Friday, April 3rd /
5:30pm / Screening // “HIDE” / curated and introduced by keynote speaker Hanna Rose Shell.

Saturday, April 4th
9:15–11:00am / Panel 1 // Imagination & Representation
Brady Fletcher (University of Rochester), “Reel Animals: The Ethnographic Impulse in Contemporary Environmental Nonfiction Film”
Jim Supanick (Pratt Institute/The New School) “Experimental Science Fiction and the Reimagination of Disaster: Steven Matheson’s Apple Grown in Wind Tunnel
Graig Uhlin (New York University), “Sunshine, Herzog, and the Ecological Sublime”
Emily Carpenter and Katherine Chandler (University of California, Berkeley), “‘There’s Lots of World Out There’: Screen, Landscape, and Special Affect in WALL-E

11:15am–12:45pm / Panel 2 // Performance & Participation
Cristie Ellis (Johns Hopkins University), “Absorption in the Urban Montages of Whitman and Vertov”
Emily Capper (University of Chicago), “Tele-Creatures: Nam June Paik’s Television Work Circa 1963”
Ken Yoshida (University of California, Irvine), “The Debates of Environment in Postwar Japan”

2:00–3:30pm / Panel 3 // System, Energy, Ecology
Michael Hirsch (European Graduate School), “It’s Not Easy Bein’ Green: Five Theses on Virilio’s Grey Ecology”
Scott Richmond (University of Chicago), “What Does the Cinema Afford? Or, an Ecological Approach to Cinematic Kinesthesis”
James Nisbet (Stanford University), “PhotoEnergie and the Fernsehgalerie”

3:45–5:15pm / Panel 4 // Science, Shape, Becoming
Hank Scotch (University of Chicago), “Liquid Perception and the American Avant-Garde”
Rebekah Rutkoff (CUNY), “Plant Morphology and Experimental Film”
Inga Pollmann (University of Chicago), “The Axolotl and the Cinema:Bazin, Merleau-Ponty, and Evolution”

5:30pm / Keynote Address //
“Predator-Prey: Cinema, Nature, Ecology”
Hanna Rose Shell, Junior Fellow, Harvard Society of Fellows; Assistant Professor, Program in Science, Technology, and Society, MIT.

7:30pm / Screening // Koyaanisqatsi: Life out of Balance

We’re proud to announce that the Film Studies Center at the University of Chicago will be hosting a screening series leading up to the conference. The screening calendar is as follows:

February 27, 2009: “Travelers.”
Contemporary film and video art from around the world stages exploratory encounters in works of imagination, transformation, and disaster.  From epic voyages to strange arrivals, from animation to performance, these meditations on (human) nature take the form of journeys that ultimately reflect on contemporary global society and identity. Sponsored by the University of Chicago Arts Council.

March 6, 2009: Nature Delineated: An Evening with David Gatten.
Part algorithmic and part lyrical, David Gatten’s film techniques run the gamut from rephotographing microscopic air bubbles in 16mm cement splices to harvesting film strips thrown into coastal waters and nibbled by spottail bass.  His approach is subtle, and wholly independent, but his films are staggering in their consideration of the history of the American landscape, the history of media, and intellectual history as a whole. Co-sponsored by the University of Chicago Arts Council and the Mass Culture Workshop.

March 13, 2009: Local Landscapes.
2 film programs featuring work by Bill Brown, Thomas Comerford, and Deborah Stratman.
These two programs of films by local artists Bill Brown, Thomas Comerford, and Deborah Stratman collectively investigate the varied relationships of urban spaces and rural landscapes to historical narratives of power and control. In works ranging from experimental shorts to documentaries, these two screenings highlight a significant thread within Chicago’s underground film community: the reinvestigation of familiar locations and landmarks. Brown, Comerford, and Stratman will be present after the screenings for a roundtable discussion. Sponsored by the University of Chicago Arts Council and co-presented with the Experimental Film Club.

Welcome to Cinema, Nature, Ecology! As the months roll by, this will be the place where for all your information regarding Cinema and Media Studies’ 6th annual Graduate Student Conference. We know you just can’t wait until April 3 & 4, 2009, but as the event draws nearer, please check here for new announcements. It’s here we’ll post information relating to screenings, conference schedules, transportation information, &c.

For now, please see: About the Conference, our Call for Papers, and our Submission Guidelines. Any further questions can be directed to