The archive, as a concept, an action, and a physical repository of historical traces and material fragments, has a central place within contemporary film and moving image studies. The archive is not only a location for historical research; it also functions as a source of images and materials to be mined by filmmakers and media artists. Many studies of the archive have focused on these two dominant approaches to the use and formulation of moving image archives, especially in studies of documentary and avant-garde compilation or found footage cinema. Increasingly, film and media scholars are also turning to the archive to revise histories of film theory, film production, and its distribution and circulation, especially in post-colonial, historiographical, and transnational film scholarship. As such, the archive becomes as much a site of struggle and contested histories, as it is a site of creative inspiration and cultural preservation.
With the transnational and global turn in film scholarship, a greater analysis of the circulation and display of archival materials and moving images is necessary to understand how archival access might impact the current assessment of global and local shifts. In this special issue on the moving image archive, we wish to focus on both the sites of archival preservation and display of moving images (including museums, art galleries, institutional archives, private collections, and the Internet), as well as the circulatory and creative networks that connect them. In doing so, we intend to bring questions of circulation and exhibition into dialogue with the archive, in addition to a focus on the archive as a concept and method of artistic practice.
Submissions may include, but are not by any means limited to, topics such as:
Archival preservation, access, technologies, and practice
Archive as concept or methodology (landscape as archive, Internet archive, etc.)
Archival images in experimental films, videos, and games (compilation, found footage, database films, etc.)
Archives, gesture, sound, and performance
Digital archives and digitalization of archival materials
Documentary and the evidentiary uses of archival moving images
Colonial and postcolonial archives
Community organizations and archival display
Critiques of archival theory, media studies theory, and film theory
Global flows and circulation of archival materials and images
Institutional histories of a specific archive
New media, remix cultures, and the archive
Queer and feminist archives
Spaces of display and archival practice (museums, non-theatrical spaces, online databases, etc.)
Essay submissions for the peer-review section should be approximately 15-30 pages including the bibliography (maximum 7,500 words), and formatted according to MLA guidelines. This special issue is invested in exploring the archive in all its conceptual and practical manifestations, so we also welcome shorter pieces (2-8 pages, maximum 2,000 words) related to archival images or practice for our non-peer review section. This section includes conference or exhibition reports, book reviews, research creation pieces related to archival images or practice (including video essays, photograph series, and other digital projects accompanied by an explanatory text), and interviews with artists or archival practitioners.
All submissions must be in either French or English. Papers should be submitted by October 10, 2014. A link on synoptique.ca">www.synoptique.ca will guide you through the submission process. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Synoptique is a biannual peer-reviewed online journal hosted at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, Concordia University.
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