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February 27, 2013

SCMS comes to Chicago!

stills from Michelle Puetz & Nathan Holmes' program "City Symphonies"

Each year members of the Society for Cinema & Media Studies (SCMS) meet up for their annual conference in cities throughout the country, and this year (March 6-10)… it just so happens to be in Chicago! The SCMS is the leading scholarly organization in the United States dedicated to promoting a broad understanding of film, television, and related media through research and teaching grounded in the contemporary humanities tradition.

CFA is excited to assist the conference with workshops, panels, screenings, and general party vibes. Here’s a rundown of CFA-affiliated events:

Thursday, March 7th:

  • Past (and forever-affiliated) CFAers Andy Uhrich (Indiana Univeristy), Charles Tepperman (University of Calgary) and Michelle Puetz (SAIC, MCA) present on the panel “Where the Minor was Mainstream: The Sponsored, Amateur, Educational and Experimental Cinemas of Chicago.” Both Charles and Michelle’s presentations feature female figures tightly affiliated with CFA- Margaret Conneely and JoAnn Elam. Charles will present on Central Cinematographers (a local amateur film club that Margaret Conneely was part of), while Michelle’s presentation focuses on feminist filmmaker JoAnn Elam and her collection of experimental films donated to CFA in 2011. (G7, 1-2:24PM)
  • Recent University of Chicago grads Michelle Puetz and Nathan Holmes put together an entire screening of CFA materials for SCMS members! Titled “Chicago Symphonies,” Michelle & Nathan’s delightful program presents four nontheatrical 16mm shorts from our vaults. Included in the batch are CHICAGO BREAKDOWN (Gary Brown, 1976), THE CORNER (Robert Ford, 1962), SUPER UP (Kenji Kanesaka, 1966) and CHICAGO: CITY TO SEE IN ’63 (Margaret Conneely, 1962). (Cinema Borealis, 1550 N. Milwaukee Avenue, 4th Floor, 9PM)
Friday, March 8th:
  • Chuck Kleinhans (Northwestern University, Jump Cut and close friend of JoAnn Elam) will also present on JoAnn Elam at SCMS. His presentation “The Dialectics of Labor Media Activisim: JoAnn Elam’s EVERYDAY PEOPLE and Monopoly Capitalism” is part of the “Media Activism and Social Movements” panel. JoAnn Elam’s unfinished project, EVERYDAY PEOPLE (filmed from 1979 to 1990), is based on her experiences as a letter carrier for the US Postal Service in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. Papers donated to CFA with her collection of films suggest that Elam intended to expand the story into the political struggles USPS employees faced with the administration and the union, as well as larger issues related to the history of labor struggle and activism in the United States. CFA recently uploaded a rough-cut VHS transfer of the film on Youtube. (K19, 12:15-2PM)

Saturday, March 9th:

  • CFA’s Executive Director, Nancy Watrous, takes part in Jacqueline Stewart’s (Northwestern University) workshop “To Preserve Disorder: Moving Image Archiving and Preservation in Chicago.” Joining Nancy and Jacqueline are Media Burn’s Sara Chapman, Video Data Bank’s Tom Colley and Kartemquin Film’s Carolyn Faber. Nancy plans to explore the many ways to skin a catalog through the contextual preservation of moving images. (N21, 11AM-12:45PM)
  • CFA presents 16mm and digital projections at a special event for SCMS members to blow off some post conference steam. We’ve dug deep into our collection to find a mix of Chicago-themed and abstract footage to help set a fun, Warholian mood.
  • As part of the SCMS Annual Conference, Christy LeMaster & CFA’s Michelle Puetz present WITH A VOICE LIKE THE LAKE: A Snapshot of New Work from Chicago. Featured in this batch of exciting, new works are CFA-commisioned WREST (by Kent Lambert with music by CAVE) and LIE BACK AND ENJOY IT (by Jessica Bardsley with music by Tim Kinsella). Free to the public! (The Nightingale, 1084 N Milwaukee, 8:00PM)

For a full list of SCMS panels and events, click on over to the 2013 conference program.

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