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.
We are so excited that the Call for Submissions for the Screening Scholarship Media Festival (#SSMF2015) is out! Our theme this year is “Performing the Digital” and in case you have not seen it, here is the call:
This year at the Screening Scholarship Media Festival we invite submissions from scholars, activists, artists, filmmakers, and educators that creatively explore how the social world is performed in and through digital media. Over the last few years, there has been a proliferation of scholarship that looks at media as a vehicle for performing and constituting reality, not merely representing it. With this in mind we ask: What are the ethics and politics of (re)presenting our work on screen? How do multiple lives — digital, analog, physical – connect and disconnect through on and offline pathways? What does it mean to be a scholar, artist, and/or educator in the digital age? What are the affordances and tensions of digital mediafor scholarship, activism, and pedagogy?
With this theme we want to highlight how the production of multimodal research in today’s environment is always, in some ways, an act of “performing the digital.” Every time that we pick up a camera to film informants, students, cities, or scenes, we are performing a research personae that is informed by digital media, and because of this, the theme for this year is intrinsically connected to camra’s mission.
It’s going to be a great festival this year. Check out these photos from last year’s SSMF and get excited!