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Film Studies Space: The Centre for the Cultural History of the Moving Image

16 January 2012


The UCL “Film Studies Space: The Centre for the Cultural History of the Moving Image” sponsored a international conference on 29-30 September/1 October 2011.

The conference was co-organised by Dr. Jann Matlock and Dr. Lee Grieveson (Co-Organisers of the Film Studies Space) along with PhD students Rebecca Harrison, Karolina Kendall-Bush, and members of the Autopsies Research Group. It was sponsored by funding from the UCL Graduate School, FIGS, SELCS, and UCL Research Challenges, and welcomed over two hundred registered participants over three days.

A combined initiative of the “Autopsies Research Group” and the “Work of Film Project,” the conference sought to explore the interdisciplinary frameworks for understanding modern surveillance and, especially, to consider how surveillance practices intersect with visual technologies and histories of culture.

Contributions were encouraged that considered new ways of asking what it means to watch and to be watched, and to police and to be policed.

The conference succeeded in demonstrating how scholars of the humanities can make an important contribution to interrogating the networks of surveillance that both protect and transform our world.

Keynote lectures were delivered by Professor Tom Gunning of the Department of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago on “Screening out the Visible: Identity and Representation in the Early 20th-Century Detective Genre” and by Professor Simon Cole of the Department of Criminology, Law, and Society at the University of California, Irvine on “The CSI Effect: Forensic Science Between ‘Reality’ and Fiction.”

A total of forty speakers shared their research in fifteen fields including architecture and urban planning, art history, comparative literature, English, film and media studies, French, Hebrew and Jewish studies, geography, history, informatics and system technology, law, rhetoric, sociology, Spanish and Latin American Studies, and theatre. Speakers came from across Europe and North America: Germany, France, Austria, the U.S., Mexico, and Canada were all represented by scholarly research.

In addition, a small exhibition space allowed artists, a curator, and a mapmaker to show work about which they also gave conference presentations. A publication that will bring essays and art delivered at the conference to a wider audience is currently being discussed.

The full program is available here: .

The original call for papers, which includes projects on which we hope to see continued work, is here: .

A set of short pieces about the related work of the Autopsies Research Group may be found here: .

A related project, a Round Table on “Objects Under Surveillance,” may be watched here: .

Ongoing projects in the Film Studies Space can be followed at

Page last modified on 16 jan 12 12:40