The “M” Question

I’m still recovering from the long trip to Vancouver and still processing all of the panels I attended at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference, but like Kathleen, I was intrigued by the prominence of television and new media panels at this year’s conference. For readers who are unfamiliar with SCMS, non-film, non-television media often figured less prominently at the annual conferences. Like Kathleen, I’ve spent some time thinking about my disciplinary home recently, and while this year’s conference may not have fully answered my questions (more on that some other time), I appreciated the inclusion of a number of panels and papers on new media, including Kathleen’s paper, which focused on blogging and documenting the self.

I’m tempted to map Kathleen’s observations about the conference to her brief mention of an ongoing motif at this year’s Oscars. In a quick Oscar entry, she remarks on the number of comments that “there‚Äôs no place else to really see a movie other than the big screen,” adding that such comments indicate “just a teeny bit of desperation.” I missed the Oscars because I was flying, but such comments seem to have intensified over the last few years as movie theaters continue to see declining box office. This is not to dismiss the influence of Hollywood but to point out that digital media multiply the screens and sites worth thinking about.

More later, but the conference and travel has put me a few days behind.

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