News & Events 2018


Events 2017

Winter 2018

Hunched and Harried: The Value of Mobile Device Distraction


Ethan Tussey,
Assistant Professor of Film and Media, Georgia State University

Wednesday, March 7
3:00 PM, 2135 SSMS Building

This talk will describe how mobile devices make our in-between moments valuable to media companies while also providing a sense of control and connection. Just as television reoriented our relationship with domestic spaces, mobile devices have taken over the interstitial spaces of our everyday lives. Tussey argues that these in-between moments have created a procrastination economy, an opportunity for entertainment companies to create products, apps, platforms, subscription services, micropayments, and interactive opportunities that monetize our distractions. Ethan Tussey (Ph.D. University of California – Santa Barbara, 2012) is an Assistant Professor of Film and Media at Georgia State University. His work explores the relationship between the entertainment industry and the digitally empowered public. His book, The Procrastination Economy: The Big Business of Downtime, has been published recently by NYU Press.

Film and Media Studies: Graduate Colloquium

UCSB GRad Panel 2018

Film and Media Studies: Graduate Colloquium

Featuring Alexander Champlin and Naomi DeCelles

February 23, 2018
4:00 PM, 2135 SSMS Building

Playing Attention: Speculation, Audience, and Immediacy in Videogame livestreaming

Livestreaming conjurors liquidity, referring to the flow of content from provider to receiver. In light of earlier work on television liveness, I explore the ways that the production of a videogame livestream engages and transcends TV liveness. I argue that producers and users mediate their relationship through the platform and para-platforms in ways that leverage presence and access. The media commodity of a livestream, doesn’t have a shelf-life. They are doubly dependent on immediacy - livestreamers need viewers to engage with, and viewers show up with the expectation of experiencing this kind of interactivity, all of which can only happen live. As a result, videogame livestreaming encourages new forms of networking, flow, and connected viewing that reframe the ways we might think about broadcast, play, and participation across networked media.
Alexander Champlin studies spectator videogaming as an emergent media phenomenon. His work focuses on the conjunction of televisual broadcast production and videogame play, particularly the way play and game cultures shift as games become broadcast texts. He focuses on esport, videogame livestreaming, and Let’ s Play media. Alex is a PhD candidate in the Department of Film and Media Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Mediating Displacement: Lotte H. Eisner’s exile on film.

Engaging the question of whether there are ethical and aesthetic regularities of a “cinema of exile,” this talk illustrates several ways that cinematic negotiations of identity under the conditions of displacement, precarity, and trauma attending life in exile can be productively framed in terms of historiographical praxis. While there has been much thoughtful analysis of the way filmmakers negotiate their own identity in exile, Sohrab Shahid Saless’ documentary THE LONG VACATION OF LOTTE EISNER (1979) presents an unusual approach to the theory of a cinema of exile for at least two reasons: firstly, the film foregrounds its subject’s experience of exile (rather than a refracted vision of the filmmaker’s experience), and secondly, it emphasizes the historiographical negotiations of identity-in- exile that take place in criticism, historical analysis, and archival work. This talk will offer a close comparative reading of Saless’ film and the contemporaneous US documentary LOTTE EISNER IN GERMANY (S.M. Horowitz, 1980), tracing the personal and institutional histories bound up in each of these films.

Currently completing her dissertation—a critical reevaluation of Lotte Eisner’s work and its afterlife in the field of academic film studies—at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Naomi DeCelles received a BA in Comparative Literature from Stanford University in 2012, and an MA in Cinema and Media Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2014. Naomi is a curatorial assistant and researcher at the Carsey-Wolf Center; her areas of interest include transnational European film history, aesthetic theory, and archive studies.

Education Automation:
Behavioral Design of Learning Environments

Education Automation Behavioral Design of Learning Environments

Christina Vagt,
Assistant Professor of German, UCSB

Wednesday, February 7
3:30 PM, 2135 SSMS Building

The talk discusses behavioristic design that emerged after World War II. in the context of educational reforms and newly founded design departments in the U.S. While Herbert A. Simon and B.F. Skinner stressed the significance of psychological and cognitive research on social behavior, the University of Illinois ran the first computer assisted instruction system, and designers like Harold Cohen, Richard Buckminster Fuller and John McHale designed prototypes of learning environments on all scales – from Kindergarden education to global simulations. This merging of design and behaviorism into new technologies can be understood both as a concrete historical constellation and as part of larger political technologies.

Christina Vagt is Assistant Professor at UCSB’s Department of Germanic & Slavic Studies. She teaches history and theory of media and literature, as well as German and French philosophy. Her research focuses on epistemic and aesthetic relations between sciences and humanities and the role that media and technologies play in it.

News & Events of 2017