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Screen Studies Group 2020:

Screen Studies Research in a Pandemic

3 day online training event (23rd and 24th October, 20th November)

Organised by University of London Screen Studies Group

“The Ghosts Will Not Starve, But We Will Perish”: On surviving ghosts through Virtual Reality (VR), or, from replacement to re-placement.

Jenna is author of Understanding Machinima: essays on filmmaking in virtual worlds (Bloomsbury), Dr. Ng’s works interrogates Film and Media Studies in the digital age. Her 2 AHRC-funded projects, one on digital community workspaces and the other on the use of digital art installations for community outreach, make Dr. Ng an ideal speaker for this year’s theme. Her keynote address features work from her forthcoming book, The Post-Screen Through Virtual Reality, Holograms and Projection Mapping: Where Screen Boundaries Lie, which will be published with Amsterdam University Press.

Independent Miss Craigie

Screening and discussion of the research project, Jill Craigie: Film Pioneer, a three-year AHRC-funded project exploring the career of one of the earliest women documentary film-makers in the UK. The practice-led project explores what Craigie’s (1911-1999) career reveals about women directors’ marginalization in documentary history.

Immaterial Materials

This panel will examine the challenges, restrictions and opportunities of working with material online. The panelists – Awa Konaté, (Culture Art Society), Georgia Brown (QMUL) and Giulia Rho (QMUL) – cover a range of expertise! Organisers: Lucy Bolton (QMUL), Joe Jackson (SOAS).

Film Festivals and Curating

This session asks: How do we research film festivals at this current moment of uncertainty (with history unwritten) and practised in lockdown? How can we understand the change in the role of film festivals with the shift online, and what are the implications for programming a film culture? What spaces do film festivals create for (re)negotiating identities in public culture and how can curatorial practices adapt online so as to influence filmmakers and producers in the creative industries? Organiser: Emma Sandon (BBK). Speakers: Janet McCabe (BBK) and Daniel Luther (LSE).

People-Based Research and Social Distancing

This session considers new research methods and adjusting old research methods, and whether researchers whose work depends on interaction with other people have been able to turn the challenges of the COVID crisis to their advantages in any ways. Speakers: Andong Li (PhD student, Culture, Media and Creative Industries, KCL); Paola Debellis (PhD Student, Visual Culture, Goldsmiths), Dr. Cathrin Bengesser (Lecturer, Media Studies Dept, Aarhus University), Ronggang Chen (Media and Communications, LSE). Chaired by Professor Chris Berry. One of the presentations takes place orally without visual components.

Cultural Globalisation in an Age of Neoliberal Authoritarianism and Covid-19

While neoliberal authoritarianism continues to retract different national media’s links to regional and international partnerships over the last ten years, grounding more media culture in nationalistic values and viewpoints, the spread of Covid-19 since December of 2019 present new problems for this industry, as both the political and bio-social phenomena have made distance both an obstacle and necessity—an aporia—to a prefab globality. Speakers: Jean Chalaby, (City University of London), Keith B. Wagner, (UCL).


3 day event | Online (Zoom)

Day 1: Friday 23 October, 14:00 – 20:00

Day 2: Saturday 24 October, 10:00 – 13:00

Day 3: Friday 20 November 14:00 – 17:00

This event is co-funded by CHASE and LAHP.

Session 1: Friday 23 October, 2:00-5:00pm.

2:00-2:15 Welcome (Rachel Moore)

2:15 – 3:00 Keynote Speaker: Dr. Jenna Ng, Senior Lecturer in Film and Interactive Media, Department of Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media, University of York.

Keynote Address: “The Ghosts Will Not Starve, But We Will Perish”: On surviving ghosts through Virtual Reality (VR), or, from replacement to re-placement.

3:00-3:40 Staff-led Q&A then open to the floor

3:50-5:00 Break out getting acquainted sessions hosted by academic staff and monitored by PhD staff.

One of the main aims of the annual SSG PhD Training Workshop is to enable Screen Studies PhD students across London to meet each other and get familiar with each other’s research. In these COVID times, we will use breakout rooms as online social spaces to achieve these results. You’ll be assigned to a different breakout room for each session, and we hope that by the end of the this semester’s workshop activities, you will have met with many of your new colleagues.

5:00-6:00 Break

Session 2 Friday, 23 October 6:00-8:00pm

One of the principle outputs is Independent Miss Craigie, directed by Lizzie Thynne and researched by Hollie Price, which charts the development, production and distribution of Craigie’s films in the context of her wider life history including the shift from cinema to television. Lizzie will discuss the process of developing the project and the film; Hollie Price will discuss her approach to her archival research for the project and the role of post-doctoral research fellow.

A vimeo link to Independent Miss Craigie (93min)will be sent to attendees the week before this session for viewing in your own time.

Lizzie Thynne is Principal Investigator and Hollie Price is post-doctoral research fellow on Jill Craigie: Film Pioneer. Lizzie is Professor of Film at Sussex University and the director of several biographical documentaries, including Claude Cahun: Playing a Part and On the Border (2013). She was video director for Sisterhood and After: An Oral History of the Women’s Liberation Project and has written widely on practice-led research, feminism, film and photography.

Hollie Price completed a postdoctoral research fellowship on the AHRC-funded Ministry of Information research project at the School of Advanced Study. Her work on the Ministry of Information Films Division will form part of a co-authored history of the Ministry’s wartime information networks, and a monograph based on her PhD research on domestic life and modernity in British 1940s film is forthcoming with Manchester University Press.

Saturday, 24 October 2020: 2 panels 10:00am-1:00pm

Session 3: 10:00-11:00am Curating and Festivals.

The global pandemic has led to an explosion of screenings online, events attracting large audiences and enabling filmmakers and critics a wide engagement with the public. Film festivals have worked to retain a public presence (in some shape or form) through online screenings as well, whilst engaging in debate how to best manage the digital transformation of their curation and programming not only in the immediate, but, and learning some unexpected lessons, in a more digital future.

Janet McCabe, Reader in Television and Film Studies and programme director for MA Film Programming and Curating at Birkbeck, will lead a discussion with Daniel Luther, Fellow at LSE in Gender, Film and Media and co-founder of ‘Queer’ Asia international conference and film festival, and reflect on the ways in which researching the field has adapted, and is responding to, the transformations that have taken place since lockdown.

10:40-11:00: Q&A

11:00-11:50 Break out groups, hosted by academic staff and monitored by PhD staff.

Session 4: 11:50am-1:00pm Immaterial Material

How to work with things when we can’t actually touch anything or go places? How is archival research carried out when you can’t visit the archives? How do we immerse ourselves in virtual archives, and what types of immaterial research are we doing? Organisers: Lucy Bolton (QMUL), Joe Jackson (SOAS). Panelists: Awa Konaté, (Culture Art Society), Georgia Brown (QMUL) and Giulia Rho (QMUL)

Friday, 20 November: 2:00-5:00pm sessions 5 & 6

Session 5: 2:00-3:00pm Cultural Globalisation in an Age of Neoliberal Authoritarianism and Covid-19

This panel, led by Jean Chalaby and Keith B. Wagner, ruminates on the twin-forces of decouplement and contagion that have adversely impacted on cultural globalization’s habitation in various mediascapes worldwide, coming about at two distinct stages since 2010.

2:40-3:00: Q&A

3:00-3;50: Breakout Groups

Session 6: 4:00-5:30pm People-Based Research and Social Distancing

Organisers: Chris Berry (KCL), Shakuntala Banaji (LSE), Joe Jackson (SOAS).

You wanted to do participant observation with a film festival but everyone is working from home and the festival has gone online… What do you do when your focus group can’t meet in person? How can you interview someone successfully over Zoom? Our special panel of students discuss how to adapt research projects efficiently and effectively.

Speakers: Andong Li (PhD student, Culture, Media and Creative Industries, KCL), Paola Debellis (PhD Student, Visual Culture, Goldsmiths), Dr. Cathrin Bengesser (Lecturer, Media Studies Dept, Aarhus University ) Ronggang Chen (Media and Communications, LSE)


By registering below you are requesting a place on this training programme or selected sessions that form part of the programme. A member of the CHASE team or the workshop leader will contact you in due course to confirm that a place has been allocated to you. If you no longer require a place, please email as soon as possible so your name can be removed from the registration list.

If you are allocated a place but can no longer attend, please cancel your Eventbrite registration or email so that your place can be reallocated. CHASE training is free to attend and events are often oversubscribed with a waiting list. Failure to notify us of non-attendance in good time (ideally 5 days prior to the workshop/programme) means your place cannot be reallocated and may result in your access to future CHASE training being restricted.

The training is open to:

• CHASE and LAHP funded and associate students,

• Arts and Humanities PhD students at CHASE and LAHP member institutions,

• and students and members of staff at CHASE and LAHP partner institutions

• Arts and Hum PhD students (via the AHRC mailing list)