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AG Moving Images: Theory and Practice



Central to this Working Group is a cultural studies-based interdisciplinary approach to film and video. The Group is also aimed particularly at those whose specialism lies outside Film Studies. The large number of academic disciplines that currently turn their attention to moving images – ranging from film and literary studies through history to sociology – are faced with a broad horizon of images. It is not only film genres but also media formats, as well as the contexts of production and reception of moving images, that have multiplied and diversified to an enormous degree since the development of the mechanical reproduction of movement. Films stood alone in this media landscape in the early twentieth century but today they are located in an intermedial community alongside mobile phone footage and videos, YouTube clips, Tumblr gifs, TV movies and series, music videos and documentaries, among other forms. Furthermore, digital processes and amateur engagement with videography are transforming the form and content of the global circulation of moving images.

In order to integrate systematically this variety of image-based material into a cultural studies-based analysis, the Working Group combines readings of classic texts and more recent contributions to film theory with theoretical and methodological insights from other disciplines. Thus the question how becomes central to the Group’s analyses: How are moving images different from other image forms, artefacts and representations? How can the (language-based) analytical framework of cultural studies do justice to moving images? How can moving images become sources or data, and how can they be analysed appropriately?

The theoretical approach to moving images will be linked to specific examples in the course of the Working Group’s activities. We analyse and discuss together audio-visual material that is of broad relevance to the dissertations of the participants. Experimental approaches to moving images will also be explored ensuring that our investigations and discussions will be accompanied by a practical engagement with film and videographic media. Given the linkage of theory and practice, the Group considers it worthwhile to conduct public film showings, accompanied by discussions, as a platform for exchange involving members of the academic and non-academic communities with an interest in film.


Past events and topics

- film series “Sound Disruptions – Music and Global Politics”

Summer semester 2019 (and beyond)

- Thomas Elsaesser: European Cinema and Continental Philosophy

- Interactive Cinema: from Possibilia to Black Mirror: Bandersnatch


Contact (speakers):