Archives

Enter the Dreamhouse

My research focuses on the role of cinemas in British twentieth-century society. In particular, I am researching how cinemas operated as sites of public emotion and how their spatial characteristics contributed to a permissive and distinct emotional economy far-removed from the cliché of the British stiff-upper-lip.

The research explores how and why cinemas became emblematic of a particular modernity which asserted the importance of leisure in the lives of millions, and how this contributed to conceptions of modernity. The research seeks to explore how local experiences can contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of cinemas (and of cinema-going in Britain as a whole) in the first half of the twentieth-century.

The US Exhibition and Reception of Julien Bryan’s Documentaries for International Understanding, 1947-1985

I am currently researching the distribution, exhibition and reception of the educational documentaries of Julien Bryan (1899-1974) both in and outside the traditional US classroom. In the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s Bryan produced and directed a large number of films on peoples around the world for the US Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs (CI-AA) and for his own International Film Foundation (IFF). Enjoying wide distribution to classrooms, civic and religious organizations and libraries in the later part of the 20th century, Bryan’s films participated in an American post-World War II cultural formation in which screening and discussing educational film became a key vehicle in the forging of new internationalist identities.

Turkishcine.ma

Turkishcine.ma is a film archive and database which uses a wiki structure to enable a continuous growth of updated material that include texts and images on Turkish cinema. The basic structure of the database is buillt on Turkish Flm Guide (Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, SESAM: 2008) and IMDb data. Currently the archive includes 500 films  and documentaries, as well as texts on film studies.
Turksihcine.ma is part of a larger database project which includes Pad.ma and Indiancine.ma. Established in 2007, Pad.ma is an online public access digital media archive, which uses video as the primary source material. Pad.ma’s features include the ability to do time-based transcribing and annotations, and essentially allows deep and new kinds of access to video material online. Turkishcine.ma which share the same software structure with these two databases hosts: 1) films which are annotatable; 2) texts and documents with embedded videos and images; 3) encyclopedic data and deep metadata about films; 4) interviews, and other documentary images

Mapping Movies

Mapping Movies is a digital discovery environment in which users explore changing landscapes of social and spatial history by investigating the grounded locations and movements of moving pictures. The site promotes spatial thinking and historical inquiry about the relations between media access, public infrastructure, social geography, cultural networks, economic development, community building and collective memory.

How Elder People Remember Cinemagoing

In my dissertation, I try to explore and categorise the forms of how cinemagoing in the 1930s and 1940s is remembered by local eyewitnesses in the Saar region. This less urbanized region close to the border of France has been chosen as an important research field because of political issues, especially the election of 1935. After five, six and even seven decades, the social habit of cinemagoing still occupies an important place in the collective memory of elder people in rural communities.

Seaside Cinema Culture in Britain

The project aims to analyse the specificities, experience and significance of cinemagoing in seaside towns in East Anglia from the 1940s to 1970s. The initial stages of research will focus on the programming and discursive construction of specific cinemas (and other sites that showed films including the circus) in Great Yarmouth; this will be conducted via archival research of local newspaper, cinema programmes and cinema manager’s records.
Initial research suggests that programming varied from that of urban centres in the region but was also marked by shifting programming and divergent forms of entertainment on and off-season. The second stage of the project (for which funding is being sought) will be an oral history conducted with cinema employees and cinema-goers in Great Yarmouth (and potentially beyond). The project aims to build upon the research of those working within the ‘New Cinema History’ (Fuller-Seeley 2008; Knight 2011; Van de Vijver and Biltereyst 2012) in using localized case studies not as a means to ‘illuminate national trends’ – as Arthur’s study of Blackpool’s conversion to ‘Talkies’ is hoped to reveal – but to reveal the specificities, incongruities and shifting landscapes (both seasonally and historically) of cinema- going in seaside resorts marked by contradictory impulses of the everyday (local inhabitants) and the exceptional (seasonal tourists).

Film censorship in Shanghai

This research mainly studies the establishment, implementation and changes of film censorship in the foreign settlements in Shanghai under series of important historical changes, along with the influence of the film censorship on the Chinese film and the Chinese culture. This research focuses on three parts concerning the film censorship: the authorities, the film industry and the social response.

Mapping Movies

Where, when, and in what geographic contexts were women able to enter the film exhibition business as it grew from a technological novelty into a major industry and fixture of the modern American landscape? Mapping Movies prompts these new questions and more, exploring cinema’s emergent social and spatial environments by developing a Geographic Information System (GIS) using the Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA) pioneered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of New Hampshire. ERMA is a data management platform that aggregates diverse datasets and information streams, including those from crowdsourcing, into a fast, user-friendly online map. By adapting ERMA for cinema history, the result is a GIS prototype that charts the spread of movies in New Hampshire, locates women’s missing footprint in film exhibition, and visualizes deep forces shaping an emerging medium in an era of urbanization, modernization and suffrage.