The future of film studies in the age of media studies

Independent scholar Dr Noel King (from left), University of Melbourne’s Professor Angela Ndalianis, University of New South Wales’ Professor George Kouvaros, Monash University’s Associate Professor Therese Davis, New York University’s Dana Polan and Associate Professor Constantine Verevis.

Monash University’s School of Media, Film and Journalism ran a workshop, The future of Film Studies in the age of Media Studies, at the Monash Media Centre at Caulfield on Tuesday, August 16, 2016.

Panelists:

Prof. Dana Polan (New York University),

Assoc. Prof. Therese Davis (Monash University)

Dr. Noel King (Independent scholar)

Prof. George Kouvaros (University of New South Wales)

Prof. Angela Ndalianis (University of Melbourne)

Conveners and chairpersons:

Assoc. Prof. Constantine Verevis (Monash University)

Assoc. Prof. Deane Williams (Monash University)

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When we – Noel King, Constantine Verevis and Deane Williams – put together our ARC-funded, Australian Film Theory and Criticism (1975–1985) project to document the development of film studies in Australia, we were also thinking about how events of that period informed and shaped the current state of film studies in Australia (and elsewhere).

Now, with the discipline of media studies ascendant and digital media formats proliferating across various platforms, it seems timely to bring together a select group of academics – ­Dana Polan, Therese Davis, Noel King, George Kouvaros and Angela Ndalianis – to ask if and how film studies can remain a distinct discipline, with its own unique history and methods, or whether film studies is nowadays simply one of several areas in a larger field of media studies.

Among the questions raised for discussion at this workshop are:

1. What place does film studies have in contemporary media studies?

2. How can scholars bridge the cinematic emphasis of their research and training with the amorphous structure of both contemporary media and media studies?

3. Is there a regional specificity to film studies? Does Australia’s proximity to Asia influence film studies here? What of our relationship to the Northern hemisphere?

4. How have recent shifts in on-line publishing affected the discipline? Has writing about film – and the methods of film criticism – changed as a result?

5. How has globalisation, and the circulation of films and other materials affected the discipline? How have on-line delivery methods, web chatter, Facebook, etc. impacted viewers and audiences of world cinema?

Each panelist will prepare a short (10-minute) response, which will be followed by open discussion with invited participants.

Participants include: R. Butler (Monash), S. Bye (ACMI), R. Caputo (La Trobe), A. Danks (RMIT), J. Davey (Monash), M. Dutto (Monash), T. Dwyer (Monash), D. Fairfax (Yale), ), L. French (RMIT), S. Gaunson (RMIT), O. Khoo (Monash), R. Letizi (Monash), R. Lobato (Swinburne), W. Monaghan (Monash), S. Rios (Monash), G. Russell (Monash), B. Smaill (Monash), K. Stevens (Monash), Mia Treacey (Federation), S. Troon (Monash HDR), J. Vassilieva (Monash), K. Warren (Monash).