Daniel Dayan – Abstract (keynote) and bio

Abstract coming soon

Daniel Dayan is a fellow of the Marcel Mauss Institute ( School of Advanced Study in the Social sciences, Paris ), and a professor at the Levinas European Institute . Dayan has been Research director   at CNRS-Paris, and a visiting professor at Sciences-Po , the universities of Stanford, Geneva, Tel Aviv, Oslo. He has also been an Annenberg scholar at the University of Pennsylvania, and for many years a visiting professor of Sociology at The New School for Social Research , NY . A former fellow of the European Science Foundation,  resident of the Rockefeller Foundation, Bellagio , and guest of the Institute of Advanced study ( Jerusalem ) he received the International Communication Association award for his book with Elihu Katz “Media events, The Live Broadcasting of History” , a book to be commemorated this year by the Journal “ Media Culture and Society “ . Dayan’s work is presently available in 13 languages

Keynote abstract – Francesco Casetti

The Fear of Evil. Cinema as “School of Crime”

In the first three decades of the 20th Century, there was a widespread feeling that film audiences needed to be protected from the “bad examples” provided by representations and narratives on the screen.  Film was seen as a “school of vice,” and society had to keep it under control. The warning equally applied to the venues where movies were shown: the darkened theatre also encourages bad conduct. This alarm elicited a sheer condemnation of cinema by intellectuals, educators, politicians, but also prompted research inspired by academic disciplines like sociology and psychology. These works of research were not less aggressive towards cinema, even though they pretended to be unbiased: they were instrumental to the institution of censorship in many countries, including the USA. And yet they aided in the emergence of a new paradigm: the traditional idea that cinema threatens a regulated society with its dangerous representations, and that it must be simply prohibited if we want to restore the lost order, was progressively contrasted by the idea that cinema infects the social body with new models of life-styles that act as something like viruses, and that must be counteracted through appropriate use of movies. The second paradigm implies a process of “self-immunisation” more than a mere repression, and it is much more attuned to a “society of control” than a “disciplinary society.” The fact that cinema enabled the emergence of the second paradigm gives further evidence to cinema’s role in social and epistemological changes.

Francesco Casetti is the Thomas E. Donnelley Professor of Humanities and Film and Media Studies at Yale University. He is the author of six books and more than sixty essays, including Eye of the Century: Film, Experience, Modernity (Columbia University Press, 2005), and The Lumière Galaxy: Seven Key words for the Cinema to Come (Columbia University Press, 2015). His current research focuses on early film theory, especially the cinephobic stances in the first half of the 20th Century; and on a reconsideration of silver screen that underlines its environmental aspects and the ways in which it becomes a component of our current “mediascapes.”


Keynote abstract – Carrie Rentschler

Pedagogies of Re-Enactment: Bystanding and the Media of Re-Experiencing Violence

Media re-enactments of key crime cases situate viewers as judges and participants. But for whom are media stories of violent crime told? And what model of social justice shapes their telling? This talk examines one particular major crime story and the histories of media re-enactment that have dramatized it: the 1964 murder and sexual assault of Catherine “Kitty” Genovese in Queens, New York, where 38 people supposedly looked on and did nothing. In 1964, news reporters, editors, and social scientists framed it as story of failed witnessing, coining terms like “the bystander effect” and defining the coverage of urban crime for a generation. Since then, the Genovese murder has become one of the most re-enacted violent crimes of the 20th century: the subject of musicals, plays, made-for-TV movies, television documentaries, an episode of HBO’s Girls, and contemporary films around the world, as well as a staple of textbooks and teaching in the social sciences and law. Through its re-enactments across different media, the Genovese case served as a medium for transformations in the meaning of bystanding and bystander intervention over the past 50 years. Many re-enactments of the case focus on the city as built environment as the site of investigation, leaving the personhood of the victim and the effects of violence on the community out of the story. But feminist interpretations of the case and other cases of violence against women challenge the forensic, perpetrator-centred investigatory frame of so much crime re-enactment. Through its focus on survivors and witnesses, feminist work thus returns a politics of personhood to the crime, the telling of crime’s history, and the representation of historical violence.

Bio: Carrie Rentschler is Associate Professor and William Dawson Scholar of Feminist Media Studies in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies and an Associate of the Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies at McGill University. She is the author of Second Wounds: Victims’ Rights and the Media in the U.S. (Duke UP, 2011), and co-editor of Girlhood Studies and the Politics of Place (Berghahn Press, 2016). Her current research examines the history of the bystander as an agent of social change, feminist social media responses to sexual violence, campus activism against rape culture, and the role media infrastructures play in social movement activism.

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