Screen Arts and Cultures, University of Michigan


Free Screening and Q & A with Filmmaker Alex Ross Perry
of Listen Up Philip

Thursday, March 12
8:30 p.m.
Angell Hall Auditorium A


Anger rages in Philip as he awaits the publication of his second novel. He feels pushed out of his adopted home city by the constant crowds and noise, a deteriorating relationship with his photographer girlfriend Ashley, and his own indifference to promoting the novel. When Philip's idol Ike Zimmerman offers his isolated summer home as a refuge, he finally gets the peace and quiet to focus on his favorite subject: himself. 

Click image to view official movie trailer.


20th Annual Charles F. Fraker Conference: "What Do Social Movements Do?" 

Friday and Saturday, March 13 - 14

This conference, hosted by the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, will explore the links between current academic works and social and political struggles across a wide range of historical and geographical contexts. Joan Copjec, Professor of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University, and John Holloway, Professor of Sociology at the Institute of Social Sciences and the Humanities at the Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla, will be the keynote speakers for the event.

This conference is supported by the departments of Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, the History of Art, American Culture, Afro-American and African Studies, History, English, Screen Arts & Cultures, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, the Center for European Studies, the Eisenberg Institute, LS&A, the Institute for the Humanities, the International Institute, and the Rackham Graduate School.

Please click here for the full conference schedule and locations.

"Leftovers" UMich Graduate Conference 2015: What's L/left of Literature and Critical Theory in the 21st Century 

Friday and Saturday, March 13-14

The idea for this conference has been largely influenced by recent debates and published volumes on the remains of "progressive" politics in the humanities.  The concept of "leftovers" is as concerned with our remains as it is with waste: How, in our irreducibly heterogeneous diciplines/fields, is our work and academic practice still shaped by residual legacies of leftist politics? What must be retained? refashioned? purged? 

Keynote by Susan Buck-Morss: "Scrutinizing Ancient Leftovers, or Where the Left left off"

To view full conference schedule and locations, click here

This event is organized by the Comparative Literature Intra-Student Faculty Forum (CLIFF) in the Department of Comparative Literature. With generous support from the International Institute, the Institute for the Humanities, the Rackham Graduate School, the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies, the departments of Afro-American & African Studies, American Culture, Asian Languages & Cultures, Classics, English, German Languages & Literatures, History, Philosophy, and Screen Arts & Cultures.


Screen Arts & Cultures Declaration and Information Event

Friday, March 20
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Studio A, 1440 North Quad 


Staged Reading of Little Bit

Friday, March 20
7:00 p.m.
Studio One, Walgreen Center 

Students, faculty, staff, and friends are invited to Studio One in the Walgreen Center for a staged reading of the play Little Bit, which will serve as the backdrop for Theater 399, a cross-listed class between SAC and the Department of Theater and Drama (Winter 2016) featuring filmed scenes designed by Dawn Hollison and a live stage play directed by Priscilla Lindsay and John Neville Andrews. The script, written by local playwright Mary Butler, is largely based on Caryl Flinn's book Brass Diva:The Life and Legends of Ethel Merman. Butler's work is a philosophical exploration of mental illness that manages to find moments of humor as it highlights the short life of Merman's daughter "Little Bit" who suffered from depression and anxiety disorders. Priscilla Lindsay will direct the reading which will include area professional actors, student actors, and the talents of guest artists Rita McKenzie, celebrated Ethel Merman tribute artist, and Barbara Geary, Merman's granddaughter and accomplished actress, director, and playwright. 



LSA Major/Minor Expo 

Wednesday, March 25
11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Michigan Union Ballroom

UM students will get a chance to learn about the SAC programs at this event. 

Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference

March 25 - March 29
Montreal, Canada 

The following SAC faculty and Ph.D. students will participate in panels and workshops at the annual Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) conference. 

Professor Johannes von Moltke will be presenting his paper entitled "Totalitarian Communication and the Critical Theory of Propaganda" on a panel on Cold War Media and the Administration of Culture" on Friday, March 27th, at 9:00 a.m. In his work, von Moltke traces the emergence of a humanist film theory out of wartime communications research by focusing on the American work of Siegfried Kracauer. He argues that, starting out with the study of propaganda, Kracauer charted his own path between the social scientific study of media by early communications scholars and the critical theory of the Frankfurt School, which subsumed propaganda under advertisement and saw in film and popular culture the proof of liberalism's quasi-totalitarian underpinnings. By contrast, von Moltke claims that Kracauer strove to rescue the liberal project and imbue it with a critical humanist theory of the media.


Professor Yeidy Rivero will be presenting a paper on Saturday, March 28th, at 9:00 a.m. entitled "The Original Miami Sound Machine: The Emergence of Miami as a Production Center for the U.S. and Latin America" in which she examines the Spanish-language radio production boom that emerged in Miami in the early 1960s. The central argument is that the origins of Miami as a media capital began in this period.

On Wednesday, March 25th, at noon, Associate Professor Sheila Murphy will be presenting her research in a talk entitled "You are the Message, Wearing the Medium: Software, Quantifiable Selves, and the New Data-Visuality of Everyday Life."  In this talk, she will focus on how software programs, fitness trackers, and other forms of wearable technology utilize the logic of video games to make tasks such as exercise, good nutrition, and other metrics of "happiness" part of a game that users can win, effectively turning their bodies and lives into the medium for this form of gaming. On Friday, March  27th, at 2:15 p.m., Murphy will be participating as a respondent on a panel entitled "Para-Gaming: Gaming Beside Itself."

Emeritus Professor Richard Abel will be presenting a talk on Wednesday, March 25th, at 4:00 p.m. entitled "Researching Local and Regional Newsreels in the 1910s and the 1920s" for the Researching U.S. Newsfilm Workshop. He will also be presenting "The 'Much Vexed Problem' of Non-Theatrical Distribution in the late 1910s" on the Researching the History of Non-Theatrical Film Distribution Panel on Saturday, March 28th, at 1:00 p.m. 


PhD. student Katy Peplin will be presenting a talk entitled "A 'Co-operational and Non-competitive Face': Early Non-theatrical Trades and the Struggle for Identity" on Saturday, March 28th, at 1:00 p.m. In this talk, she will explore the rhetoric of educational film magazines in the teens and twenties, focusing on their efforts to become professional without having to abide by the same strictures as the burgeoning Hollywood studio system.

PhD student Feroz Hassan will be presenting a paper on Thursday, March 26th, at 11:00 a.m. entitled "Robert Bresson's Diary of a Country Priest and the French Dialectics of Hope and Despair" in which he will address the critical reception of Robert Bresson's film through the ambivalent postwar reputation of Georges Bernanos, the author  of the novel upon which the film is based; in particular, he will examine the bi-polar thematics of hope and despair in Bernano's work and discuss how they are negotiated in and through Bresson's film against the background of similar concerns in postwar French culture. 

On March 29th at 1:00 p.m., PhD student Nathan Koob will be presenting a paper entitled "You Don't Have to Call Us Home, But Please Stay Here: The Local Film Commission's Management of Urban Development"  in which he will discuss the diverse role of the local Film Commission and investigate what productions actually provide for these cities and local industry.

PhD student Dimitri Pavlounis will be presenting a talk on Friday, March 27th, at 9:00 a.m. entitled "The Promise of Going Home: Queer Historiography, Queer Play, and the Archival Imagination." Using the the exploration videogame Gone Home (2013) as a case study, he will examine the ways in which digital games can encourage (or inhibit) our ability to investigate and engage archives in ways that question conventional archival frameworks and resist normative and normalizing historiographical methods.

PhD student Kayti Lausch will be presenting a paper on Wednesday, March 25th, at 2:00 p.m. entitled "Living an Amish Paradise: Reality Television and the Contemporary American Fantasy of the Amish." In her presentation, she will explore the recent surge of Amish-centric reality programming through an examination of Breaking Amish, Amish Mafia, and Vanilla Ice Goes Amish and argue that these shows provide viewers a privileged place to work through anxieties about privacy, surveillance, governmental oversight, and the camera as an inevitable aspect of modern life. 
For more information, visit the SCMS website.

Ann Arbor Film Festival

March 24 -29

Michigan Theater 

The 53rd Ann Arbor Film Festival will feature more than 200 films, videos, and live performances with over 30 world, North American, and U.S. premieres. Fillmmakers and special guests in attendance inlcude Tacita Dean, Wojciech Bakowski, Jane Cassidy, Jesse McLean, Joanna Raczynska, and Julie Murphy. On Sunday, March 29th, at 2:45 p.m., the festival will also pay a special tribute to AAFF founder George Manupelli, including a rare screening of his film Portraits, Self-Portraits and Still Lives 1972-73 with Special Reference to the Assassination of John F. Kennedy; the film will be accompanied by an original score peformed live by Los Angeles-based composer David Rosenbloom. 

For a full festival schedule, click here

On March 24th at the opening night screening, Ziegler, a film directed by SAC 's Terri Sarris and Alumnus Frank Pahl will premiere. The four-minute film is based on Hermann Hesse's 1908 story entitled "A Man by the Name of Ziegler." 

Interested in volunteering for the Ann Arbor Film Festival? The following areas need volunteers: marketing, guest relations, transportation, merchandise, photography, the audience survey -- and more! Please click here for more information!

Have any upcoming SAC news or events?
Please contact by Monday of every week.



Yeidy Rivero and Johannes von Moltke Promoted to Full Professorship

Congratulations to both of you on this well-deserved promotion! 

February 27th, 2015

Katy Peplin Named Outstanding GraduateStudent Instructor by Rackham Graduate School

Congratulations, Katy! SAC is proud and honored to have you in the department. 

March 5th 2015

Assistant Professor Colin Gunckel's Book to be Released Soon

Gunckel's book Mexico on Main Street: Transnational Film Culture in Los Angeles before World War II will be released on March 28th by Rutgers University Press.

Professor Yeidy Rivero's Book to be Released on March 27th

Rivero's book Broadcasting Modernity: Cuban Commerical Television, 1950-1960 will be published this month by Duke University Press.

Professor Giorgio Bertellini Wins Peter C. Rollins Book Award

The Southwest Popular and American Culture Association's 2015 Peter C. Rollins Book Award in the category of Film and Television was recently given to Professor Bertellini for his work Italian Silent Cinema: A Reader, published by John Libbey Publishing. 

February 19th 2015

Professor Yeidy Rivero Visits NYC

In early February, Professor Rivero presented her co-edited anthology (with Arlene Davila) entitled Latina/o Media: Production, Circulation, Politics (New York University Press, 2014) at El Museo del Barrio in New York City. 


February 11th 2015

Screen Arts & Cultures Faculty to Participate in Other National Conferences

Several Screen Arts & Cultures faculty members have presented or will be presenting their work at other conferences across the nation. 

Emeritus Professor Richard Abel presented a talk entitled "Movie Stars and Seriality in the 1910s" at the Third International Berkeley Conference on Film and Media from the 26th to the 28th of February. 

Professor Yeidy Rivero participated in the Tenth Conference on Cuban and Cuban-American Studies at Florida International University in Miami in late February. 

After the SCMS Conference in late March, Professor Johannes von Moltke will be travelling to New York to present his paper "The Anonymity of Siegfried Kracauer" at a conference entitled "Missed Encounters? Trans-Atlantic Theory Transfer." 

2013 Screen Arts and Cultures Alumnus A. Brad Schwartz's book BROADCAST HYSTERIA: Orson Welles's War of the Worlds and the Art of Fake News to be published in early May.


SAC Undergrads Awarded Scholarships

Congratulations to the following 2015 scholarship award recipients: 

Anna Baumgarten and Will O'Donnell received The Garnet R. Garrison Scholarship Award for Honors while Jennifer Bock, Jillian Borowski, Samantha Gioia, Natalie Lomske, Ryan McDonough, Andrea Rivera, Elizabeth Sabia, Shira Steiner, and Paige Wood received The Alice Webber Glover Scholarship Award. 

March 1st 2015

SAC Alumnus Wins Grand Prize 

2014 Screen Arts & Cultures Alumnus Chad Rhiness Wins Grand Prize ($15K) for Best Feature Screenplay in the Final Draft Big Break Competition. 

Check out the link for all Final Draft Big Break winners:


Screen Arts and Cultures
6330 North Quad
105 S. State St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1285

College of Literature, Science, and the Arts

phone: 734.764.0147


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