When we (with Noel King) put together our ARC-funded project Australian Film Theory and Criticism (1975–1985) to document the development of film studies in Australia, we were also thinking about how events of that period informed and shaped the current state of film studies in Australia (and elsewhere).
Now, with the discipline of media studies ascendant, and digital media formats proliferating across various platforms, it seems timely to bring together a select group of academics – Dana Polan, Therese Davis, Noel King, George Kouvaros and Angela Ndalianis – to ask if and how film studies can remain a distinct discipline, with its own unique history and methods, or whether film studies is nowadays simply one of several areas in a larger field of media studies.
Among the questions posed to the speaker and raised for discussion at this workshop:
1. What place does film studies have in contemporary media studies?
2. How can scholars bridge the cinematic emphasis of their research and training with the amorphous structure of both contemporary media and media studies?
3. Is there a regional specificity to film studies? Does Australia’s proximity to Asia influence film studies here? What of our relationship to the Northern hemisphere?
4. How have recent shifts in on-line publishing affected the discipline? Has writing about film – and the methods of film criticism – changed as a result?
5. How has globalisation, and the circulation of films and other materials affected the discipline? How have on-line delivery methods, web chatter, Facebook, etc. impacted viewers and audiences of world cinema?