Posted: October 10th, 2014

stillfor the final SALT OF THIS SEACINEMA PALESTINE is poetic a documentary which explores the life and work of multiple generations of Palestinian filmmakers and media artists. Based on in-depth interviews with a wide range of Palestinian artists living in the Middle East as well as North American and Europe, the film documents the emergence of a Palestinian narrative through film, the relevance of film to the Palestinian national struggle and the relationship between art, personal experience and politics in one of the most contested landscapes in the world.

CINEMA PALESTINE grew out of a December 2005 screening of director Tim Schwab’s earlier film Being Osama at the Dubai International Film Festival. While attending the festival Schwab met and talked with pioneering Gaza filmmaker Rashid Masharawi (Haifa, Ticket to Jerusalem) and West Bank filmmaker Hany Abu Assad, whose feature film Paradise Now was the festival’s opening night film. Remarkably, later that week Paradise Now became the first film by a Palestinian filmmaker to win the Golden Globe award for Best Foreign Language film, with the country of origin designated for the first time as “Palestine”. Schwab subsequently had the opportunity to meet and interview Israel-based Palestinian actor and director Mohammed Bakri  in Montréal. His experience meeting and talking with these filmmakers, and the quality of work they have created under the most difficult financial and security conditions, inspired his intense interest in and passion for making a documentary about the work being created by Palestinian filmmakers in historic Palestine, in the Palestinian territories, and in the Palestinian diaspora.



What Is Mobilities?

Posted: October 9th, 2014



The editorial team at Wi:Journal of Mobile Media and the Mobile Media Lab are very pleased to announce the release of our latest issue “What is Mobilities?” with multiple contributions from Communication Studies Department members and alumni.

Guest edited by Dr. David Madden, this issue features 16 interviews with leading mobilities studies scholars. The issue itself emerged from a collaborative interview project that was part of the Differential Mobilities conference in May 2013. It features work from Judith Nicholson, Mimi Sheller, Gerard Goggin, Jennifer Southern, Andra McCartney, Esteban Acuna Cabanzo, Danielle Peers and Lindsay Eales, Arseli Dokumaci, Bianca Freire-Medeiros, Darin Barney, Daniel M. Sutko, Catherine Middleton, Germaine Halegoua, Nancy Cook and David Butz, Natalia Radywyl, and Shelley Smith.

“What is Mobilities” brings a broad range of ideas together and, in doing so, provides multiple points of departure for scholars interested in thinking about contemporary mobilities issues.

The issue can be found here:

Events/Announcements: Polar Life

Posted: October 9th, 2014


Professor Monika Gagnon announces La Vie Polaire/Polar Life – Graeme Ferguson’s re-born film on Friday Oct 10, 5 pm at the Cinémathèque Québecoise, an event presented by her research group, CINEMA expo67, in collaboration with the National Film Board and UNESCO. Graeme’s film was originally created for 11 screens and a rotating audience for Expo 67.


$200,000 Awarded to Next-Generation Media Data Analysis

Posted: January 27th, 2014

Media History

A team from Concordia’s newly minted Media History Research Centre (MHRC) has partnered with the University of Wisconsin-Madison in a bid to transform the study of film and media history. Today, their project was awarded more than $200,000 in an international grant competition.

Project Arclight’s goal is to turn digitized historical documents into useable data sets. In an era when our publications and libraries are moving to an electronic model, the backlog of pre-digital documents waiting to be transferred from paper to pixel is staggering. As archivists make that conversion, researchers are left with vast amounts of raw material.

Arclight is developing a new web-based tool that will allow users to analyze millions of pages of digitally scanned magazines and newspapers for trends related to a chosen media history subject.

The proposal has been selected as a successful entry in the Digging into Data Challenge, administered by the Office of Digital Humanities at the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities. The winners were announced on January 15: the Canada/U.S. Project Arclight team will receive approximately $214,750 to develop the software tool, which it aims to launch in 2015.

Arclight will allow film and media historians to apply a big-data analysis approach to their research.

“Today you hear of corporations that use social media as a way to gauge different kinds of developing interests with geographical precision,” says project leader Charles Acland, professor and Concordia University Research Chair in Communication Studies. “What we want to do is develop an online, web-based tool that will help media historians do something comparable using historical materials.”

Initially, the project will draw on more than two million pages of documents from two repositories: the Media History Digital Library and the National Digital Newspaper Program at the Library of Congress. It will grow to include other digitized holdings.

The wealth of newly digitized trade magazines, fan magazines and newspapers holds a lot of potential for researchers, Acland says. “It really opens up the possibility of constructing a new kind of portrait of the history of the development of contemporary media in Canada and the United States.”

One of the main goals of the developers is to make the software tool easy to navigate, in hopes of attracting as many users as possible. “The design of the homepage is a very intuitive user interface that basically lets you immediately start asking the questions you want to know,” says Professor Eric Hoyt, principal investigator from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in a video about the project.

The Digging into Data Challenge is supported by 10 international research funding bodies, including the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

The grant is a major coup for Acland and his team at the Media History Research Centre. Acland is excited to see the impact Arclight will have on film and media studies.

“If our ambitions for this are approximated, it will be one of the major starting points for media historical research here and internationally.”