Site/Seeing 2021 Graduate Student Conference

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Site/Seeing: Sites of Spectatorship | 16th Annual Graduate Student Conference | University of Chicago Department of Cinema & Media Studies

About this Event

The cinematic has never been confined to “the cinema”: throughout film history, spectatorship has taken place across a multitude of sites. From home movies projected on living room walls, to vaudeville recordings shown in prisons, to all-Black westerns that played in segregated theaters — cinema has always been a vexed site, the experience of which has been predicated on the subjectivities of spectators and the nature of the spaces they inhabit. Identity, accessibility, and proximity to power all collide to inform how we see a thing. Where we see it adds a new depth.

This conference celebrates increasing scholarship that seeks to create a more kaleidoscopic view of where cinema can be found and who its spectators are. Nowhere is this more true than in the shifting configurations we see today, including streaming services, mobile viewing, alternative approaches to exhibition, and much more. “Site/Seeing” puts the diverse histories of cinematic spectatorship in conversation with the present and possible futures.

In keeping with the theme of the conference, our keynote speaker is Dr. Alison Griffiths (PhD, NYU; MA, University of London), CUNY Distinguished Professor of Film and Media Studies at Baruch College and an internationally recognized scholar of film, media, and visual studies. Her research crosses the fields of film studies, nineteenth century visual culture, and medieval visual studies and examines cinema’s relationship to and experience in non-traditional spaces of media consumption. Her most recent book, Carceral Fantasies: Cinema and Prisons in Early Twentieth Century America (Columbia, 2016), examines how cinema gained a foothold in American penitentiaries as well as the range of early images of inmates that fed the carceral imagination.

April 23, 2021

4:00 pm - Conference Organizers' Welcome:

Jenisha Borah

Avery LaFlamme

Maggie Sivit

Ashley Truehart

Opening Remarks:

Kara Keeling, Ph.D., Professor, University of Chicago

4:30 pm - Keynote Address:

Alison Griffiths, Ph.D., CUNY Distinguished Professor

The Dialectics of Adventure: Film and the Explorers Club in New York City

6:00 pm - Presentation and Q&A:

Trina Reynolds-Tyler, Director of Data, The Invisible Institute

Maira Khwaja, Director of Public Impact Strategy and Outreach,

The Invisible Institute

Six Durations of a Split Second: The Killing of Harith Augustus

7:30 pm - Dinner Break

8:00 pm - Reception

Spinning Home Movies

The South Side Home Movie Project

Music by DJ Ayana Contreras

Followed by Q&A

April 24, 2021

10:00 am - Panel 1: Reality and Medium

Nace Zavrl | Harvard University

Julia Guimaraes | Northwestern University

Respondent: Sasha Crawford-Holland, University of Chicago

11:30 am - Panel 2: Mediated Environments

Reed McConnell | University of Chicago

Natalie Greenberg | Concordia University

Respondent: Gary Kafer, University of Chicago

1:00 pm - Lunch

2:00 pm - Panel 3: Immersive Spectacles

Daniel D'Amore | Harvard University

Matthew Hipps | University of Iowa

Respondent: Kaelan Doyle-Myerscough, University of Chicago

3:30 pm - Panel 4: Activist Sites

Azalia Muchransya| University at Buffalo (SUNY)

Yayu Zheng | University of Southern California

Carol Lin | University of Indiana Bloomington

Respondent: Ritika Kaushik, University of Chicago

5:30 pm - Faculty Roundtable

Dr. Alison Griffiths , CUNY

Dr. Kara Keeling, University of Chicago

Dr. Thomas Lamarre, University of Chicago

Dr. Patrick Jagoda, University of Chicago

7:00 pm - Closing Reception

Zoom Links for event:

April 23, 2021:

April 24, 2021:

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