Recent Events

The 2014-2015 Screen Cultures Visiting Speaker Series features workshops and talks by Barbara Klinger (Indiana University), Kristen Whissel (University of California, Berkeley), and Anna McCarthy (New York University).

Screen Cultures Associate Professor Jacob Smith was the coordinator for the Lambert Family Communication Conference, Sonic Boom: Sustaining Sound Studies.

Mark Quigley, Manager of the UCLA Film & Television Archive, held a workshop with Screen Cultures graduate students and presented a lecture titled "Down the Cathode Rabbit Hole: Television Collections & Access at UCLA" in the AMS Auditorium on November 7.

Screen Cultures graduate students worked with students at the University of Chicago to co-sponsor the Interplay Graduate Student Game Studies Conference, which interrogated and expanded the limits of the field of game studies by bringing together students, scholars, and practitioners from the Chicagoland area and beyond to discuss, collaborate, and play.

The 2013-2014 Screen Cultures Visiting Speaker Series featured workshops and talks by Paula Amad (University of Iowa), Beretta Smith-Shomade (Tulane University), Haidee Wasson (Concordia University), Charles Acland (Concordia University), and Linda Williams (University of California, Berkeley).


Scott Curtis presented the lecture “The Function of the ‘Animated’ in ‘Animated Documentary’” at the Institut für Medien- und Kulturwissenschaft at Heinrich-Heine-Universität in Düsseldorf, Germany, in May. He is also hosting and organizing the Thirteenth International Domitor Conference—dedicated to the study of early cinema—on Northwestern’s Evanston campus June 21–25; the theme of this year’s conference is “The Image in Early Cinema: Form and Materiality.” Thanks to the School of Communication and the Department of Radio/TV/Film for their contributions! The anthology from the Twelfth Domitor Conference (held in Brighton, UK, in 2012)—edited by Scott and others—is out now: Performing New Media, 1890–1915 (London and Bloomington: John Libbey/Indiana University Press, 2014).

Hamid Naficy participated in the conference “Mediated Muslim Identities in a Changing World” at the University of Chicago Divinity School, where he presented his talk “Iran’s Mediatic Public Diplomacy with the West—War by Other Means.” Naficy interviewed and moderated a discussion with Tim Schwab (2013), director of Cinema Palestine, at the Gene Siskel Film Center’s Chicago Palestine Film Festival on April 26. Siamak Dehqanpour interviewed Naficy for the program Ofoq, aired by Voice of America (Persian service) on February 12. He was also interviewed by Reza Haeri for “Sohrab Shahid Saless: Nostalzhi Bara-ye Jay-e Digar” this past March.

Miriam Petty has been awarded a 2014 Career Enhancement Fellowship for Junior Faculty, administered by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. Her article Refusing theHappy Ending: 12 Years A Slave , about the Oscar-winning film, appeared in the Huffington Post.

 “Explosive Apathy,” an essay by Jeffrey Sconce, appears in B is for Bad Cinema, coedited Claire Perkins and Constantine Verevis. His essay “Altered Sex: Satan, Acid, and the Erotic Threshold” appears in Sex Scene: Media and the Sexual Revolution, edited by Eric Schaefer.

Jacob Smith’s new article “This is Your Body on the Velvet Underground” is now live on Sounding Out, and his essay “33 1/3 Sexual Revolutions per Minute” appears in Sex Scene: Media and the Sexual Revolution, edited by Eric Schaefer. Additionally, Smith and Neil Verma are under contract with the University of California Press to coedit a new book of essays, to be released in 2016, on multimedia writer Norman Corwin.

Mimi White published her essay “House Hunters, Real Estate Television, and Everyday Cosmopolitanism” in A Companion to Reality Television. She recently gave two presentations: “A House Divided” at Symposium on Women, Property, and Reality TV in Toronto, Canada, and “Episodes in Anglo-American Television” at the Maple Leaf & Eagle Conference (North American Studies) at the University of Helsinki this past May.

Graduate Students

Roger Almendarez-Jiménez’s review of Friday Night Fighter was published in volume 33 of The Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television. His book review of Claudia Milian’s Latining America: Black-Brown Passages and the Coloring of Latino/a Studies was published in The Journal of American Culture. Additionally, he received honorable mention from the Ford Foundation Diversity Fellowship committee.

Benjamin Aspray presented his paper “The Fatsuit Grotesque: Disgust, Comedy, and the Excessive Body” at the “Monstrous Media: Hybrids, Aberrations, and Other Unclassifiables” conference at New York University–Tisch School of the Arts on February 15.

Stephen Babish was awarded a School of Communication Ignition Grant to be used for his dissertation research at the Stanley Kubrick archives this summer.

Simran Bhalla receives her master of arts in screen cultures this June.

Marisela Chavez presented her paper “Wacy Yellow Build up is not a Solce” at the 2014 Console-ing Passions conference.

Leigh Goldstein presented her paper Feminists Can’t See Television: Televisual Occlusions in Women’s Liberation Movement Discourse” at the 2014 Console-ing Passions conference at the University of Missouri–Columbia this past April. Goldstein also presented her paper “Feminist Transitions: The Miss America Pageant Protest and Women’s Liberation Movement Discourse” at the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians at Canada’s University of Toronto May 23–25.

Ian Hartman will give a presentation at the Game History Annual Symposium in Montreal, Canada, this June. Hartman has also received a fellowship from the University of Chicago Game Changer Design Lab for the 2014–15 academic year.

Linde Murugan was awarded a graduate assistantship in Northwestern’s Asian American Studies Program for the 2014–15 academic year.

Andrew Owens published a report on the 2014 Console-ing Passions conference in Antenna, the online journal for the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Department of Communication Arts.

Whitney Pow participated in a panel and workshop on “Gender, Queer People of Color, and Interracial Relationships” at the Autostraddle Conference (A-Camp). Pow has also received a fellowship from the University of Chicago Game Changer Design Lab for the 2014–15 academic year. Additionally, Whitney receives her master of arts in screen cultures this June.

Maureen Ryan (’14) successfully defended her dissertation draft “A Better Everyday: Lifestyle Media in American Culture” on March 12. Ryan also published the articles “Apartment Therapy, Everyday Modernism, Aspirational Disposability” in Television and New Media 15 and“Entertaining Fantasies: Lifestyle and Social Life in 1980s America” in the Journal of Communication Inquiry.

Karly-Lynne Scott received summer research funding from the Sexualities Project at Northwestern to support activities related to her project “Supersensual: Erotic Engagements with Media and the Extension, Reconfiguration, and Remapping of the Spectatorial Sensorium”.

Hannah Spaulding presented her paper “The Feminine Amateur and the Cinematic Interior: An Analysis of the Filmo 75” at the 2014 Console-ing Passions conference.

Luke Stadel’s article “Cable, Pornography, and the Reinvention of Television, 1982–1989” was published in Cinema Journal, produced by the Society of Cinema and Media Studies. His article “Lewis Jacobs and American Film Historiography” was published in Quarterly Review of Film and Video, and his article “Wrestling and Cinema, 1892–1911” is scheduled to appear in the November 2014 issue of Early Popular Visual Culture. His recent paper presentations include “Bedroom TV: Cableporn and the Shifting Site of American Television Reception, 1981–1985” at the Sex, Media, Reception Conference at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor; “Two-Way Television and the Media Interface” at the Society for the History of Technology annual conference in Portland, Maine; and “Placing ‘Scientific’ Cinema in the Pre-Nickelodeon Era” at the Orphans Midwest Graduate Student Conference in Bloomington, Illinois.

Society for Cinema & Media Studies 2014 Conference Report

At this year’s Society for Cinema & Media Studies conference, the Screen Cultures Program was well represented with 23 screen cultures graduate students and 12 screen cultures or Radio/TV/Film PhD alumni, as well as four core faculty members and four faculty affiliates.

In addition to the individual papers and presentations listed below, Screen Cultures Program students, faculty, and alumni chaired and/or organized a variety of sessions and were well represented in the society’s scholarly interest groups and caucuses.

Screen Cultures Core Faculty

  • Miriam Petty participated in the “Teaching Race and Media in Postracial/Post-Trayvon America” roundtable discussion with fellow scholars Bambi Haggins (Arizona State University), Kristen Warner (University of Alabama), and Anna Everett (University of California, Santa Barbara).
  • Jeffrey Sconce chaired the “Cinema/Media Intersections” workshop.
  • Lynn Spigel presented her paper “Eames TV.”
  • Mimi White presented her paper “On Truth and Lies in an HGTV Sense: The Stakes of Fakery on Lifestyle TV.”

Screen Cultures Graduate Students

  • Stephen Babish presented his paper “Out of the Near Future, Out of the Far Future: Colossus: The Forbin Project, the Lawrence Hall of Science, and the Spaces of Cold War Militarism.”
  • Daniel Bashara presented his paper “Dream-Work and Cartoon-Work: Condensation and Visualization in Postwar American Animation.”
  • Zachary Campbell presented his paper “Switching and Cutting: The Protocols of Early Videotape Editing.”
  • Robert Cavanagh presented his paper “Nine for IX: Sport and Gender.”
  • Alla Gadassik presented her paper "Perceptual Cells: Modified Vision in the Work of James Turrel”
  • Catherine Harrington presented her paper “Prison ‘Reality’ at Home and Abroad: Exposing Prison Discourse through Televisual Tourism.”
  • Ian Hartman presented his paper “The Power Glove, the U-Force, and the Gendering of Gestural Gaming Technology.”
  • Reem Hilu presented her paper “‘The Doll Who Plays With You’: Chatty Cathy and Postwar Girlhood.”
  • Pamela Krayenbuhl presented her paper “Raising the Barre in Screendance Scholarship: An Archival Analysis of the Dance Company Film.”
  • Laura LaPlaca presented her paper “'Building Narratives: Fan Re-Creations of the Network-Era Sitcom Mise-en-Scene.”
  • Linde Murugan presented her paper “‘Unlike Men, the Diamonds Linger’: Bassey and Bond beyond the Theme Song.”
  • Kate Newbold presented her paper “Television Ontology and Media Methodology: Exploring Televisual Fragmentation in Phonograph, Broadcast, and Print Industries, 1926–1940.”
  • Andrew Owens presented his paper “Speaking of Supernatural Sex: 1970s Pornography and the Rise of Queer Underground and Euro Horror”
  • Jason Kelly Roberts presented his paper “‘A Naturally Expectable Thing’: Bosley Crowther and the Convergence of Film and Television.”
  • Christopher Russell presented his paper “Gamification and Digital Heterotopia.”
  • Dave Sagehorn presented his paper “Semi-Homemade with Michel Gondry: When Auteur Meets Amateur.”
  • Molly Schneider presented her paper “‘A Tired Nonconformist’: Disavowal, Liminality, and The Twilight Zone.”
  • Karly-Lynne Scott presented her paper “‘The Voice of Shouts and Moans’: Haptic Aurality, Resonance, and Affect in Pornography.”
  • Hannah Spaulding presented her paper “Eavesdropping as Entertainment: ‘The Enormous Radio’ and ‘Shut Up Little Man!’’
  • Luke Stadel presented his paper “Radio/Television/Sound, 1922–1941.”
  • Annie Sullivan presented her paper “From Motown to Mediatown: Detroit 187 and the Politics of Urban Media Production.”
  • Alexander Thimons presented his paper “Blurred Visions: Atomic Testing, Television, and Technological Failure.”
  • Meredith Ward presented her paper “Black Boxes and Rich, Repressed Sounds: Architecting Listening in the Cinema House.”

Screen Cultures/Radio-TV-Film PhD Alumni

  • Jose Capino (’99) presented his paper “Love and Death in Strange Lands: Migrant Laborers in Transnational Philippine Cinema.”
  • Andrew Douglas (’05) presented his paper “Art House Libertarians: Beasts of the Southern Wild and Mud.”
  • Cary Elza (’13) presented her paper “The Weltzerfall of Man: Gender, Space, and the Role of Play in Post-Apocalyptic Films.”
  • Racquel Gates (‘10) presented her paper “The Ratchet Public Sphere: Love and Hip-Hop Atlanta and
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  • F. Hollis Griffin (’10) presented his paper “Zero Feet Away: Enabling and Regulating Desire on Mobile Media Applications.”
  • Brendan Kredell (’11) chaired the “Border Crossingsworkshop and presented his paper “Marketing Difference: US Latino Audiences in Contemporary Hollywood.”
  • Quinn Miller (’10) presented his paper “Personnel History: The Skill Sets of Screen Gems Executives.”
  • Elizabeth Nathanson (’04) presented her paper “Styling the Self: Fashion Blogging and Fixing the Feminine Image.”
  • James Schwoch (’85) presented his paper “Native Americans, Telegraphy and Telephony, and the Conquest of the American West from the War with Mexico through the First World War.”
  • Jocelyn Szczepaniak-Gillece (’13) presented her paper “Seated in the Gloom: The Theater Chair and the Spectator.”
  • Yvonne Welbon (’01) chaired the “Capturing the Beast: Transmedia, Digital Ephemera, and the Archive” workshop.
  • Li Zeng (’08) presented her paper “The Ambiguity of ‘Truth’ in the Documentaries of Jia Zhangke.”

Screen Cultures Affiliated Faculty

  • Nick Davis chaired the “Queer Media Pedagogy: Principles, Practices, Possibilities” workshop and presented his paper “Leap Year: Sex Work, Wage Labor, and the Spaces of Sadomasochism.”
  • Scott Durham presented his paper “Film Socialisme: Godard’s World of Objects, Between Two Democracies.”
  • James Hodge presented his paper “Love is All Around: Frances Stark’s My Best Thing.”
  • Dormietta Torlasco presented her paper “Cinema by Other Means: Translation and Image Disappearance.”