The Digital Media as Method symposium was convened by Deane Williams. Held November 13-14 2014, it featured leading international researchers/practitioners in a critical consideration of new methods in digital humanities.
Dr Catherine Grant, University of Sussex
Focusing on a number of videographic explorations of matters of film editing (including several of my own), my talk will ask what such practical, digital and audiovisual modes of research and presentation — ones which themselves evidently turn on editing — might add to the study of a cinematic feature that (with a number of key exceptions) has not received much sustained attention to date in written film scholarship.
In one of his last essays, the great historian Greg Dening captured his understanding of how he was always striving to activate the past that continues to push through the present in a myriad directions, from many different perspectives, serving variable interests. For the past is no gone thing. As an historian, Dening explained, you must work and wait for the past to reveal some of its vitality; and you must acknowledge that, as you minister to the past, you are committed to an ‘unclosed action’ and you must find communicative forms that serve this necessary openness.
Dening worked mostly with the book-form and in the realtime performance of lectures; but as it happens, his identified need for restless but rigorous postulation is especially well served by digital media. (Given time, he would have set high standards for the digital humanities.) Prompted by Dening, I want to ask to what extent have digital media changed our ways of accounting for the world; and in counterpoint, to what extent have the digital media turned up at precisely the time when the world has indicated the need for them?
 Greg Dening, “Performing Cross-Culturally”, The Australasian Journal of American Studies, 2006, Vol. 25, No. 2, p.6.
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