Schedule

Henry Jenkins is the Provost's Professor of Communication, Journalism, and Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. He arrived at USC in Fall 2009 after spending the past decade as the Director of the MIT Comparative Media Studies Program and the Peter de Florez Professor of Humanities. He has written or edited twelve books on various aspects of media and popular culture, including Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture, Hop on Pop: The Politics and Pleasures of Popular Culture and FromBarbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games. His newest books include Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide and Fans, Bloggers and Gamers: Exploring Participatory Culture. He is currently writing a book on "spreadable media" with Sam Ford and Joshua Green, which challenges prevailing notions of "viral media" in favor of a model which explores grassroots systems of distribution and circulation and how they are impacting the value of media content. He has written for Technology Review, Computer Games, Salon, and The Huffington Post.

Jenkins is the principal investigator for Project New Media Literacies (NML), a group which originated as part of the MacArthur Digital Media and Learning Initiative. Jenkins wrote a white paper on learning in a participatory culture that has become the springboard for the group's efforts to develop and test educational materials focused on preparing students for engagement with the new media landscape. He continues to beactively involved with the Convergence Culture Consortium, a faculty network which seeks to build bridges between academic researchers and the media industry in order to help inform the rethinking of consumer relations in an age of participatory culture. And he is working at USC to develop a new research project focused on young people, participatory culture, and public engagement.

While at MIT, he was one of the principal investigators for The Education Arcade, a consortium of educators and business leaders working to promote the educational use of computer and video games. Jenkins also plays a significant role as a public advocate for fans, gamers and bloggers: testifying before the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee investigation into "Marketing Violence to Youth" following the Columbine shootings; advocating for media literacy education before the Federal Communications Commission; calling for a more consumer-oriented approach to intellectual property at a closed door meeting of the governing body of the World Economic Forum; signing amicus briefs in opposition to games censorship; and regularly speaking to the press and other media about aspects of media change and popular culture.

Jenkins has a B.A. in Political Science and Journalism from Georgia State University, a M.A. in Communication Studies from the University of Iowa and a PhD in Communication Arts from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. While he is today best known for his work on fans and digital culture, he continues to explore formal and aesthetic dimensions of popular culture as well, most vividly in his work on transmedia storytelling. With Denise Mann (UCLA), he is hosting and organizing the "Transmedia Hollywood: S/Telling the Story conference." He has also continued his investigation of comedy (across media), which began with his dissertation on vaudeville and early sound comedy, and has published publishing a growing number of essays studying comics and graphic storytelling. Forthcoming essays here include a reconsideration of what J. Hoberman called "Vulgar Modernism" with a focus on the works of Spike Jones, Tex Avery, Basil Woolverton, and Olsen and Johnson, among others; an exploration of "retrofuturism" in the comics of Dean Motter; and an exploration of how the experimental visual style of David Mack did or did not get absorbed into his work for the Daredevil franchise. He writes regularly at his website Confessions of an Aca/Fan.

Charlie Keil was drawn to pursue graduate study at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in part because of the presence there of the academic superstar couple David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, whom he imagined to be the Nick and Nora Charles of film academia. The reality was of a different order, though no less impressive. Kristin Thompson’s pioneering work on early cinema proved inspirational, and an indelible influence on his doctoral thesis.

Most evidently, that interest has stood at the core of Early American Cinema in Transition (UWisconsin Press, 2001), American Cinema's Transitional Era (co-edited with Shelley Stamp; UCalifornia Press, 2004), and American Cinema of the 1910s (co-edited with Ben Singer; Rutgers UPress, 2009). Diverse aspects of early cinema have informed other research projects, including a multi-year investigation of filmmaking and film reception in Ontario, Canada, in collaboration with Marta Braun, and his current undertaking, a study of the origins of Hollywood.

There is no explaining the anomaly that will be his next publication, Funny Pictures, an anthology devoted to the intersection of humour and animation during the studio era, co-edited with Daniel Goldmark, and due out next year with the University of California Press. In his spare time, he is the Director of the Cinema Studies Institute and Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Toronto. Kristin Thompson remains the best editor that he has ever had and she is responsible for one of his favourite books of writing on film, Breaking the Glass Armor.

Janet Staiger began her doctoral work at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1977. She arrived wanting to study neo-formalism, structuralism, and semiotics — theories that had excited her in the mid–1970s. Unfortunately (she thought at the time), she was fairly successful as a historian of Thomas Ince's mode of production. However, that seminar paper produced her lucky break: David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson asked her to do a brief intervention in film studies. That intervention became the 1200-page manuscript, The Classical Hollywood Cinema, which was published in shorter form in 1985.

Although originally pursuing a neo-formalist approach to reception studies, over the decade of the 1980s, she expanded her historical interests into how spectators experience films in terms of personal and social identities and how contemporary systems of discourse produce and tutor these identities. Her next, solo project, Interpreting Films (1992), is the first book-length attempt in film scholarship to do historical-materialist reception studies. Subsequently, she has published three more books in this field: Perverse Spectators (2000), Blockbuster TV (2000), and Media Reception Studies (2005). Adjacent is her Bad Women: Regulating Sexuality in Early American Cinema, 1907–1915 (1995) which argues for a much more complex understanding of the representation of women and sexuality in U.S. cinema.

Dr. Staiger has continued her interests in production, especially exploring both the discourse and sociology of authorship in cinema. She is pleased to have served as the President of the Society for Cinema & Media Studies, 1991–93; a board member of the Cultural Studies Association of America, 2005–09; supervisor of 26 completed dissertations to date; and current chair of the Faculty at the University of Texas at Austin (2009–10).

Yuri Tsivian is the William Colvin Professor of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago. A member of the Departments of Art History and Slavic Languages and Literatures, he is currently Chair of Cinema and Media Studies. He has been in love with Kristin Thompson since 1988.

He holds a PhD in film studies from the Institute of Theater, Music and Cinema, Leningrad, 1984. His recent books are: Silent Witnesses: Russian Films, 1908–1919 (Pordenone/London 1989), Istoricheskaja recepcija kino (Riga, Zinatne, 1991), translated as Early Cinema in Russia and its Cultural Reception, and, in collaboration with Yuri Lotman, Dialogues with the Screen (Tallinn, 1994). More recently he has published Ivan the Terrible (London: BFI Publishing, 2002), and Lines of Resistance: Dziga Vertov and the Twenties (Pordenone, 2004).

Professor Tsivian is also known for his commentaries on DVD-released films like Dziga Vertov's Man with a Movie Camera (Image Entertainment, 1995) and his audio-visual essay on Eisenstein's Ivan the Terrible recorded on: Eisenstein: the Sound Years (DVD by Criterion Collection, 2001). He prepared analysis and commentary in English and Russian for his CD-ROM Immaterial Bodies: Cultural Anatomy of Early Russian Films (USC, 2000); this won the 2001 award for the best interactive learning project from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

One of his current interests involves developing new methods of film studies. For one of these see his Cinemetrics, a movie measurement and study tool database.