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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.

MemberMatthew Bokovoy

I am senior acquiring editor in the fields of Native American and Indigenous Studies, Cultural Anthropology and Ethnography, History of Anthropology, Non-fiction of the American West, and Literary Memoir of the American West. I conceived the major, social science documentary project, The Franz Boas Papers: Documentary Edition (25 vols.) with my colleagues at University of Nebraska Press, Regna Darnell of University of Western Ontario, and Martin Levitt of American Philosophical Society, funded by $2.5 million CAD from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada. I am an American and European historian (PhD, Temple University, 1999) in intellectual, social, and cultural history of the 19th and 20th Century that writes about urban history, architecture and urban planning, historical memory, anthropological race theory, history of science, intellectuals and war, and California and US Southwest history. My work has been published in scholarly journals such as the Journal of the American Planning Association, Reviews in American History, AHA Perspectives, and the New Mexico Historical Review. I am author of The San Diego World’s Fairs and Southwestern Memory, 1880-1940 (University of New Mexico Press, 2005), a finalist for the San Diego Book Award. My reviews have been published in American Historical Review, Journal of American History, Journal of Religion, Journal of American Ethnic History, Pacific Historical Review, Western American Literature, Western Historical Quarterly, and New Mexico Historical Review. I am currently working on a new book, entitled “Manic-Depressive Illness: An Intellectual History of Bipolar Disorder from Hippocrates to Biological Psychiatry.” I play lead guitar in Red Cities (Lincoln, NE), a garage punk band on Modern Peasant Records. The Big Takeover Magazine said: “On breakneck blasters like ‘Worker Song’ and ‘Come Now Baby,’ Red Cities’ unashamedly summon slashing ‘Search and Destroy’ simulating riffs – tension-building, jet engine-explosive punk that exhilarates.” I am also a producer for Modern Peasant Records, having sponsored The Sinners’ Drunk on the Lord’s Day (MPR-013) and John Wayne’s Bitches’ Bitched Out (MPR-011). I blog about the history of punk rock, hardcore, and indy rock at the music podcast Doc Rockavoy’s Indy Music Garage.

MemberBeatrice Marovich

I am currently an Assistant Professor of Theology at Hanover College, in southern Indiana. My research is concerned with the intellectual history of Christianity, and the secular afterlives of theological concepts. I am interested in both the erasures and the endurances of the theological within secular frames of thought. And I am especially interested in how these traces of the theological have influenced the way we think about the natural world, other creatures, our mortal bodies (and their eventual destinies). My current book project, Creature Feeling: Power and Affect in Creaturely Life examines the figure of the creature in theological, and extra-theological, texts.

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 .

MemberJoel Neville Anderson

Joel Neville Anderson is a PhD Candidate in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester, where he received the Dean’s Dissertation Fellowship. His research is focused on the institutional mediation of personal documentary in the neoliberal era, working in experimental film and video, community media, environmental justice, film festival studies, and Japanese cinema. Anderson’s writing has appeared in scholarly journals, anthologies, and magazines including Millennium Film Journal, Studies in Documentary Film, International Feminist Journal of Politics, Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism, Hyperallergic, Senses of Cinema, and Film on the Faultline. He has taught theory, history, and production courses at the New School, SUNY Purchase College, and the University of Rochester, as well as workshops at the Museum of the Moving Image, Jacob Burns Film Center, and Downtown Community Television Center. He curates JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film, the largest festival of contemporary Japanese cinema in North America at Japan Society, New York since 2013, and formerly programmed the avant-garde film series On Film in Rochester. He produces the Society for Cinema and Media Studies podcast Aca-Media, and previously served as managing editor and editorial board member of InVisible Culture: An Electronic Journal for Visual Culture. He is based in Jamaica, Queens.

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.