ASSISTANT PROFESSOR: Media Studies/Digital Culture
The Department of Culture and Language Studies in the Faculty of Arts at the University of New Brunswick invites applications for a tenure-stream appointment at the rank of Assistant Professor. The start date of the position is July 1, 2014, subject to final budgetary approval.
We seek a candidate with a strong background in the study of media, technology, and culture, preferably one whose work crosses traditional boundaries between the humanities, social sciences and arts. Each of the programs in the Department of Culture and Language Studies engages students by placing art, literature and media in cultural context. The successful candidate’s research and teaching areas should strengthen these ties between our growing program and the department’s other programs in film studies and/or world literatures and cultures. An active research agenda in media studies, popular culture studies, cyberculture studies, digital humanities, music and technology, digital game studies, or the history and/or political economy of media & new media would be welcomed, as would some familiarity with current digital technologies.
Completion of a PhD and evidence of excellent teaching and research abilities are required. The successful candidate will teach undergraduate courses focusing on their area(s) of specialization, as well as core courses in the Media Arts & Cultures program (including Popular Culture and Digital Culture). (S)he will be expected to develop a course in approaches to the interdisciplinary study of culture, and will have the opportunity to contribute actively to shaping the future of media studies and film studies at UNB and to assist in developing our department’s unique combination of media, culture and language studies into a centre of research and teaching excellence in Atlantic Canada.
The Department of Culture and Language Studies at UNB houses a variety of specialists in languages, literatures, music, media and cultures. We are dedicated to the teaching of cultural literacy, which can best be achieved through the long-term development of linguistic competence and the study of literary and media texts in their social and cultural contexts. In the spirit of diversity and understanding, we are committed to our students, to the exploration of innovative teaching and research modes that draw upon common interests among our languages and disciplines, and to the strengthening of our links to the greater academic community and the community at large. The Media Arts & Cultures program has three essential components: critical, creative and technical. The first places the study of the media in an intellectual and social context. The second encourages the student to develop creatively as an individual. The third aspect of the degree seeks to ensure that the student has an appropriate level of competence with recent digital media technology.
Candidates should forward (electronically) a letter of application, curriculum vitae, and a teaching dossier with summaries of course evaluations and course outlines, and arrange to have three letters of reference sent to:
Closing Date for Applications: Sept. 30, 2013 or until a suitable candidate is found.
All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. Applicants should indicate current citizenship status.
THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW BRUNSWICK IS COMMITTED TO THE PRINCIPLE OF EMPLOYMENT EQUITY
Canadian Journal of Film Studies is Now Accepting Proposals from Prospective Editors.
La Revue canadienne d’études cinématographiques accepte maintenant les propositions de futurs directeurs de publication.
Please circulate (version française suivra):
Canada’s leading academic peer-reviewed film journal, CJFS has published bi-annually since launching in 1990. With 23.1, the co-editorship of Catherine Russell and Charles Acland comes to end. The editorial board is exceedingly grateful to Charles and Catherine for their service and would like to thank them, along with their editorial assistants and Concordia University. During their term of service, CJFS reached new heights in design, scholarly content, and readership. We are eager to follow this excellence with a new editor or editorial team whose responsibilities will begin June 1, 2014.
Responsibilities. The Journal publishes two issues a year, and the Editor is responsible for administering the process by which their contents are received, reviewed, and prepared for publication. The Editor is responsible for overseeing the content, design and production of the Journal. In addition, the Editor collaborates with the Editorial Board in the preparation and establishment of policy and procedures concerning all operations ofthe Journal.
Applications for the position should be received by the Managing Editor September 1, 2013 and include the following:
1. Statement of Institutional Resources. CJFS’s host institution is responsible for providing office space and furnishings, as well as telephone and fax, postal service, photocopying, computing facilities, availability of student or other editorial assistance, as well as other available subventions. Please provide a description of the level of support that your institution is willing to provide.
2. Curriculum Vitae. Please enclose a current CV and a letter clearly outlining qualifications and pertinent experience. If you are proposing a co-editorship, please enclose a CV for each prospective editor. Please include any details regarding your ability or plans to manage and promote the bilingual features of the journal. The new editor’s (or editors’) term will begin in June 1, 2014 with several months set aside for an overlap of the duties with the editor to ensure a smooth transition. It is expected that the transition of the journal’s editorial office from Concordia to its new home will be completed by summer 2014.
3. Statement of editorial philosophy. Please provide a brief letter outlining your editorial vision for CJFS and any other intellectual, pedagogical or scholarly rationales for your suitability for this position.
Please submit all proposals to:
Dr. Lisa Coulthard, CJFS Managing Editor and Chair of the Editorial Board
Department of Theatre and Film
University of British Columbia
6354 Crescent Road, Vancouver, BC
La Revue canadienne d’études cinématographiques accepte maintenant
les propositions de futurs directeurs de publication.
Revue canadienne de pointe, évaluée par les pairs et dédiée aux études cinématographiques, la RCÉC a publié deux numéros par année depuis son lancement en 1990. Avec le numéro 23.1, la direction de publication assurée par Catherine Russell et Charles Acland arrive à son terme. Le comité éditorial est infiniment reconnaissant du travail de Charles et Catherine et tient à les remercier de même que leurs assistants de l’Université Concordia. Au long de leur mandat, la RCÉC a atteint de nouveaux sommets tant par sa conception graphique que par la qualité de ses articles et le volume de son lectorat. Nous désirons vivement perpétuer ce seuil d’excellence avec une nouvelle direction qui devra entrer en fonction le premier juin 2014.
Responsabilités. La revue publie deux numéros par année et le directeur est responsable de l’administration du processus par lequel les articles sont reçus, évalués et préparés pour publication. Le directeur est responsable du contenu, de la conception graphique et de la production de la revue. De plus, il collabore avec le comité de rédaction en adoptant des politiques et en établissant des pratiques qui touchent à toutes les opérations de la revue.
Les candidatures doivent parvenir à la secrétaire de rédaction avant le premier septembre 2013 et doivent inclure les éléments suivants:
1- Une déclaration de ressources institutionnelles. L’institution hôte de la RCÉC a la responsabilité de fournir un espace de travail et le mobilier de bureau, un téléphone, les services postaux, de photocopies et de télécopie, les ressources informatiques, une main d’œuvre étudiante ou autres assistants de publication. Elle doit aussi pouvoir procurer toute subvention supplémentaire disponible. Prière de bien vouloir fournir une description du niveau d’aide que votre université est prête à accorder.
2- Curriculum Vitae. Prière de joindre votre CV ainsi qu’une lettre qui met en valeur de façon précise les qualifications et l’expérience pertinente. Si vous proposez une codirection, joignez un CV pour chaque directeur de publication potentiel. Veuillez bien inclure le détail de vos aptitudes et de vos projets en ce qui concerne le bilinguisme qui caractérise la revue. Le mandat du nouveau directeur (ou directeurs) débutera le 1er juin 2014 et, pour assurer une transition souple, plusieurs mois de chevauchement des tâches sont prévus. Nous nous attendons à ce que la transition des bureaux de l’Université Concordia au nouvel emplacement soit complétée à l’été 2014.
3-Une déclaration de ligne éditoriale. Bien vouloir fournir une brève lettre précisant la politique éditoriale que vous désirez adopter pour la RCÉC ou tout autre argument pédagogique, théorique ou académique témoignant de vos aptitudes pour le poste.
Prière de soumettre vos propositions à :
Dr. Lisa Coulthard, secrétaire de rédaction et présidente du comité de publication
Department of Theatre and Film
University of British Columbia
6354 Crescent Road, Vancouver, BC
The Soundtrack journal is soliciting calls for a special issue devoted to sound and music in games. How is the soundtrack of games similar to or different from that of film or other time-based image? What new approaches to loop-based composition have been developed? How does sound scale, from smart phone game apps to immersive home environments? What are the implications for pedagogy, when sound design programs have traditionally been developed in relation to film and video? These and other questions are fair game for this special themed issue.
The Soundtrack is a multi-disciplinary journal which brings together research in the area of sound and music in relation to moving image. We are calling for articles from a range of approaches – theoretical, historical, industrial, aesthetic or technological – that fit the theme of ‘Game Sound and Music.’ Professional sound designers and composers are also invited to submit.
Contributions (5000–6000 words for major papers, 1000–3000 words for reviews and shorter articles) should include original work of a research or developmental nature and/or proposed new methods or ideas that are clearly and thoroughly presented and argued. We also welcome relevant book reviews and artist statements (up to 1000 words). Articles should be formatted according to the Intellect Style Guide, which can be downloaded from: http://www.intellectbooks.co.
Submissions should be submitted as Word files, and include abstract, keywords and short bio, references in Harvard format, endnotes rather than footnotes, and emailed to email@example.com
Deadline for submissions: June 1st 2013
FSAC 15th Annual Graduate Student Colloquium
CALL FOR PAPERS: Transitions and Translations: New Approaches to the Moving Image
Hosted by Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema at Concordia University
March 1-2, 2013
La version française suit.
The ever-increasing mobility of film and moving images within contemporary digital technologies are leading to their reexamination in disciplines as varied as art history, communications, media studies, cultural studies, and film studies. As moving images splinter and scurry onto innumerable platforms that cross all national borders, we chase these objects of scholarly investigation across disciplinary boundaries and theoretical frameworks in our attempts to conceptualize these historical transitions of media forms and the questions they raise. This contemporary shift has reignited scholarly interests in the very notions of transition and translation, prompting new investigations into film history, theory, aesthetics, and the very discipline of film studies. The 15th Annual FSAC Colloquium invites contributions from graduate students testing new approaches towards these moments of transition and objects of change.
Possible topics could include but are not limited to:
- Global networks of circulation
- Movement across media platforms
- Technological shifts in historical context
- Non-theatrical exhibition
- Film Festivals
- Experimental and avant-garde cinemas
- Interdisciplinary approaches to Film Studies
- Globalization and media
- Archives and the digital age
- Multimedia and digital research practices
- Liminality and in-betweenness
- Gender transgression in film and media
- Translation and subtitling practices
- Ephemeral media
- Imaging technologies in scientific practice
- Media and the changing public sphere
- Remixes and remakes
- Paradigms shifts within film and media theory
Submissions are invited in both English and French from graduate students (MA, MFA, and PhD) in film, media, and television studies or in other disciplines with research focused on visual culture and the moving image. Please submit an abstract (300 words maximum) and the title of your presentation; be sure to include your name, degree and academic affiliation.
Abstracts should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include “FSAC Transitions and Translations” as the subject of the email and include the abstract as an attachment in either Word, Rich-Text, or PDF format.
Abstracts must be submitted by December 5, 2012.
Notices of acceptance will be sent by early January 2013.
For more information, go to: http://www.filmstudies.ca/category/grad-students/grad-colloq.
The Transitions and Translations Colloquium will be coordinated and supported by the Department of Film Studies, the Department of Communication Studies, and the Humanities Doctoral Program at Concordia University, in cooperation with the Film Studies Association of Canada.
15e Colloque annuel de l’ACÉC pour les étudiants des cycles supérieurs
APPEL À PROPOSITIONS : Transitions et traductions: nouvelles approches de l’image en mouvement
Organisé par l’école de cinéma Mel Hoppenheim de l’Université Concordia
Le 1er et 2 mars 2013
La mobilité toujours plus grande des films et de l’image en mouvement au sein des technologies numériques contemporaines mène à une reconsidération et une réécriture de celles-ci à travers des disciplines aussi variées que l’histoire de l’art, les études des médias, les études culturelles et les études cinématographiques. Alors que l’image en mouvement vole en éclats et qu’elle se précipite sur de très nombreuses plateformes qui transcendent les frontières nationales, nous cherchons ces sujets de recherches universitaires qui vont au-delà des limites des disciplines et des cadres théoriques et qui tentent de conceptualiser ces transitions historiques et formelles des médias et les questions qu’elles soulèvent. Ce changement a ravivé les intérêts académiques au sein même du domaine des études cinématographiques, de son histoire, de sa théorie et de son l’esthétique. Le 15e Colloque annuel de l’ACÉC sollicite des propositions de communications des étudiants des cycles supérieurs qui s’intéressent à ces moments de transition et à ces objets en changement et qui proposent de nouvelles approches par rapport à ceux-ci.
Les contributions peuvent, mais ne doivent pas nécessairement, aborder les sujets suivants:
- les réseaux de circulation mondiaux
- les mouvements entre les différentes plateformes médiatiques
- les changements technologiques dans un contexte historique
- la diffusion hors des salles de cinéma
- les festivals de cinéma
- les cinémas expérimentaux et d’avant-garde
- les approches interdisciplinaires du cinéma
- les médias et la mondialisation
- les archives et l’ère du numérique
- les multimédias et les recherches pratiques sur le numérique
- le liminal et l’entre-deux
- les transgressions du «gender» dans les films et les médias
- la traduction et les sous-titres
- les médias éphémères
- l’imagerie des technologies dans les pratiques scientifiques
- les remix et les remakes
- les changements de paradigmes dans les théories du cinéma et des médias
Les étudiants des cycles supérieurs (maîtrise ou doctorat) en études cinématographiques et médiatiques, en études télévisuelles ou toute autre discipline dont la recherche porte sur la culture visuelle et à l’image en mouvement sont invités à envoyer leurs propositions de communications en français ou en anglais. Veuillez soumettre un résumé (300 mots maximum) et le titre de votre présentation. Assurez-vous également d’inscrire votre nom, votre diplôme et votre affiliation universitaire.
Merci de faire parvenir votre proposition à l’adresse suivante email@example.com, en indiquant « ACÉC transitions et traductions » en objet de votre courriel, et de joindre votre propositon en format Word, Rich-Text ou PDF.
La date limite pour soumettre votre proposition est le 5 décembre 2012.
Les avis d’acceptation seront envoyés début janvier 2013.
Pour plus d’information : http://www.filmstudies.ca/category/grad-students/grad-colloq.
Le colloque « transitions et traductions » sera coordonné et soutenu par le Department of Film Studies, le Department of Communication Studies, et l’Humanities Doctoral Program de l’Université Concordia, en coopération avec l’Association canadienne d’études cinématographiques.
Broadcasting Taste: The Emergence of Popular Film Criticism on English-Canadian Radio
The Gerald Pratley Award address for 2013 will consider the history of film criticism on English-Canadian radio, from the CBC’s appointment of Gerald Pratley himself as resident film critic in 1948 to the proliferation of critics on commercial and community radio and, recently, in do-it-yourself podcasts. The employment of Pratley as a professional critic formalized the presence of film discourse on the radio and helped establish the importance of cinema as a national cultural pursuit. Continuedchanges in the vocation and status of the film critic prompt investigation into this figure’s ambivalent place in the cultural landscape, adjacent to the academy, at some remove from the industry, and in uneasy dialogue with moviegoers. Operating variously in local, regional, national, and global registers, critics on the radio articulate salient notions of a Canadian cinema community to a broad, non-specialized audience. This talk will map the occupations and preoccupations of popular critics—at once celebrated tastemakers and dubious authorities—across a range of familiar and unexpected sites of national and transnational cinema culture.
Zoë Constantinides is a PhD Candidate in Communication Studies at Concordia University in Montreal. Her research interests include media history, cultural policy, and media piracy. Her doctoral research investigates forms of popular film discourse and the role of critics in Canadian cinema culture. She teaches media studies in the Humanities Department at Champlain College – Lennoxville.
Le Prix Gerald Pratley fut créé en 1991 pour honorer la contribution de M. Pratley à l’avancement des études cinématographiques canadiennes. L’Association sollicite des candidatures soumises par des étudiants des cycles supérieurs (maîtrise ou doctorat) ayant un excellent dossier académique et dont les recherches permettront d’améliorer les connaissances sur le cinéma canadien/québécois au Canada ou à l’étranger.
The Gerald Pratley Award was established in 1991 in tribute to Mr. Pratley‘s contribution to the advancement of Canadian film studies. The Association invites applications from Honours and Graduate students (MA or PhD) undertaking innovative research in cinema studies that will contribute to the understanding of Canadian/Québec cinema both within this country and elsewhere.
Exemplarity and Film
« In the final analysis the series of data which a man produces as such, as reality that represents itself and acts, is called anexample, and this is the difference between the language of natural reality and the language of human reality. The first only produces data; the second, along with the data, also produces an example. Audiovisual techniques capture man in the act in which he gives the example (willing or not). » Pasolini, The End of the Avant-Garde (1966).
From Pasolini’s remarks on exemplarity in this 1966 essay, as well as from Hanna Arendt’s philosophy of action as developed in The Human Condition, I will investigate how rhetoric distinguishes between two kinds of examples (exemplum), both also belonging in film: 1) the discursive one: a particular narrative genre, one of the three discursive devices of persuasion, “the figure that most clearly and explicitly attempts to shore up the inside of discourse by gesturing toward its outside, toward some commonly recognized basis in a reality shared by speaker and listener, reader and writer” as Lyons puts it; 2) the exemplary individual. My research thus explores, with reference to different films, the point where the two exempla converge and the exemplary individual in film attracts the viewer in his/her sphere of action. Through montage, sound, rhythm, acting, light, depth of field, camera angles and movements, an encounter (Deleuze) becomes possible with the Other (character/actor) when we see his/her face (Lévinas, Butler) and his/her example inspires us. In fact what interests me the most, and what will be at the core of my paper, is the nature of action, the ways of representing and reproducing action, the cinematographic mediation of action and agency (P.P. Pasolini, S. Cavell) in order to understand why and how action becomes exemplary, attracts the viewer into its sphere (Bergson). Focusing on the audiovisual “writing” of action, should allow us to address positive as well as negative exemplarity. Finally in the last part of my talk I would like to open up toward another part of my research dealing with the exemplarity of film itself, no longer the exemplarity in film, but of film. Because of its way of looking and because it imposes a way of looking, film would be exemplary of the age that generated it and which, at the same time, was generated by it. (Casetti, Ishaghpour, Godard).
Silvestra Mariniello is Professor at the Université de Montréal in the Department of Art History and Film Studies, where she has served as director of the Research Center on Intermediality. She has published several articles and a book on Pasolini. She has recently co-edited two volumes, L’électricité. Déployement d’un paradigme, which is forthcoming at the University of Ottawa Press, and Appareils et intermédialité, published in 2007 by L’Harmattan. Her latest essay is “Changer de table d’opération” for the Mexican journal Acta Poetica. Other titles include: “L’écoute de l’ange” on Wim Wenders; “Devenir et opacité dans Un thé au Sahara de Bernardo Bertolucci”; “La voix et la parole”; “La litéracie de la différence”; and “Médiation et responsabilité.”
FSAC-ACÉC was founded in 1976 by a group of university professors dedicated to “foster and advance the study of the history and art of film and related fields” in Canada. Among them was Martin Walsh, in whose honour the annual Martin Walsh Memorial Lecture is named. A British expatriate who taught film studies at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Walsh was a scholar of avant-garde practices who wrote The Brechtian Aspect of Radical Cinema, published posthumously under the editorship of Keith M. Griffiths (London: BFI, 1981). He was also the first President of the Film Studies Association of Ontario (FSAC-ACÉC’s precursor), and an enthusiastic contributor to the original Take One magazine. Like his friend, the artist Greg Curnoe, he was a member of the London Centennial Wheelers, and in 1977 he died tragically in a road accident. In 1978 the Martin Walsh Memorial Lecture was inaugurated by Walsh’s colleagues and friends to commemorate his life and work. Each year an internationally recognized film scholar is invited to the Annual Conference of FSAC-ACÉC to speak about their current research.
This letter was prepared by Dr. Paul Moore (President, FSAC), Associate Professor of Sociology, Ryerson University, Toronto on behalf of the membership of the Film Studies Association of Canada in response to recent cuts to Library & Archives Canada and the elimination of the National Archival Development Program.
Cinephile 7.2, “Contemporary Realism,” is now available. Released in conjunction with the 14th Annual FSAC/ACÉC Graduate Student Colloquium, this issue resituates the notion of filmic realism for a post-film era. Featuring original articles by Ivone Margulies and Richard Rusthon, with 35mm photos by Hanahlie Beise.
For more information, please visit cinephile.ca
New Membership Services system — online now
As of September 2011, FSAC is using a new online membership system provided by the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences (CFHSS). The new system allows members to pay their annual fees online, and to login, check, and update their membership status with FSAC at any time. The 2011-2012 membership year began September 1st.
The new membership portal is located at https://www.fedcan-association.ca/fsac-acec.
Un nouveau système d’adhésion — en ligne maintenant
Depuis septembre 2011, l’ACÉC utilise un nouveau système d’adhésion en ligne fourni par la Fédération canadienne des sciences humaines (FCSH). Ce nouveau système permet aux membres de payer leurs frais annuels d’adhésion en ligne et d’ouvrir une session afin de vérifier et de mettre à jour leur statut de membre de l’ACÉC à tout moment. L’année d’adhésion 2011-2012 débute le 1er septembre.
Le nouveau Portail des membres est consultable sur https://www.fedcan-association.ca/fsac-acec?lang=fr.
This statement was prepared by Dr. Marc Furstenau (President, FSAC), Assistant Professor of Film Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa with assistance from Dr. Michael Zryd (Former President, FSAC), Associate Professor of Film Studies York University, Toronto. For further information contact: Dr. Marc Furstenau
This statement has been unanimously ratified by and represents the opinions of the membership of the Film Studies Association of Canada. It is a general statement on the legitimate uses made by film and media scholars and educators of copyrighted material, and it describes common practices at colleges, universities and other scholarly and educational institutions in Canada. It is being presented now as a response to copyright reform legislation (Bill C-61, tabled June 12, 2008), and as an expression of the dismay of FSAC members, who are deeply concerned that the proposed bill would severely limit our rights and freedoms as scholars and educators. We call for a truly balanced Copyright Act, which would protect the rights of creators and copyright holders, andthe legitimate rights of users of copyrighted material, particularly the rights of scholars and educators.
1. EDUCATION, RESEARCH AND COPYRIGHT
The Film Studies Association of Canada (FSAC) represents film and media scholars and educators in universities and colleges across the country, providing scholarly support, organising an annual meeting, publishing an academic journal (The Canadian Journal of Film Studies), and advocating on behalf of its members. A key issue facing film and media scholars today is the use and presentation of copyrighted material – still and moving visual imagery in particular – in the classroom and in our research and scholarship. Digital technologies have provided us with a variety of new modes of access and engagement. However, we are restricted by copyright legislation that has not fully acknowledged the new technological environment, and which limits users’ rights in favour of copyright owners. Given the importance of providing students with the critical tools necessary to analyse a complex visual media culture, of fostering a vital and dynamic field of film and media scholarship in Canadian colleges and universities, and of promoting a vibrant, democratic culture of exchange, discussion and debate, we need copyright legislation that strikes a fair balance between the rights of owners and the rights of users.
This statement is presented on behalf of FSAC members, describing the scholarly and educational uses of copyrighted material within the fields of film and media studies, and suggesting how copyright legislation may be changed to recognise the new technological conditions within which film and media education is undertaken, and to reflect new pedagogical strategies and scholarly research methods that have emerged. There are two main issues that we face. The first is the relatively restrictive language in present copyright legislation describing “fair dealing,” which limits the legitimate use of copyrighted material in educational and scholarly contexts. A particular issue related to this is the obligation on the part of educational institutions to purchase classroom screening rights from “distributors,” in addition to the original cost of purchasing video material. FSAC supports the adoption of a more expansive “fair dealing” provision in copyright legislation, comparable to the “fair use” provision in U.S. law, which would enlarge the scope of scholarly and educational use, and allow for less fettered access to copyrighted material – publicly circulating and archival material – for use in teaching, research, and scholarly publication. The second issue is the question of reproduction and “format-shifting.” Digital video technologies have made this much easier and more effective, and have provided film and media educators and scholars with many new possibilities for critical and creative engagement with cultural materials. We are constrained, however, by current copyright legislation, which offers only vague and ambiguous guidance in an era of digital reproduction. FSAC opposes further restrictions on legitimate copying, and is particularly opposed to any blanket anti-circumvention provisions. We support the expansion of the rights to access and fair use. These issues will be considered in more detail below, following a brief account of the historical context of film and media education in Canada.
2. FILM AND MEDIA EDUCATION IN CONTEXT
Film study began in Canada in the late 1960s, with the increased availability of films on the 16mm, non-theatrical format. These were typically rented for classroom projection, and projection rights were included in the price of the rental. Universities were willing to pay the costs necessary to make films available in an era of relatively restricted access. Movies had historically been shown for only a brief period of time in theaters, and were not readily available to be seen again, except perhaps on broadcast television. The more portable format of 16mm made the “cinema” available for scholarly analysis in the same way that printed texts had made the study of “literature” possible. Still, 16mm projection limited the mode of engagement with film texts, which were typically screened once, and then only subsequently discussed. By contrast, literary texts could be subjected to repeated reading and close analysis, given that they were in print form. They could be easily consulted after the initial reading, and passages could be read again, or read aloud in class. Some film programs used editing equipment, or else so-called “analytical” projectors, which allowed viewers to “re-view” scenes and sequences. Not every university owned such equipment, however, which was both expensive and not especially easy to use.
The academic study of film and other visual media expanded considerably in the 1980s, when video was introduced. This first of all allowed film educators to record films off of broadcast television, but very soon studios and distributors had made large portions of their film collections available on VHS, and film departments could begin to build extensive video libraries. This made films readily available for classroom screening, but also for relatively effortless re-viewing and close analysis, given the ease with which one could pause, rewind and fast-forward. Films had, practically speaking, become as “analysable” as literary texts. The effect of this new technology on the discipline of film studies cannot be underestimated, and in the last two decades the number of film studies departments and programs in Canadian universities and colleges has increased dramatically, and the discipline has become firmly established within academia.
New digital video and computer technologies have further increased the modes of engagement, and offered new possibilities for film and media teaching and research. New video formats, specifically DVD, have made the viewing and re-viewing of film texts even easier, and have made an even larger number of films available, often in far higher quality versions. Digital projectors have provided teachers and researchers with more opportunities to subject such material to critical analysis, and offered more pedagogical possibilities, allowing for the creative engagement with high quality images presented on classroom screens. With computers, it has become relatively easy to “shift” digital material from one format to another, to make copies, clips and excerpts from original sources for the purpose of study, analysis, and critique, and for re-presentation in classrooms and other teaching and scholarly contexts. We are able to move quickly from one image to another, allowing for effective comparisons and contrasts to be made, encouraging students to become even more discerning in their critical analyses of visual material.
The history of film and media studies is intimately tied to developments in video and information technologies. Our discipline is a necessarily “technological” one, and we have, as a result, a great stake in new copyright legislation, which will have a significant effect on our ability to critically engage with and effectively use new digital media. As film and media scholars are deploying new technologies, new pedagogical practices and research methods are being developed in universities and colleges across the country. Copyright legislation must reflect these new conditions and practices. FSAC is specifically concerned with two basic issues: the concepts of “users’ rights” and “fair dealing”; and the questions of reproduction and format-shifting.
3. THE RIGHTS OF USERS: ‘FAIR DEALING’ OR ‘FAIR USE’?
The use of copyrighted material in educational contexts in Canada is governed by the “Fair Dealing” provision of the Copyright Act, where it is listed as one of the basic “exceptions” to copyright infringement. Section 29 states that, “Fair dealing for the purpose of research or private study does not infringe copyright,” and, in Sub-sections 29.1 and 29.2, the further categories of “criticism,” “review,” and “news reporting” are added to “research” and “private study.” Many commentators on the Copyright Act have noted that this is a restrictive list, and contrast this section with the provisions for “Fair Use” in U.S. legislation, which states in Section 107, in more suggestive or open-ended terms, that fair use is not an infringement of copyright when works are used “for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research” (emphasis added). By including the phrase “such as,” U.S. legislation does not limit the realm of fair use, but instead provides illustrative examples of the sorts of areas where fair use provisions should apply, providing a stronger basis for the idea that there is a broad and dynamic range of legitimate uses of copyrighted material, and for the concomitant notion of “users’ rights.”
Recent judicial decisions by the Supreme Court of Canada have emphasised the importance of the fair dealing exception, which the court has defined precisely as “a user’s right.” In a 2004 decision (CCH v. Law Society of Upper Canada), the court stated that: “In order to maintain the proper balance between the rights of a copyright owner and users’ interests [the ‘fair dealing’ exception] must not be interpreted restrictively.” FSAC supports changes to the present legislation that would encourage just such non-restrictive interpretations, bringing it into line with current judicial thinking, which acknowledges the cultural and intellectual benefits of new technologies of reproduction and dissemination.
A non-restrictive fair use exception would also resolve a specific issue faced by film and media studies departments across this country. By allowing educators to show legitimately purchased, commercially available videos in classrooms and other educational contexts, according to a more expansive notion of fair use, departments and universities would be freed from the financial burden of having to continuously pay fees to the “rights holders” of these films – distribution companies that had, in the past, provided films and performance right, but who now only provide the rights. The two main companies, Audio Cine and Criterion, were and are in the business of acquiring Canadian rights to classroom rentals of major U.S. distributors’ releases. They used to provide 16mm prints in exchange for rental monies. Now, they simply sell the rights that they have acquired and do not supply the actual print or video copy. Audio-Cine’s and Criterion’s catalogues consist mainly of Hollywood feature films, and some other independent narrative and documentary works, largely from the U.S., films for which the actual DVDs (the dominant medium used in classrooms) are commercially available.
These companies no longer provide a service; rather, because copyright law in Canada does not allow for educational fair use, they sell blanket site licenses to Canadian universities, basically making money through a provision in the law. This creates an unnecessary financial expense for universities. It is also a time waster for A-V libraries, which have to compile reports on films screened in classes for the two companies. Finally, this vestige of the pre-video era has driven many educators ‘underground,’ as instructors show DVDs or clips from DVDs that they own for educational purposes but do not declare the screening. New copyright legislation should acknowledge and reflect current conditions, practices and educational needs, and provide educators and scholars with less fettered access to copyrighted material, recognising the right to screen legitimately procured material within educational contexts without having to pay additional fees for each use.
A broader, and more expansive fair use exception would also strengthen and enlarge the basic scholarly freedom to access and use audio-visual material, either in public circulation or housed in archives, and to publish excerpts (film stills, “frame grabs,” publicity photos, and promotional material, for example) for the purposes of critique and analysis. The publication of an image alongside a scholarly article is equivalent to the use of quotation in other fields (e.g. literature, philosophy, classics, etc.), as support for a claim in an argument or as the actual object of analysis, and scholars need the freedom to do so. Film and media scholarship is also hampered by overly restrictive copyright requirements which prevent ready access to the archives of the CBC and the Library and Archives of Canada, the biggest repositories of Canadian audio-visual material. An effective fair use provision would safeguard rights of public access to film and television productions funded by the public purse, and allow scholars and students to engage more effectively with vital cultural material. The concept of fair use or fair dealing is the basis upon which a thriving research culture will be maintained and developed in Canada. FSAC supports the inclusion of a clear, and expansive fair use or fair dealing provision, with a broad and unambiguous scholarly and educational exception, in any reformed version of the Copyright Act.
4. TEACHING AND TECHNOLOGY: REPRODUCTION AND FORMAT-SHIFTING
Most classrooms in Canadian universities and colleges are now equipped with a full range of video and computer technologies, allowing for very dynamic presentations of audio-visual material. Educators in all disciplines, but especially film and media educators, depend more and more on such presentations, and on the ability to gather, organise and re-organise material in order to teach and analyse media, and to provide students with opportunities for critical and creative engagement. Digital media allow for the integration of illustrative and exemplary material in presentations (such as “Powerpoint” slideshows), which can fulfill important analytical and critical purposes. Such presentations depend upon the ability to copy excerpts or capture stills from films or television programs, to alter and rearrange sounds and images, and to edit and re-edit audio-visual material which may now be easily “shifted” from one format to another. Such practices are only possible, however, if digital content is not “locked-up” – if it is not controlled by so-called “digital rights management” technologies, or copy protection systems, or if the circumvention of such controls under certain, legitimate circumstances is allowed according to the provisions of fair use or fair dealing. The fact that such control technologies exist, and that digital content is technically amenable to such control, should not be the basis for the extension of the rights of copyright holders. New copyright legislation should recognise that such practices fall within a broadly conceived realm of fair use or fair dealing. The entrenchment of the right of fair use would place Canadian educators on par with standards adopted by sister scholarly organizations like the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, an international association based in the U.S.
The Copyright Act currently provides exceptions for Educational Institutions, which allow for reproduction for the purposes of education and training and for the administration of tests and examinations, but the language is vague and ambiguous. Sub-section 29.4 (1) states that, “It is not an infringement of copyright for an educational institution or a person acting under its authority to make a copy of a work … (b) as an image projected using an overhead projector or similar device for the purposes of education.” Sub-section 29.4 (2) states, that, “It is not an infringement of copyright for an educational institution or a person acting under its authority to reproduce, perform in public or communicate to the public by telecommunication a work for any purpose related to the giving of an assignment, test or examination.” These provisions are rendered superfluous, though, in the case of digital media which are “locked-up” by copy protection systems, and if circumvention is broadly prohibited. New copyright legislation should reflect current educational and scholarly practice, and should follow recent judicial decisions, such as that of the Supreme Court of Canada in Théberge v. Galerie d’art du Petit Champlain inc., which states that, “[o]nce an authorized copy of a work is sold to a member of the public, it is generally for the purchaser, not the author, to determine what happens to it.” The court went on to observe that, “[e]xcessive control by holders of copyrights and other forms of intellectual property may unduly limit the ability of the public domain to incorporate and embellish creative innovation in the long-term interests of society as a whole, or create practical obstacles to proper utilization.”
Once purchased, the uses to which copyrighted material may be put should be governed by legislation that takes into account the context of use, as the law already acknowledges. This important qualification should not be superseded by the blanket application of content-control systems. The rights of copyright holders are not universal – they are subject to specific exceptions in order to balance the rights of users – but the effect of copy protection technology and blanket anti-circumvention prohibitions is to enlarge the rights of owners while severely limiting legitimate use. As it stands, the rights of users within educational contexts are unduly constrained by copy protection systems, which prevent the legitimate production of clips, excerpts and stills, and the reorganisation of such material for presentation in classrooms and other scholarly settings. FSAC calls for the explicit acknowledgement of the right of educators and students to produce copies of legitimately procured audio-visual materials for the purposes of study, analysis and critique, and the right to re-organise and re-present such material in educational and academic contexts and in scholarly publications. Such activity is already an integral element of film and media research and education, and is undertaken according to already existing academic protocols of quotation and acknowledgement. FSAC believes that new copyright legislation should not contain any elements comparable to the “anti-circumvention” provisions of U.S. 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which would limit the right to make legitimate copies of copyrighted material within educational contexts, or which would force educators to illegally bypass copy protection systems in order to assert their legitimate rights to reproduce material for educational and scholarly purposes.
5. COPYRIGHT LEGISLATION: THE BALANCE OF RIGHTS
The primary goal of copyright legislation is to provide for the free but orderly circulation of ideas in order to foster creativity and innovation, and to foster the democratic right of critical engagement with cultural material. Copyright, as the Supreme Court has said, should function to “incorporate and embellish innovation in the long-term interests of society as a whole.” Canadian copyright legislation has historically struck a balance between the rights of owners and users, understood as a necessary balance to ensure such circulation and to serve broader societal interests by protecting the rights of creators. In the era of digital media, the balance appears to have been upset, as owners are discovering that new technologies provide the means for the far-reaching control of content, and as users are discovering that content may be easily copied and reproduced. FSAC is concerned that, in this context, the tendency is to legitimise greater technical control over copyrighted material, at the expense of the legitimate rights and interests of users. As an association representing film and media scholars and educators, for whom the freedom to engage critically and analytically with copyrighted material is a fundamental interest, we feel it is important to insist on the need to maintain a fair balance of rights. The free, open exchange of ideas, and the circulation of texts, documents, images and sounds that is necessary for such an exchange, is a basic social good that copyright legislation has historically been designed to support and protect. Educational and scholarly institutions play an essential role in fostering a dynamic culture of exchange and debate, and have traditionally been offered specific protections and exceptions in copyright legislation. As new technological innovations offer educators and researchers more pedagogical and scholarly opportunities, these protections and exceptions should not be eroded, but should be revised to reflect the current practices and methods being developed through creative and critical scholarly engagement with new digital media.
WORKS CONSULTED DURING THE PREPARATION OF THIS STATEMENT:
Geist, Michael, ed. In the Public Interest: The Future of Canadian Copyright Law. Toronto: Irwin Law, 2005.
Harris, Lesley Ellen. Canadian Copyright Law, 3rd Edition. Toronto: McGraw Hill Ryerson, 2001.
Murray, Laura J. and Samuel E. Trosow. Canadian Copyright: A Citizen’s Guide. Toronto: Between the Lines, 2007.
Petrie, Graham. “Brief concerning the proposed new Canadian copyright legislation, Bill C-32.” Released 1996.www.filmstudies.ca/ARCH_copyright.htm
Society For Cinema and Media Studies (U.S.). “Statement of Best Practices for Fair Use in Teaching for Film and Media Educators.” Released 2006. www.cmstudies.org
Tamaro, Normand. The 2006 Annotated Copyright Act. Toronto: Thomson Carswell, 2005.
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