By request we are posting here below Arjun Shankar‘s introductory remarks for Ra’anan Alexandrowicz, The Law in These Parts, which inaugurated the 2015 Screening Scholarship Media Festival.
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Good evening and thank you all for joining us today for the inaugural session of camra’s 2015 Screening Scholarship Media Festival. I’m Arjun Shankar, doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania and one of this years director’s of camra along with Sandra Ristovska. I’d like to start by thanking Corrina Laughlin, Veena Vasudevan, and Nora Gross for organizing this year’s Screening Scholarship Media Festival, which I think is going to be truly outstanding.
It’s a real pleasure for me to introduce Ra’anan Alexandrowicz and his film The Law In These Parts today. And to begin I just wanted to explain a bit about camra’s mission and vision and how it was we decided to invite Ra’anan for this evening’s event. We’ve been around for three years now, and we started in a really humble way, in a class taught by our directors – Dr. John Jackson, Dr. Stanton Wortham, and Amit Das. In that class we were tasked with a single question: what would it mean to develop filmic and digital products that were as rigorous and as legitimate as their textual counterparts? And it was that question which drove us to start camra, really for any graduate student across the university who wasn’t satisfied with traditional scholarly practices or simplistic disciplinary confines.
by Ethiraj Gabriel Dattatreyan and Tali Ziv
By all accounts, SSMF 2015 was a resounding success. Interpreting the theme “performing the digital,” scholars, media activists, artists, and educators brought a diverse array of filmic, new media, and transmedia projects to the table that pushed everyone present to grapple with questions concerning what constitutes the digitally human — questions that have generated considerable interest within the academy in recent years.