Thursday, April 28, 2011

D. Graham Burnett and Lisa Young

The Philadelphia Cinema and Media Seminar and the Philadelphia Area Center for the History of Science present:


A conversation and screening with D. Graham Burnett (Princeton University) and Lisa Young (Rhode Island School of Design)
With commentary by John Tresch (University of Pennsylvania)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Time: Discussion 4-5:30pm, followed by social hour and light dinner
Location: The Library Company
RSVP with the Philadelphia Area Center for the History of Science

In 2010 D. Graham Burnett and the artist Lisa Young collaborated on a video project that engages the problem of the aerial view in the second half of the twentieth century. Burnett and Young will screen the latest version of their efforts and talk about history, fiction, and work at the boundary of the history of science and the visual arts.

D. Graham Burnett is a historian of science in the Department of History at Princeton University,and an editor at Cabinet magazine, based in Brooklyn. The recipient of a 2009 Mellon New Directions Fellowship, he is currently working on connections between the sciences and the visual arts. (Bio)

Lisa Young is a member of the faculty at the Rhode Island School of Design. Her work explores the relationship between the temporal and the sublime through photography, installation, books, video, and web projects. (Bio)

John Tresch is an Associate Professor in the Department of the History of Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on the cultural history of science and technology in Europe (especially France) and the USA from 1750 to the present. (Bio)

Malcolm Turvey next week

The PCMS has two events planned for end of the semester.

Malcolm Turvey
(Sarah Lawrence College)
"Medium-Specificity Defended"

respondent: Timothy Corrigan (Univ. of Pennsylvania)

Tuesday, May 3
5:00 pm
Temple Univ. Center City, room 420


Medium-specificity, which informed much theorizing about the arts in the twentieth century, has not fared well among theorists recently. Those influenced by the opposition to essentialism in much post-structuralist thought have tended to reject medium-specific arguments as essentialist. However, even theorists who have no such opposition to essentialism have found it wanting. For example, contemporary philosopher Noel Carroll has proposed an essential definition of cinema or what he calls the moving image, in other words a definition in terms of a set of necessary and sufficient conditions, while eschewing medium-specificity and launching an all out assault on the doctrine. This paper defends a version of medium-specificity from the criticisms of Carroll and others by returning to some of the medium-specific arguments of classical film theorists such as Jean Epstein and Dziga Vertov. In the process, it untangles medium-specificity from other doctrines with which it is often confused, such as medium-essentialism, and it ends by explaining why a defensible version of medium-specificity remains relevant today.

Malcolm Turvey is a professor of film studies at Sarah Lawrence College and an editor of October. He is the author of Doubting Vision: Film and the Revelationist Tradition (Oxford University Press, 2008) and The Filming of Modern Life: European Avant-Garde Film of the 1920s (MIT Press, 2011).

Monday, April 11, 2011

Penn symposium on Comics

Graphic Exchanges: Comics Without Borders
Presented by the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pennsylvania, in conjunction with the College of Arts and Sciences and Brave New Worlds Comics

Friday, April 15th, 2011
Registration required

2:30 – 5:00
Van Pelt Library, Meyerson Conference Room (Rm. 223)

“Olivier Schrauwen: Carrying on the Legacy of Winsor McCay” ~ Nele Bemong,
K.U. Leuven; Breughel Chair Visiting Professor at University of Pennsylvania

“Sharing a Common Language: Woodcut Novels and Wordless Comics in Belgium and
the United States”~ David Berona, Plymouth State University

“’Too Many Pictures:’ The Rise of the German Graphic Novel” ~ Paul M. Malone,
University of Waterloo

5:00 – 6:00
Exhibition of UPenn’s Rare Comics Material
Van Pelt, Special Collections Reading Room (Rm. 501)

7:00 – 9:30
Author Presentations
David Rittenhouse Lab, Room A8

by Charles Burns and Marc Legendre, two prominent graphic novelists.

Penn Colloquium: Carina Yervasi

Carina Yervasi (Swarthmore College),
Spotlight on the Continent: African Cinema at the 22nd FESPACO Film Festival

Cinema Studies Colloquium
University of Pennsylvania
330 Fisher-Bennett Hall

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Africa that is represented at Fespaco “is torn between what it is and what it strives to be,” writes film critic Aboubacar Cissé in Africine, a film journal published by the African Federation of Film Critics. For Congolese historian and writer Elikia M’Bokolo such a cinematographic and historical interstice heralds optimism: that cinema is a “powerful memory media…[that has] always known how to testify to the progress of Africa.” Whereas for others, including the Delegate General of the 2011 Fespaco, Michel Ouedraogo this constant tearing apart means that “independent Africa has not yet decolonized its screens.” How can continent-wide film production respond to such antipodes of thought? How do both tendencies bear out over the course of the week-long festival? This paper will look at the ways in which Cissé’s observation is engaged in the articles by African writers and critics as they respond to African filmmaking and, more importantly, to the crucial place that Fespaco holds in the production and promotion of African film.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Javed Akhtar: "Bollywood and the Global India"

The New India Forum of the Center for Humanities at Temple is hosting two events this week:

"Bollywood and the Global India"

Javed Akhtar in conversation with Priya Joshi

Thursday, April 14, 2011
Alter Hall Auditorium, A31
Temple University
1801 Liacouras Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19122

Javed Akhtar has been a defining voice in Bollywood cinema and its global diffusion for decades. Screenwriter, poet, and Member of Parliament, Akhtar co-wrote the screenplays for Bollywood's biggest blockbusters in the 1970s, including Sholay, Deewar, and Trishul. His lyrics articulate responsibility and conscience, politics and grief, and capture the zeitgeist of India in transition. A staunch believer in secular ideals, Akhtar has been an outspoken voice in the streets and in Parliament on matters of social justice and religious harmony. He has been honored by every major film award in India numerous times (including 14 Filmfare awards) and both the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan, given for exemplary citizenship by the Government of India.

The 1970s and its Legacies:
A Workshop on India's Cinemas

Friday, April 15, 2011
Weigley Room, 914 Gladfelter Hall
Temple University
1115 Polett Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19122

Organized by
Priya Joshi, Temple University
Rajinder Dudrah, University of Manchester


Keynote: Javed Akhtar

9:00: Breakfast

9:30: Introduction and Opening Remarks

10.00: The Family
Ulka Anjaria, Brandeis University
Structures of Fictive Kinship in 1970s Hindi Cinema

Priya Joshi, Temple University
Cinema as Public Fantasy

Discussant: Suvir Kaul, University of Pennsylvania

11:00: The Figures
Ajay Gehlawat, Sonona State
The Construction of 1970s Femininity

Satish Poduval, The EFL University, Hyderabad
Gender, Conjugality and the Remaking of Class in 1970s Hindi Cinema

Discussant: Kavita Daiya, George Washington University

12:00: Lunch

1:30: The Industry
Corey Creekmur, University of Iowa
Popular Hindi Cinema, Periodization, and Manoj Kumar

2:00: The South
S.E. Pillai, Michigan State University
1970s Tamil Cinema and the Post-classical Turn

Ratheesh Radhakrishnan, Rice University
A Retake on Malayalam Cinema of the 1970s

Discussant: Amanda Weidman, Bryn Mawr College

3:00: Tea

3:30: Closing Remarks
Sudipta Kaviraj, Columbia University
The 1970s in Perspective
4:00: Concluding Roundtable
Moderator: Rajinder Dudrah, University of Manchester

Because seating is limited, RSVPs are recommended.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cinefest 2011

The other major Philly film festival, Cinefest starts tonight. The schedule is a bit heavier on indie genre film and quirkumentary, a little lighter on the festival hits that the Philadelphia Film Festival is specializing in. Highlights (for me) include François Ozon's Potiche and the documentary Project Nim.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Penn Colloquium: Ivone Margulies

CINE Colloquium, Ivone Margulies
Wednesday, April 6, 2011 - 12:00pm
330 Fisher-Bennett Hall
University of Pennsylvania

Ivone Margulies (Hunter College)

The Real/Actor: Reenactment and Transmission in Contemporary Cinema

Claude Lanzmann’s statement that “no true knowledge exists prior to transmission,” firmly couples the addressee to a scene in which speech acts. The performative efficacy of an in-person address has depended on the return, through cinema’s agency, of people to places in which they underwent traumatic events. This qualified “return,” brings into scene the real/actor, evidence that is most disturbing, and my object here. This paper complicates Lanzmann’s testimonial credo in Shoah looking at two examples of self-reenactment—atrocities dispassionately replayed by Khmer rouge guards in Rithy Panh’s S21 the Khmer Rouge Killing Machine (2003) and the return of Carapiru, an awa-guaja Indian to reenact his first contact with whites 20 and 30s years earlier when his tribe was massacred in Andrea Tonacci’s Sierras of Chaos (2007). I argue that by staging unconscious and problematic agencies relayed in faulty memories, inarticulate voices and unclear ethical stances these films deploy the real/actor to invalidate a necessary link between re-enactment, self-knowledge and exemplarity. Through a close reading of Sierras of Chaos I discuss how Carapiru, a presence pervaded with temporal ambiguity and categorical instability, is used as a catalyst to implicate more broadly cinema and the media in the National exclusion of indigenous groups in Brazil.