanish online film journal Transit: Cine y otros desvíos. Her critical writing and audiovisual essays have also appeared in Fandor Keyframe, MUBI Notebook, Shangri-la, LOLA, Frames, Contrapicado, Lumière, Blogs & Docs, La Fuga, De Filmkrant and books on Chantal Akerman, Bong Joon-ho, Philippe Garrel and Paul Schrader.

Adrian Martin is Adjunct Associate Professor of Film and Screen Studies at Monash University (Australia), and lives in Vilassar de Mar as a freelance writer and audiovisual artist. He is the author of seven books, the most recent being Mise en scène and Film Style: From Classical Hollywood to New Media Art (Palgrave). His regular columns appear in Caiman and De Filmkrant. He is Co-Editor of LOLA journal, and of the book Movie Mutations (BFI, 2003).



Masterclass: AV essays as creative research

Associate Professor Adrian Martin.
Associate Professor Adrian Martin.

The Film, Media and Communications Program will conduct a Masterclass on audiovisual essays as creative research on Tuesday, March 1 at 2pm to 4pm in the theatrette, Building B, Room B537 on Caulfield campus.

In a recent text for the online academic journal Frames, we suggested that “one of the great advantages and joys of audiovisual essay work” – meaning, for us, the intensive re-editing and recombination of images and sounds from preexisting film, TV and digital works – “is that theoretical constructs no longer pre-exist and overdetermine what we find (which is the sorry condition of a great deal of academic screen study).

On the contrary, it’s our belief that audiovisual essays can take their makers in two directions simultaneously: both deeper into the screen/media text that they discover anew, and beyond it, into the necessary challenge of inventing a new, hybrid work of their own.”

In this presentation, we will take the example of several of our own most recent audiovisual essays, as well as examples from others (including students we have taught), to investigate the various paths and possibilities of using this form as creative research: discovering and generating new knowledge through the ‘poetics’ of making.

We will touch on the importance of a multi-modal approach – which draws upon and utilises all available tools, from traditional academic writing through to digital montage – and also relocate the importance of cinephilia, as personal passion/ motivation/obsession in the context of the digital age, in research, study and practice.

– Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin.

Cristina Álvarez López is a critic and audiovisual artist who lives in Vilassar de Mar. She is the Co-Founder of the Spanish online film journal Transit: Cine y otros desvíos.  H
er critical writing and audiovisual essays have also appeared in Fandor Keyframe, MUBI Notebook, Shangri-la, LOLA, Frames, Contrapicado, Lumière, Blogs & Docs, La Fuga, De Filmkrant and books on Chantal Akerman, Bong Joon-ho, Philippe Garrel and Paul Schrader.

Adrian Martin is Adjunct Associate Professor of Film and Screen Studies at Monash University (Australia), and lives in Vilassar de Mar as a freelance writer and audiovisual artist. He is the author of seven books, the most recent being Mise en scène and Film Style: From Classical Hollywood to New Media Art (Palgrave). His regular columns appear in Caiman and De Filmkrant. He is CoEditor of LOLA journal, and of the book Movie Mutations (BFI, 2003)

Please RSVP on February 24: arts-args@monash.edu



David Lynch and David Bowie: Outside / Twin Peaks

David Lynch’s Lost Highway

In 2016, we await the miracle of a new Twin Peaks season from David Lynch, and we mourn the passing of David Bowie. Cristina Álvarez López & Adrian Martin will soon present their work on these two Davids at The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI).

There are many intersections between the prodigious works of these ‘twin peaks’, the two Davids, and doubtless various influences crossing back and forth, over the years, in both directions. In beginning to tease out the deep network that connects the Twin Peaks saga (in all its extensions) with Bowie’s abruptly terminated, ambitious Outside multi-album project of 1995, Álvarez López & Martin ask not so much ‘who influenced who?’, but, rather, speculate on the unusual multi-media worlds created by these gifted artists, and the affinities that tie them together. From notions of the televisual ‘open narrative’ to recurring figures of child/teen murder and detection, from complex, material atmospherics to the goading of endless fan interpretations, they plunge, using audiovisual means, into the ever-widening spiral that draws together Lynch’s Twin Peaks and Bowie’s Outside.

Cristina Álvarez López is a critic, teacher and audiovisual artist who lives in Vilassar de Mar. She is Co-Founder of the Spanish online film journal Transit: Cine y otros desvíos. Her critical writing and audiovisual essays have also appeared in Fandor Keyframe, MUBI Notebook, Shangri-la, LOLA, Frames, Contrapicado, Lumière, Blogs & Docs, La Fuga, De Filmkrant and books on Chantal Akerman, Bong Joon-ho, Philippe Garrel and Paul Schrader.

Adrian Martin is Adjunct Associate Professor of Film and Screen Studies at Monash University (Australia), and lives in Vilassar de Mar as a freelance writer and audiovisual artist. He is the author of seven books, the most recent being Mise en scène and Film Style: From Classical Hollywood to New Media Art (Palgrave). His regular columns appear in Caiman and De Filmkrant. He is Co-Editor of LOLA journal, and of the book Movie Mutations (BFI, 2003).

8 March 2016, 6.30pm ACMI Studio 1


Meeting the Rebel Master of the World Cinema

IMG_2539 (1)
Peter Watkins and Moynul Alam Photo Credit: Vida Urbonavicius (Watkins’ wife)

Recently, Monash University Doctoral Researcher Moynul Alam (Moynul Shaon) had the rare opportunity to meet Peter Watkins, the rebel master of the World Cinema in central France. It has been a positive outcome of Moynul’s years of persuasion to meet the master.

Peter Watkins is well known as a vigorous critic of capitalism and commercial cinema. In his lifelong struggle against what he understands to be a repressive global politics and media, Watkins himself directed masterpieces such as The War Game (1965), Punishment Park (1971), Edvard Munch (1976), La Commune (2000) all of which played a significant role in constructing Documentary Cinema as a critical artistic apparatus. The Late critic Raymond Durgnat once asserted that Peter Watkins is as important as John Grierson in the development of Documentary as an individual genre. Interestingly, Australia, Melbourne and Monash University have all ad significant historical attachments to the making of his 14 hour long masterpiece The Journey (1983-86) which involved participants from different parts of the world.

Moynul Alam has been researching Peter Watkins cinema for the last half a decade or so at Monash University. He first completed his Post Graduate Diploma on Watkins’ films in 2010. And in 2011 commenced his PhD on Watkins’ latest production ‘La Commune’ (Topic: Revolution in Peter Watkins’ ‘La Commune’) under the supervision of Associate Professors Deane Williams, Adrian Martin and Dr Julia Vassilieva. ‘La Commune’ portrays -the vital but short- lived working class revolutionary event of Paris Commune in the year of 1871 and it’s subsequent bloody repression – in an innovative cinematic form and process.

As per Moynul’s view, “from the beginning of this scholarly journey at Monash University, Peter reassures me via his audiovisual work and written ideas that Cinema has the appropriate power to facilitate progressive change within the complex arena of politics … this long- sought crucial meeting solidifies further this very assertion and delivers me the required artistic strength and inspiration to continue the struggle that Peter and his contemporaries started in the middle of last century within the cinematic field for a just, equal and humane universe. I believe scholarship must have a progressive political goal and thanks to Monash University’s global infrastructure and endless intellectual support I will continue my research in an international setting and also to meet one of the most important Cineastes of our epoch.”

It is a great privilege for the Film, Media & Communication program, Monash University to share this important news with other researchers.


The Cinema of Sean Penn to launch in St Kilda

9780231176255Monash University’s Associate Professor  Deane Williams, an expert in film and screen studies, will celebrate the launch of his new book, The Cinema of Sean Penn: In and Out of Place at Readings, Acland St, St Kilda on February 25 at 6pm.

Academic Dr Noel King will launch the book, which has been published by Wallflower, London and New York 2016.

Associate Professor Williams is editor of the journal Studies in Documentary Film and co-author – with Noel King and Con Verevis – of Australian Film Theory and Criticism.

Book synopsis

Although best known as an Academy Award winning actor, Sean Penn’s directorial works The Indian Runner (1991), The Crossing Guard (1995), The Pledge (2001), and Into the Wild (2007), consist of some of the most interesting and singular films made in the United States over the past twenty years.

Each of Penn’s directorial films and much of the cinema he has acted in are set in an immediate past in which a “stalled” time and a restricted locale apply narrative constraints.

At the same time, these films all feature a sophisticated web of intertextual relations, involving actors, songs, books, films, and directors, and the political lineage to which Penn belongs, which reveal the deep cultural structures that concern each particular film.

Associate Professor Dean Williams.
Associate Professor Dean Williams.



To read more about The Cinema of Sean Penn, click here.


PhD Scholarships in Australian Film, Television and Media History

Three full-time, funded, scholarships available for PhD candidates to undertake research into Utilitarian Filmmaking in Australia 1945 – 1980, as part of a four-year Australian Research Council funded Discovery Project. This ground-breaking project will discover, document, analyse and compile a lasting archive of Utilitarian Filmmaking in Australia. ‘Utilitarian’ describes client-sponsored, instructional and governmental filmmaking existing outside the conventional theatrical contexts by which cinema is usually defined. The project will engage with major cultural institutions to generate conferences, books, articles, exhibitions and interactive archives as well as the three PhD dissertations. The successful applicants will become part of a leading research team across three Australian universities (University of Canberra, Murdoch University, Monash University,) and have the opportunity to work with experienced senior supervisors in traditional research modes as well as cutting edge, practice-led research outputs.

Expressions of interest are sought from outstanding candidates for PhD study in a wide range of fields including, but not limited to: screen studies, archival studies, cultural studies, communication studies, Australian history.


Public Lecture: Lesley Stern – How Does (the) Cinema Feel About (the) Animal?

On Thursday November 12th,  renowned film scholar Professor Lesley Stern presented a public lecture at the Monash Conference Centre. Sponsored by the Film and Screen Studies Program, the School of Media, Film and Journalism and the Faculty of Arts, Monash University, Professor Stern presented an incredibly smart and beautifully written paper, theorising what the cinema feels about the animal and in turn what those affects tell us about the cinema more broadly. Her talk was attended by people from cinema and cultural studies programs across Melbourne, and it generated a much needed discussion about the relationship between the burgeoning field of animal studies and film studies.

In the cinema all things are potentially equal: objects, people, animals. All things come into being—come alive, acquire performative powers—through cinematic magic. But even though the cinema is not exclusively human it has surely been permeated by the spirit of human exceptionalism. Bad blood enshrouds the inception of cinema, and its legacy is a haunting. When we watch movies today we cannot avoid the presence of ghosts: slaughtered elephants, galloping horses, sacrificial dogs, carnivorous bears—all hover and materialize and enter our dreams. Much recent work in cinema studies has turned attention to the place of the animal in the cinema and this paper is enabled by such work. However, rather than thinking through generalities my attention is caught, today, by moments of sensuous intensity, by fragments and scenes from various films in which animals and people and places are brought into strangely affective alliance. Reaching from Buster Keaton’s Go West to Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Tropical Malady, the paper will speculate on how films (via modes of mimeticism, empathetic projection, animistic gestures) might affect and change the way we feel and identify across differences.

Professor Lesley Stern is the author of Dead and Alive: The Body as Cinematic Thing, The Smoking Book and The Scorsese Connection, and co-editor of Falling For You: Essays on Cinema and Performance. Her work moves between a number of disciplinary locations and spans both theory and production: although her reputation was established in the fields of film theory and history, she is also known for her fictocritical writing. Her work has been highly influential in the areas of film, performance, photography, cultural history, postcolonialism, feminism and gardening/ecocriticism.


Getting to know … Therese Davis

Associate Professor Therese Davis
Associate Professor Therese Davis

Monash University film lecturer Associate Professor Therese Davis is co-writing a book about Australian Indigenous filmmaking with Dr Romaine Moreton, who is a philosopher and Indigenous filmmaker.

Getting to know …

Name: Therese Davis

Title: Associate Professor

Faculty/Division: Arts

Department: School of Media, Film and Journalism

Campus: Caulfield

How long have you worked at Monash? Eight years.


Where did you work prior to starting at the University? University of Newcastle and before that in community radio stations in Sydney.

What do you like best about your role? Working in a department with great colleagues and the students we teach.

Why did you choose your current career path? In my first year at university, I saw a Godard film, Tout Va Bien, and it made me decide to drop the course I was doing and enrol in a Communications/Media degree so I could study film. I took a slight detour into the world of community radio but later came back to my first love.

First job? My first academic job was teaching radio documentary.

Worst job? As a “waitress” in Martin Place in Sydney – one day the owner made me scrub the entire kitchen including the ovens and then sacked me.

What research/projects are you currently working on and what does it involve? I’m co-writing a book about Australian Indigenous filmmaking with Dr Romaine Moreton. Romaine is a philospher and Indigenous filmmaker.

In writing this book we’ve interviewed filmmakers, watched loads of films and spent many hours developing a new way to think about the significnace of this work in Australia and internationally. I also research and write about women filmmakers.

What is your favourite place in the world and why? Prato, Italy. I first visited Prato when I was teaching a unit on film at the Monash campus there. It’s in Tuscany, and it’s the most beautiful place to be in summer.

It’s not as a big or famous as Florence, but I like that – it’s a place where you get to experience everyday life in Italy and the food is unbelievably good!

What is your favourite place to eat and why? Cicciolina in St Kilda – because the food is excellent (Italian), the staff are amazingly friendly and it has a great little “back bar” with old-style booths.



New Directions in Screen Studies

Under Construction and New Directions Teams

New Directions in Screen Studies II:  Thursday 22 – Friday 23 June 2017

A group of Monash Film and Screen Studies postgraduates have been especially busy over the past few months, having organised what looks to be an outstanding national conference. Developed out of the monthly Under Construction seminar series, New Directions in Screen Studies is a two-day conference for postgraduates and early career researchers (ECRs) in Screen Studies. The conference is a forum for new researchers to showcase their work before their peers and develop professional links across campuses around the country and beyond. Its academic focus is emerging concerns, debates and methodologies in the field of screen studies, but it also hopes to capture the multiple ways in which the historical, the contemporary and the future are inter-related domains of knowledge. Keynote speakers include Dr Ramon Lobato, Professor Angela Ndalianis, Professor George Kouvaros and filmmaker John Hughes.

Here’s what the organisers have to say about it:

What is Under Construction?

Matteo Dutto: Under Construction is a seminar series run by postgraduates in the School of Media, Film and Journalism for postgraduates. We meet on the first Monday of every month during semester to share ideas in a laid-back setting in which we can get to know each other and each other’s work. Presenters can share and test-run their conference papers, milestone presentations, journal articles, or just some of the ideas from their research.

What made you want to get involved with this group/project?

Michael Kho Lim: When I started my PhD program, I was quite overwhelmed with everything and seemed to be lost. I also didn’t know anyone else from the program besides my classmates in my coursework. I wanted to meet some of the seniors so I would know how it went for them, how was the experience, etc. Then an announcement came the UC would be “revived.” I attended some sessions and thought of joining the organising committee because I think it’s a good way to interact with other PhD students and help the new ones start off more prepared. I also thought that it would add excitement to my PhD life as it could be quite a solitary journey. I have been quite used to organising events back home, so I thought of helping out as well.

Dan Edwards: I can’t speak for the others, but I was drawn to the idea of a seminar series, and later a conference, because I felt, along with several other postgrads I spoke to, that there was a distinct lack of community amongst the MFJ PhD students at Monash. The only time many of us saw each other was at end of year drinks, so we saw the seminars partly as a way of fostering a social community. Secondly, it seemed important to provide postgrads with a forum for presenting and testing their work before their peers in a non-pressured environment. Otherwise, for many people presenting their work meant stepping straight into a conference set up, where you are often presenting before a more senior (and sometimes much more critical) cohort.

How did the conference develop out of the seminar series?

Matteo Dutto: It all came quite naturally after we had run the series for about a year. We thought it would be a good idea to open up the format and organise a conference focusing on the work of postgraduates and early career researchers in Screen Studies and provide a national forum to discuss their research and establish connections with their peers.

How did you decide on “new directions” as a theme?

Belinda Glyn: When we were deciding what kind of conference we wanted to have, we realised there was no conference in Australia just for postgrads and early career researchers. This seemed like a huge oversight, because this group are the researchers of the future who have lots of interesting things to say but might, due to lack of experience and published work, find it hard to get into the more established film studies conferences. New directions seemed like an appropriate way to describe the work of upcoming film scholars – the new directions in the field of film studies.

What challenges did you overcome during the organising process?

Shweta Kishore: It has been a great learning experience. We have worked well as a team with a common objective. The challenges have been minor logistical issues but nothing major so far. We were quite fortunate that as we had run a seminar series, it helped to establish our credentials when we approached the School of Media, Film and Journalism as well as MIGR with the proposal for a conference.

And, finally, which panel are you most looking forward to and why?

Sofia Rios: The panel I am looking forward to the most is “Outsiders, liars and bad men: takes on contemporary television”. I am a huge advocate for television studies, as I find that film studies usually steals the limelight

Matteo Dutto: I wish I could see all panels, but we had so many high-level submissions that we had to have three streams. If I had to pick three I would go with the panel on FILM FESTIVALS AND PUBLICS, the one on NON-PROFESSIONAL STORYTELLING and with DESTABILISING CRITICAL THEORY. I am also looking forward to the screening of John Hughes’ 1995 film What I Have Written as parts of it were shot at the Monash Clayton campus. The conference reception is also going to be great fun.

Shweta Kishore: All the panels feature excellent papers and presenters. Personally I am looking forward to the Screen Sound and Music panel because sound is such an important element of films but is often subordinated to the visual mise en scene in film studies. I am also looking forward to our film screening and the keynote speakers as well as connecting with the presenters at the reception.

Dan Edwards: I think they’ll all be great, but personally I’m particularly looking forward to the “Moments of Stasis” panel on day one, because I love films that play on the tension between motion and stillness, and encourage a viewing attitude that is above all attendant to minute shifts in tone. I’m also really looking forward to all of our keynotes, who are a very eclectic group of scholars with very different approaches and interests.

If you are interested in receiving more information about the Under Construction Seminar, please email seminar-underconstruction@monash.edu so you can be added to their mailing list.


Calling all students! AFI membership offer

Want to attend free advanced screenings of Australian film and TV? Want to chat with actors, filmmakers and producers? AACTA membership offers all this and more! Join now for a special 2-for-1 student offer. This is your chance to become an industry insider, and even vote in the AACTA Awards – Australia’s version of the Oscars! Join today: http://www.aacta.org/membership/student-membership.aspx

AFI membership


Martin launches Mise en Scène and Film Style

Associate Professor Adrian Martin.
Associate Professor Adrian Martin.

Adrian Martin, an Adjunct Associate Professor in Film and Screen Studies at Monash University, launched his book, Mise en Scène and Film Style: From Classical Hollywood to New Media Art, on February 26.

Associate Prof Martin’s presentation,  Using Multimedia Like We Mean It: Audiovisual Demonstration in Film and Media Studies Today, was delivered before the Monash  academic community and invited guests at the Caulfield campus.


Dr Belinda Smaill acknowledges the work of Associate Professor Adrian Martin.
Dr Belinda Smaill.

The function also was a  farewell to Associate Prof Martin, who has worked with the Film and Screen Studies academic staff for some time.

Associate Prof Martin is renowned internationally as a film critic, who has been a prolific writer for more than 35 years.

Associate Professor Adrian Martin (from left), Dr Belinda Smaill and Associate Professor Therese Davis.
Associate Professor Adrian Martin (from left), Dr Belinda Smaill and Associate Professor Therese Davis.
Book launch of Associate Professor Adrian Martin at MADA.
Book launch of Associate Professor Adrian Martin at MADA.


CFP – Cinema at the End of the World

International Conference
16–19 November 2015

Call for Papers

Every day hundreds of people travel back and forth between southern countries,

including Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, New Zealand, Indonesia, Timor Leste

and South Africa; and with these people travel cultures, experiences, memories

and images. The Cinema at the End of the World International Conference takes

on a transversal South-South approach to the study of visual culture in transnational,

transcultural and geopolitical contexts. It seeks to create conditions for the

generation, sharing and circulation of new knowledge that is both southern and

about the South as a specific kind of material and imaginary territory (or territories).

It does so through the study of the southern hemisphere’s screen cultures,

addressing the broad spectrum of cultural expression in both traditional and new

screen media, including film, television, video, digital, interactive, and online and

portable technologies.

Proposals are invited for papers that explore intersections of screen works from

countries south of the Equator and one or more of the following themes:

Cross-Cultural Translations, Transformations and Mutations

Settler Culture and Modernity

Indigenous and Localised Media Practice and Theory

Representations of Trauma and Violence

Landscapes and Urbanisation

Plenary speakers:

Patricio Guzmán (TBC)

Lúcia Nagib (University of Reading)

Mariano Mestman (University of Buenos Aires)

Fernão Ramos (University of Campinas, Brasil)

Felicity Collins (La Trobe University)

The Inaugural Conference of the

South of the West: Southern Screens Research Network

Presented in association with:

School of Media, Film and Journalism, Monash University

Monash Art Design and Architecture

School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics, Monash University

Screen Studies Association of Australia and

Aotearoa/New Zealand Australian Centre for the Moving Image

School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts, Curtin University.

The Conference Conveners will accept proposals for papers until 28 February 2015.

Abstracts of no more than 250-words and a 100-word biography should be sent to

halina.bluzer@monash.edu. with “CEW Abstract” included in the title

A Special Issue of Critical Arts will be dedicated to articles that emerge from

conference presentations.

For more information contact:

a.traverso@curtin.edu.au or

deane. williams@ monash.edu.

Monash University, Caulfield,

Melbourne, Australia

Download Flyer: CEW Call for Papers (1)


New Directions in Screen Studies

Call for Papers

New Directions in Screen Studies: A National Conference for Postgraduates and Early Career Researchers in Screen Studies

New Directions in Screen Studies is a two-day conference for postgraduates and early career researchers (ERCs) in Screen Studies. The conference is a forum for new researchers to showcase their work before their peers and develop professional links across campuses around the country and beyond.

Where: Monash University, Caulfield Campus, Melbourne

When: Thursday 18 – Friday 19 June 2015

Deadline for Proposals: Monday 2 February 2015

As well as papers from postgraduates and ERCs, the conference will feature four keynote presentations from established academics and screen practitioners:

  • Professor George Kouvaros, University of New South Wales. Books include Famous Faces Yet Not Themselves: The Misfits and Icons of Postwar America (Minnesota UP, 2010) and the forthcoming publication Awakening the Eye: Robert Frank’s American Cinema (Minnesota UP, 2015).
  • Professor Angela Ndalianis, Head of Screen and Cultural Studies, University of Melbourne. Books include The Horror Sensorium: Media and the Senses (2012), Science Fiction Experiences (2010) and Neo-Baroque Aesthetics and Contemporary Entertainment (2004).
  • Documentarian John Hughes, Honorary Fellow at the University of Melbourne. Films include Indonesia Calling: Joris Ivens in Australia and The Archive Project.
  • Dr Romaine Moreton, Research Fellow/Filmmaker in Residence, Monash University. Films include The Farm and The Oysterman.

The organising committee is currently seeking proposals for papers. We are particularly interested in papers focused on topics in the areas below. However, this list is in no way prescriptive – we are primarily interested in showcasing new areas of research in Screen Studies, so we are very happy to consider proposals outside these areas.

  • Transnational frameworks in screen studies
  • Sites of spectatorship, including film festivals, non-traditional spaces and site-specific screen practices
  • Gender and gender identity
  • Contemporary understandings of film style, genre and/or narrative
  • Celebrity studies
  • Intermediality and cross-platform storytelling

Presentations should be 20 minutes in length. We are also happy to receive proposals for panels of three presenters. A selection of presenters will be invited to develop their papers for articles to be published as part of a special dossier in Senses of Cinema.

Proposals of no more than 300 words, clearly stating the paper’s title and the author’s name and affiliation, should be sent as a Word document attachment to: underconstructionconference@gmail.com


Under Construction Seminar Series 2015

2-4 pm in Room H805/06.Caulfield Campus. First Monday of every month during Semester

Next Session: 2nd March 2015

Under Construction is the School of Media, Film and Journalism seminar series run by postgraduates for postgraduates. Meeting on the first Monday of every month during semester, this series provides a great opportunity to interact with other postgrads and hear about all of the exciting work that is being done within the school.

The idea is to share ideas in a laid-back setting in which we can get to know each other and each other’s work. If you’d like to test-run a conference paper, your confirmation presentation, a journal article, or just share some of the ideas from your research, then this is the place to do it.

We are currently accepting proposals to be part of next year’s series. Presentations run for between 20 and 30 minutes and can be as formal or informal, detailed or general as you like. There will be two presenters per session and discussions are a big part of the gatherings.

To get in touch with us, just send us an e-mail at seminar-underconstruction@monash.edu

The Under Construction team is made up of Felicity Chaplin, Matteo Dutto, Dan Edwards, Belinda Glynn and Shweta Kishore.