The Media Fields research collective is excited to announce Contested Territories, its third conference exploring the relationship between media and space. We are featuring work that considers media about contested territories, media as contested territories, as well as the contested territories of media space. As a theme, “contested territories” encompasses a range of sites, both physical and conceptual, where new possibilities can be born from struggle. The etymology of the terms lends to various interpretations of their meaning. For example, “contested” might immediately evoke thoughts of conflict and dispute but it can also refer to acts of questioning and doubting, or even witnessing and giving testimony. Although “territory” literally references an “earth place,” embedded within the term is also a sense of fear that things are somehow out of order. Territories and their contestations are both imagined and visceral; they are at once formed discursively and felt materially as lived experience.

March 31-April 1, 2011
McCune Conference Room (HSSB 6020) and Multicultural Center

KEYNOTE ADDRESS

Charles Acland, Professor and Concordia University Research Chair in Communication Studies

“Information Explosion and the Space of Education”

Thursday, March 31, 2011, 4:30 PM
McCune Conference Room (HSSB 6020)

As the US begins a new “Sputnik moment,” this research revisits the years leading up to the original crisis of the late 1950s and the national educational policies that developed in response. Those post-WWII years saw a significant reorientation of pedagogical practice that involved new forms of instructional media, with a major consequence of dramatically changing educational space. This period laid the ground for the ongoing “technologizing of the classroom,” and is responsible for establishing core notions about the relationship between new media and the information society, a relationship we continue to navigate today.

Charles Acland’s books include Screen Traffic: Movies, Multiplexes, and Global Culture and the edited collection Residual Media. A co-edited volume on non-theatrical film, Useful Cinema, will appear this year, and his newest book on the history of popular ideas about media manipulation, Swift Viewing in a Cluttered Age, is forthcoming in 2012. Acland is editor of the Canadian Journal of Film Studies.

SCREENING AND Q&A

9 Star Hotel, directed by Ido Haar, 2007

Friday, April 1, 2011, 2 PM
Multicultural Center

Ido Haar is an Israeli filmmaker, working extensively for Israeli TV focusing on directing, shooting and editing documentaries on social, political, and cultural subjects. His films 9 Star Hotel and Melting Siberia enjoyed worldwide success.

About 9 Star Hotel

Just as Mexicans cross U.S. borders illegally to find work as day laborers, thousands of Palestinians do likewise, into neighboring Israel, seeking jobs in construction. For 9 Star Hotel, Israeli filmmaker Ido Haar gained the trust of a group of nomadic young men whom he observed fleeing from police, risking their lives to cross highways at night, sleeping in makeshift hovels–a dramatic contrast to the luxury housing they build by day. “We think backwards–we never think forward. We are like scavengers, like those who harvest olives after the locust,” one of his subjects confesses with lyrical simplicity. This is a devastating cinema verite portrait of young men caught in an economic and political maelstrom not of their own making – their dreams subsumed by the hard reality of day-to-day survival. Winner of the Best Documentary Award, Jerusalem International Film Festival, 2006. A surprise hit in Israel.

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