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MemberStephen Charbonneau

Areas of Expertise: Documentary Theory/History, Critical Theory, New Media Studies, Film Theory, Film History/Historiography My work in film and media studies centers on questions of participation, intersubjectivity, collaboration, and everyday life within the context of documentary filmmaking as well as autoethnographic video and essayistic digital cultures. The spark for this direction came from an NYU undergraduate course with the late documentarian George Stoney, which featured a visit from a New York-based youth media organization, the Global Action Project. This organization deployed autobiographical and autoethnographic video production as a way for young people to cope with traumatic social and political issues through collaboration and inspired my article, “Global and Local Selves: (Dis)Placed Youth and Fraught Articulations of Home in the Global Action Project’s Peace of Mind” (Spectator 27.2). This led to a broader interest in the histories, theories, and practices of other NGOs whose work on autoethnographic film/video production had similar pedagogical goals. Additional articles on this front included, “Branching Out: Young Appalachian Selves, Auto-Ethnographic Aesthetics and the Founding of Appalshop,” appearing in the Journal of Popular Film & Television; and “Claims to Be Heard: Young Self-Expressivity, Social Justice, and the Educational Video Center,” in Jump Cut. The above work on the youth media organization, Appalshop, and its inception as a project of the War on Poverty (as a community film workshop) drew me further into a historical line of inquiry to consider understudied community-based and nontheatrical uses of the motion picture, ones that were tethered to postwar struggles for racial equality and deeply engaged with radical democratic principles. This path led, in 2012-13, to my receipt of a Fulbright Fellowship to pursue research on state-sponsored uses of documentary film to mediate and mitigate social conflict fueled by race and class. The result was my first book-length study, entitled Projecting Race: Postwar America, Civil Rights, and Documentary Film (Wallflower/Columbia University Press, 2016). Projecting Race presents a history of documentary filmmaking in the postwar era in light of race relations and the fight for Civil Rights. Drawing on extensive archival research and textual analyses, this book tracks the evolution of race-based, nontheatrical cinema from its neorealist roots (The Quiet One, Palmour Street, and All My Babies) to its incorporation of new documentary techniques intent on recording reality in real time (With No One to Help Us, Another Way, The Man in the Middle, The Farmersville Project, and The Hartford Project). The archival research that contributed to Projecting Race is also animating my second book, a work-in-progress entitled Stoney: A Committed Life, A Committed Cinema. This book will review the life and work of George C. Stoney, whom the New York Times characterized as a “dean of American documentary.” Stoney’s remarkable life and work encompasses much of the twentieth century and represents an intersection of the history of North American social change with the history of cinema. The uniqueness of his story reflects his singular trajectory as a filmmaker whose work was often activist and collaborative, always contesting the boundaries of documentary conventions to feature voices and experiences that are typically rendered invisible in the American public sphere. This continuity to his life and work takes on distinct inflections across the decades, from the late thirties to the 2000s, and through his various filmic, programmatic, and activist endeavors. Alongside these historical inquiries, I am continuing to explore the above themes within the context of contemporary media activist cultures and digital essayistic practices. This includes an anthology, co-edited with Chris Robé, on global media activism, entitled InsUrgent Media from the Front: A Global Media Activist Reader (under review), as well as another book project, The Twenty-First Century Essayistic. Informed by my courses on new media and digital documentary, this latter project is centered on the convergence of essayistic modes of expression and digital media. The historical legacy of the essayistic form, and its fusion of autobiographical expression with commentary on public experiences, has proven to be quite elastic as photographic and cinematic essays were quite common throughout the twentieth century. While there remains much to study about these past adaptations of the essay form, this project essentially looks at the pervasiveness of the essayistic as a frame for a whole range of digital media experiences.

MemberSean Martin

Currently (2018) undertaking PhD by practice in filmmaking at Edinburgh Napier University, making an experimental documentary about Scottish metaphysical writer David Lindsay (1876-1945), author of A Voyage to Arcturus, The Haunted Woman, and others. I am also the author of a number of popular history titles, including The Knights Templar: The History & Myths of the Legendary Military Order; The Cathars: The Rise & Fall of the Great Heresy and The Gnostics: The First Christian Heretics.

MemberAgata Lulkowska

Interdisciplinary researcher, photographer and filmmaker. Agata Lulkowska holds a practice-based PhD in film and Latin American studies from Birkbeck, University of London. Her research focuses on the politics of visual representation among the Arhuaco community from Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia. She used collaborative filmmaking as a method. Lulkowska also holds Master’s Degree in Film and Media Studies at Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland, unfinished MA in Film Direction at Silesian University, Katowice, Poland, and a First Class Honours degree in Digital Media Arts at London South Bank University. Alongside her research work, she actively exhibits her visual work in wide international circles such as Tokyo, Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, London, Bologna. Lulkowska’s research addresses questions of representation, otherness, and intercultural communication. She is particularly interested in the way film and video circulate in international circles, and how the aspect of communication transcends the cultural barriers. She lived and worked on three different continents, and she is trilingual.

MemberJosh Epstein

I am currently an Assistant Professor of English at Portland State University. I research and teach classes in 20th-century Anglophone modernism, critical theory, sound studies, film, musicology, and adaptation studies. After receiving his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University, I served as an academic adviser, as an ACLS Fellow at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and as an assistant professor at Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi. My first book, Sublime Noise: Musical Culture and the Modernist Writer, explores the relationships among modernist literature, music, noise, and aural culture. In addition to publications forthcoming in Modern DramaStudies in the Novel, and The New Ezra Pound (ed. Mark Byron), I’ve published in Textual PracticeJames Joyce Quarterly, and Victorian Literature and Culture, and present regularly at the Modernist Studies Association conference. I am currently at work on a new project about the documentary filmmaker and amateur anthropologist Humphrey Jennings, focusing on how Jennings’s filmic, literary, and anthropological work addresses the media ecology and material culture of post-WWII Britain, producing newly textured ways of reading and narrating citizenship. At PSU I teach a range of classes, including undergraduate and graduate modernism courses; general education courses on modern British lit, race and melodrama, film history, and critical film theory; major authors courses on James, Conrad, and Joyce; and advanced topics courses on aesthetic and cultural theories of failure. Further information and selected syllabuses can be found on my personal webpage, http://joshepstein.net .

MemberJaimie Baron

Jaimie Baron is an Associate Professor of Film Studies at the University of Alberta. Her first book, The Archive Effect: Found Footage and the Audiovisual Experience of History, was published in 2014. She is currently working on a new book entitled Misuse: The Ethics of Audiovisual Appropriation in the Digital Era. She is the founder, director, and co-curator of the Festival of (In)appropriation, a yearly international festival of short experimental found footage films and videos. She is also a co-founder of Docalogue, an online space for scholars and filmmakers to engage in conversations about contemporary documentary, soon to also be a book series published by Routledge Press.

Memberbonnie lenore kyburz

An aspiring minimalist, I do all the things! My many roles constellate within a clarifying praxis of supporting creative vision. I teach writing and rhetoric with an emphasis in digital multimodality. I enjoy making short films as digital scholarship. My book on all of this is due out later this year from the #writing series, Colorado State University Open Press. I’ve listed my disciplinary identitification @ Left. Thankfully, the field in which I identify my presence, Rhetoric and Composition, is gloriously capacious. Within the field, I’ve found ways of engaging a range of studies and practices that invite me to explore my interests in:

  • Affect
  • Composition
  • Design
  • Digital Media
  • DIY Digital Filmmaking
  • Film
  • Multimodality
  • Performance
  • Rhetoric
  • Visual Rhetoric
  • Writing Program Administration

MemberJohn Wei

Dr. John Wei is Senior Lecturer at Media Design School, New Zealand, where he has been lecturing and supervising students in Art and Design as well as Creative Technologies. Previously he held multiple teaching and research roles at the University of Melbourne, the University of Auckland, and the University of Canterbury. His research examines social practices and cultural productions of gender and sexuality through global media, film, and urban screen cultures. He has published on film and psychoanalysis, cross-cultural online fandom, and transnational digital filmmaking and social media. He is the author of Queer Chinese Cultures and Mobilities: Kinship, Migration, and Middle Classes (forthcoming, Hong Kong University Press).