FTVM Faculty and Staff Spend Summer Publishing, Presenting, Creating ... and Winning Accolades!
Throught this past May, Daniel Herbert participated in a University-wide endeavor organized through Rackham to innovate graduate education. As a result, FTVM will now be a partner with Comparative Literature, Asian Languages and Cultures, Middle East Studies, and German in offering a "Humanities Proseminar," officially hosted by the Institute for the Humanities, for all incoming students within those departments. Faculty from participating departments will rotate to teach individual sessions of the seminar, which broadly aims to introduce students to what it means to work in the Humanities today. Herbert's session this year will be on the topic of collaborative research in the Humanities.
Herbert also presented a paper entitled "From New Line to Netflix: The Importance of Independence in Movie Distribution" at the virual ICA conference in May -- and wrote a new forward for an upcoming Japanese edition of Videoland (from Sakuhin-sha press) called "Home Video and Social Distance."
On August 24, 2020, Herbert closed out the summer by giving a talk entitled, "Stay at Home Movies: Hollywood and the COVID-19 Pandemic" as part of Camp Michigania's online faculty forum. Along with the rest of the American economy, Hollywood was rapidly and severely impacted by the spread of the coronavirus and the related regulations of social behavior. Herbert's talk assessed the state of the American film industry during the coronavirus epidemic, focusing especially on distribution and exhibition, and consider the possibilities for the future.
Mihaela Mihailova published an anti-racist animation syllabus for Fantasy/Animation. The films, books. and articles were compiled in response to a prompt circulated on the Society for Animation Studies listserv. The goal of this syllabus is to begin a conversation and resource exchange aimed at building a bibliography/filmography and defining best practices for creating an anti-racist classroom in the subfield of animation studies.
Mihailova also wrote a short piece about animation production during the pandemic for the new digital SCMS+ initiative hosted by the Society for Cinema and Media Studies website. SCMS+ is a new, experimental initiative by the Society for Cinema and Media Studies which offers a digital space for short pieces that are timely and not suited for traditional academic journals. In this essay, Mihailova dissects popular myths and misconceptions regarding the alleged flexibility and adaptability of TV animation production during the early months of the covid-19 pandemic.
As part of IJCS's ongoing series on the future of cultural studies, Sarah Murray's recently published article calls for a postdigital cultural studies. Calling for renewed focus on economies of attention, the article pairs three lessons of cultural studies with three examples of digital immersion: deepfakes; algorithmic culture; and, the digital afterlife industry. She asserts that the critical questions driving cultural studies emerge as ever relevant in a postdigital, post-truth landscape.
Matthew Noble-Olson published two essays: "Lateness and the Politics of Filmic Excess" in Modernism/Modernity (Project Muse) and "The Angels of Accumulated Suffering" in the New German Critique. Noble-Olson's first essay argues that Hollis Frampton’s experimental film (nostalgia) from 1971 cultivates a filmic excess that can be understood as a cinematic form of Theodor Adorno's late style. It argues that this filmic excess is a ruinous temporality produced in but living beyond the contradictions of modernity as a residue of utopian aspiration in the present. His second essay reads Walter Benjamin’s description of Paul Klee’s Angelus Novus through Theodor Adorno’s theorization of art’s contradictory sociality.
Melissa Phruksachart spent her spring and summer focused on public-facing scholarship. First, she contributed "The Radical History of Asian American Media-Making" to the antiracist educational efforts of A-Doc, the Asian American Documentary Network. Second, her review essay on antiracist reading lists, "The Literature of White Liberalism," was published in Boston Review. Last, she was interviewed about her work by YouTuber Just Another Hannah!
“VR Citizen Kane: Making Interactive Lessons in Film Style and Meaning Remotely Accessible,” Beyond Zoom: XR for Teaching and Research in the COVID-19 Era, Dartmouth University, University of Pennsylvania, August 7, 2020.
“VR Citizen Kane,” Vision 20/20: Hindsight, Insight, and Foresight in XR and Immersive Learning, 6th International Conference of the Immersive Learning Network, online, June 22-23, 2020.
Rai also wrote a post about Netflix's Never Have I Ever entitled "The In-Between World of the Indian Diaspora in the United States" for Anxious Bench's Religion, Race, and “Never Have I Ever”: A Roundtable Discussion.
Finally, Rai participated in a live discussion on both the shows for the Asian American Herald, a New York - based news network for and about Asian Americans.
Over the summer, Artistic Director and Violinist Sunmi Chang, a recent U-M graduate, partnered with Michigan musicians to provide short, streamed, classical musical performances to thank and inspire all of the Michigan medical heroes who continuously do their part to keep our communities safe. The resulting “Hospital Project” premiered one video every weekday online and on FaceBook for 6 weeks (July 6, - August 14, 2020). The series featured an incredible lineup of professional musicians from around the world, all associated with music in Michigan through institutions such as The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, & Dance, and Michigan State University College of Music. FTVM’s New Media Technician Paul Sutherland volunteered to serve as the video production partner for the project, editing all of the video content. Summit Chamber Music Series’ Hospital Project videos are currently archived and available to watch here.
In June, at the 42nd Annual Michigan Emmy Awards, Oliver Thornton took home two of the three regional Emmys for which he was nominated. Both the Mackinac - Our Famous Island and Orchestra Hall - A Centennial Celebration documentaries won in their respective categories (Documentary - Historical and Historic/Cultural - Program/Special). Mackinac actually tied with Fox Sports' Detroit's 1984 Tigers documentary, but, as Thornton notes, "If you have to tie, a tie with the '84 Tigers is the way to go."
FTVM alums Matthew Stinson ('10) and Tina Brunn (nee Bauder, '99) were also recognized with the "Mackinac - Our Famous Island" award; Tina Brunn was recongnized on the "Orchestra Hall - A Centennial Celebration" award as well.