Temple Times Online Edition
    November 16 , 2006
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Temple program produces citywide creative collaboration

The Philadelphia Cinema and Media Seminar, organized by English department assistant professor Oliver Gaycken and supported by the Center for the Humanities at Temple, debuted in the spring and recently revealed a program of monthly meetings for its inaugural year.

According to Gaycken, the idea of the seminar evolved as a response to Philadelphia’s rapidly growing academic film culture. The seminar provides an opportunity for faculty and advanced graduate students from Philadelphia-area universities and colleges to share works in progress, as well as serves as a venue occasionally to bring in national and international scholars, artists and mediamakers.

Oregon State professor Jon Lewis
Jon Lewis, an English professor at Oregon State University, will speak on piracy and copyright issues at the Nov. 30 meeting of the Philadelphia Cinema and Media Seminar. (Photo courtesy Oregon State University)

“Other major metropolitan areas have similar organizations, and I thought there was a real need for Philadelphia to have one as well,” Gaycken said. “Some universities have lecture series that are identified with the host institution, but we wanted to create something that would encompass and belong to the entire Philadelphia-area academic and cultural community.”

Previous speakers have included Temple professor and film scholar Noël Carroll; Timothy Corrigan, the director of the Cinema Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania; and award-winning experimental and documentary filmmaker Rebecca Baron.

The seminar’s meetings begin with a lecture and discussion, followed by a meal at a local restaurant. Gaycken said he believes that the social interaction can be just as important as the lecture because it gives people the opportunity to share ideas and projects.

“It’s really a valuable thing for people to be able to go hear top-notch scholarly lectures and then add the social dimension to allow for a more relaxed environment to discuss topics,” he said. “Sometimes you can be in the same city and not even know what people with the same intellectual interests are doing.”

The next seminar will take place Nov. 30 at the University of Pennsylvania and will feature a lecture by Oregon State University English professor Jon Lewis about piracy and copyright issues. Lewis is also the editor of Cinema Journal, which publishes recent works from media scholars, and he serves on the Executive Council of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies.

“We hope that these seminars will encourage area scholarship and, hopefully, some collaborative research programs and studies can come from this,” Gaycken said.

Anyone with an interest in film, television, video, new media teaching or publication is welcome to attend the free monthly seminars. Most seminars will be held at Temple University Center City, with occasional seminars hosted by other Philadelphia-area universities and colleges.

For announcements and upcoming meetings concerning the Philadelphia Cinema and Media Seminar, visit the English department Web site at www.temple.edu/english.

— Karen Shuey, for the Temple Times








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