The boundaries between the disciplines invested in studies of technology and cultural theory have been permeable for quite some time. The fields of communication, sociology, art history, and cinema studies are four key locations that share such an investment and display varying degrees of cross-pollination.  Recently, a particular point of intersection has been attracting scholarly attention, promoting a degree of increased traffic among these four: screen culture. Here, the integration of a range of audio-visual screen formats –including television, film, cell phones, and Jumbotrons– with an array of everyday and aesthetic practices has multiplied the conditions and occasions for encounters with moving images. The situation has, in many ways, cheapened the artifact of the moving image, though the very fact of miniature dramas in the palm of one’s hand and gigantic electronic billboards on exterior of office towers can still elicit wonderment or bewilderment.

This working group has been sparking an advanced cross-disciplinary, inter-faculty, discussion about screen culture since 2006. Topics have involved the material presence of screens, the speed and space of screen practice, popular ideas about screens, related challenges for democratic and communal life, and the expansion of screen-related art practice.  Events have placed a special emphasis on the historical precedents to our current context.

These events were made possible by the Concordia University Research Chair in Communication Studies Fund, and with some sponsorship assistance from Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture.

SCRG Organizer:
Charles R. Acland (Professor, Concordia University Research Chair in Communication Studies)

SCRG Committee:
Alice Ming Wai Jim (Associate Professor, Art History)
Bart Simon (Associate Professor, Sociology and Anthropology)
Haidee Wasson (Associate Professor, Cinema Studies)