HoMER at NECS 2018 + AGM

HoMER strand at NECS Conference: Media Tactics and Engagement, Amsterdam, 2018
Hosted by the University of Amsterdam and VU Amsterdam , 27-29 June 2018

Three days of presentations by authors of research on movie and other media distribution, from all eras and places. See the abstracts visualized with Prospect.

There is a Media in Transition pre-conference  organized by Utrecht University on 26 June. For more information and registration see: https://necs.org/conference/accompanying-events/pre-conference

HoMER Network AGM

The HoMER General Annual Meeting will take place during NECS conference in Amsterdam on Wednesday 27th from 16.15 until 18.00, at VU Main building, room 15A33.

Please see the agenda here.

Before the meeting, please see the minutes from the last meeting in Toronto, and the updated HoMER constitution.
If you cannot attend but wish to share any comments or suggestions please feel free to contact either Daniela or Clara, or comment on this page. The meeting will be streamed through our HoMER Network Facebook page.


Workshop: Curating and Sharing the Data of Media History (with Eric Hoyt)

The HoMER workshop is sponsored by DICIS and will be on Friday 29 June, 3.45PM-7.00PM

In the course of our research, members of HoMER have amassed collections (quite large, in some cases) of documents, images, publications, and other sources that chronicle the global histories of moviegoing. How can we use digital technology to leverage these sources—many of which never even become footnotes—so that they are meaningful, useful, and revealing to a wider community? And what are the considerations of law, ethics, labor, technical expertise, and historiography that we must attend to in the process? This workshop will take up these questions through a blend of presentations, discussions, and hands-on exercises. One common thread will be the multiple meanings of “curation”—ranging from the decisions of inclusion and exclusion, to the computational structuring of data, to the methods for contextualizing objects that users encounter online.

The workshop will be facilitated by Eric Hoyt, who is an associate professor of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Director of the Media History Digital Library. Hoyt will discuss some of the forms of curation that he and his collaborators have employed in digitizing magazines for the Media History Digital Library and, most recently, in reuniting a paper and audio collection for the “Unlocking the Airwaves” digital humanities project. But the workshop’s focus will be on the interests, research, and questions of HoMER members. Please bring at least one primary source that you would be interested in somehow sharing or curating online.


All HoMER workshops and panels will be in the main building of the VU. Click here for directions.

There will be a HoMER dinner on Thursday 28 June, at 7.00 PM in The Circl, Gustav Mahlerplein 1B, 1082 MK Amsterdam.( a 10-minute walk from the VU). If you have not signed up yet, please contact Daniela (dtreveri-gennari@brookes.ac.uk) or Clara (c.pafort-overduin@uu.nl).


This year’s HoMER gathering takes the form of a conference strand in NECS at Amsterdam. All HoMER panels will be held at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. If you are attending, please check the NECS website for transport and accommodation advice.

The preliminary programme for the conference can be found here. There will be fifteen HoMER panels and two workshops throughout the three days of the conference. The HoMER General Meeting will take place on Wednesday 27 June.

One of the highlights is the workshop on “Curating and Sharing the Data of Media History”, which will be run by Eric Hoyt (co-director of the Media History Digital Library) and is kindly funded by DICIS (Digital Cinema Studies). If you wish to take part in this workshop, please complete the form below.

We look forward to seeing you in Amsterdam.

Call for Papers: HoMER@NECS 2018

Media Tactics and Engagement

HoMER@NECS Conference 2018, Amsterdam, 27–29 June 2018
Hosted by VU and UvA, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Deadline for proposals: 31 January 2018
Following several joint conferences in Prague (2013), Milan (2014) and Potsdam (2016), HoMER (http://homernetwork.org) is teaming up with NECS (http://necs.org/) again to offer a strand of panels at the 2018 NECS conference in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Similar to previous such events, this will include a pre-conference day with a HoMER workshop (details tbc). NECS (Network for European Cinema Studies) is a dynamic forum supporting researchers working on film and media theory, practice and history. Bringing together cinema historians from all over the world, HoMER (History of Movie-Going, Exhibition and Reception) is an international network interested in understanding the phenomena of cinema and cinema-going from a multidisciplinary perspective. One of NECS’ and HoMER’s main purposes is to facilitate connections between acclaimed and aspiring researchers and the multitude of academic disciplines they represent. This year’s Call for Papers focuses on Media Tactics and Engagements, which will explore the various − (un)intended and (non) subversive − ways in which media are currently developed, deployed and distorted in both former and present times. There are many ways to think about the notions of tactics and engagement. For example, we may think of tactics as the means to an overarching strategic end. Thus, the term can draw attention to larger trends within the film and media industry. Why and to what effect do media distributors like Netflix, retailers like Amazon and social media platforms like Facebook order original content? And how does that affect film production, distribution and consumption? Or how did film exhibitors in the post-war period organise themselves in cartel to respond to governmental film policies?
Thinking of the recent resistance to Netflix original films at the Cannes Film Festival, one may also ask how the film industry itself strategically responds to these kinds of developments. The cinematic text, for example, has seen continuous transformation through multiple digressions: nitrate short films, to 3D movies, roadshows, to DVD (extras), online publicity, and digital technologies generally have informed the status of film texts, their consumption and interactions with them. What further reflections around text, platform, user/audience engagement are necessitated in the context of these developments?


Possible topics could be:
  • Marketing strategies and tactics in film distribution and exhibition
  • Publicity material and paratextual material
  • Corporate identity of companies
  • Alternative circuits of film distribution and organizations that exhibit film
  • Tactics in engaging with audiences: international markets and US markets
  • Audience and institutional activism in relation to film exhibition
  • Memories of changing practices of cinema-going
  • The relationship between the industry and the reviewers
  • Education, engagement of younger generation
  • Past and contemporary distribution and content production models
Moreover, we launch a special call for papers on Latin American cinema cultures. Whereas traditionally Latin American film scholars have worked within a text oriented paradigm, recently there has been a series of projects and publications with a clear focus on audiences, exhibition and cinema-going, both in large film producing countries such as Brazil, Mexico and Argentina and in smaller cinema nations such as Colombia. We seek to bring together these studies to make a state-of-the-art of HoMER related research in Latin America.
We seek submissions of individual papers or pre-constituted panel (3 papers) proposals from existing HoMER members and anyone interested into historical and contemporary film exhibition, distribution and experience. Please submit abstracts of individual papers of no more than 300 words with a biographical note of no more than 100 words to both Clara (c.pafort-overduin@uu.nl) and Daniela (dtreveri-gennari@brookes.ac.uk). For panels, please send abstracts together with a 200-word note on the title and topic of the panel or workshop. You will be notified of the acceptance or decline of your proposal by 28 February 2018. Please note, if you are accepted and would like to register for the conference, you will be asked to become a member of NECS and pay the membership fees by the 30th of April 2018.
Please do make sure you also check the NECS CfP, in case your proposal fits better their  call.
We look forward to all the proposals,
HoMER@NECS Team 2018: Clara Pafort-Overduin, Daniela Treveri Gennari, Philippe Meers, Talitha Ferraz, Asa Jernudd, John Sedgwick, Mario Slugan, Thunnis van Oort


Explore conference abstracts using Prospect

Prospect is a free, open-source data curation and visualization tool developed by the Digital Innovation Lab at the University of North Carolina. It is the follow-up to DH Press, which is used on this site for the Digital HoMER map.

Ahead of the Circuits of Cinema conference which starts this week, we have been experimenting with Prospect, so you can now browse the conference abstracts using a map, timeline, or list visualisation. Prospect has many more ways to slice the data but we would need more systematic tagging, so perhaps this may contribute to the discussion.

Open Prospect – Toronto here.


In Memoriam: Karel Dibbets

It is with great sadness that we have learned of the death of Karel Dibbets, which occurred in the last days of May. Our thoughts are with his friends and family, and we will remember Karel as a kind and generous colleague who leaves a lasting legacy in our field.

Tributes have already been published and will no doubt continue to appear, as Karel’s work and life connected him to so many others through his teaching, writing, editing, organising, and his cheerful, bright presence at conferences and social events. We invite you to post your remembrances and tributes to Karel in the comments below, to be collected for future events in his memory.

Karel was one of the founding members of the HoMER Project in 2004, and orchestrated its first conference, ‘Cinema in Context’, in 2006 (The keynotes were published in a special edition of Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis). Its title makes reference to the Cinema Context database, which stands as Karel’s most influential project – and indeed a trailblazing one that opened up new ways of researching cinema history. Collecting and systematizing data of film exhibition and distribution in the Netherlands between 1895 and 1940, Cinema Context was one of a handful of digital projects that gave concrete form to the empirically-grounded project of New Cinema History as an emerging field. Karel’s reflections on method and practice (such as his 2010 article on “Cinema Context and the genes of film history”) are key interventions in the effort to construct an interdisciplinary field of study, and have helped many others to structure and develop new projects in many parts of the world.

A very important aspect of Cinema Context, which in a way reflects Karel’s sociability, was its openness. Not only can you view, browse, and search the data – you can download the whole database and useful scripts to run analyses on it, or to collect your own data in a compatible format. This ideal of interconnectivity through shared standards continues to motivate current work within the HoMER Network, and Karel’s absence will be felt on a practical level as well. Fortunately, the University of Amsterdam continues to maintain the database, with Julia Noordegraaf as its curator, thus ensuring that the project continues to develop and transform.

After graduating from the Netherlands Film Academy, he studied economic and social history at the University of Amsterdam where he also wrote his PhD on the coming of sound in the Netherlands. In his nearly 30 years teaching cinema history at the University of Amsterdam (1983-2011) he inspired many students. Karel had also co-edited the Skrien monthly film review and the Jaarboek Mediageschiedenis / Media History Yearbook. His book Film and the First World War, with Bert Hogenkamp, is an essential part of any early cinema bibliography. His books on the coming of sound in the Netherlands and cinema history until 1940 are standard works for Dutch films students. His books and multiple articles on the transition to sound, film distribution and exhibition in the Netherlands, and the relations between film and theatre demonstrated his clarity of analysis and ability to weave together detail and pattern.

Lately Karel had been working on ‘the evergreens of cinema history’, the films that kept coming back to Dutch screens over the decades. Karel’s laughter and conviviality will never be restored to us – but may our memories of our dear friend, and the influence of his work, remain thus ‘evergreen’.

Tributes from friends

In the media:

Please use the Comments below to post your memories and tributes to Karel, or links to notes published elsewhere.

Circuits of Cinema Preliminary Schedule


A HoMER Network Conference
Hosted by the Circuits of Cinema Project
Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada
22 to 24 June 2017 (Thursday to Saturday)
Pre-Conference 21 June 2017: Mapping Movies “data-sharing” workshop

We are planning to host 115 presentations by 124 authors or co-authors of research on movie and other media distribution, from all eras and places.

DOWNLOAD the Preliminary Programme (5 Feb 2017)

Circuits of Cinema will be a forum for presentations of historicized or comparative research on movie distribution and media infrastructures of cultural exchange. Presenters should foreground the mechanics and conditions that allow cinema to happen, and should scrutinize the planning and negotiations too often hidden in back offices and filing cabinets. Presenters at Circuits of Cinema will collectively provide a spectrum of critical analysis on aspects of media distribution ranging from classical Hollywood’s global circulation, to histories of local and regional film circuits, to conditions in today’s networked media spaces.

Panels are organized into three sub-themes:

  • A Panels | Chains of Command: Patterns behind Hollywood’s Standard Practices
  • B Panels | Transformative Distribution: Inter-Cultural, Diasporic and Transnational Circuits
  • C Panels | Distributing Alternatives: Circuits to the Social, Aesthetic and Economic Margins

ALSO:New Terrain Keynote Panels | Leading Research by Emerging & Senior Scholars   

Updated Information will be posted at www.psmoore.ca/circuits-of-cinema and here.

Members of the Circuits of Cinema Project:
Paul S. Moore, Ryerson University
Sébastien Caquard, Concordia University
Deb Verhoeven, Deakin University
Kathryn Fuller-Seeley, University of Texas-Austin
Jeffrey Klenotic, University of New Hampshire

(Supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Grant 435-2015-0917)

CFP: Circuits of Cinema

We are pleased to publish the Call for Papers for the next HoMER event, hosted by the Circuits of Cinema Project at Ryerson University. Please share widely!

Download Circuits of Cinema CFP

Circuits of Cinema banner

Circuits of Cinema:

Histories of Movie and Media Distribution

A HoMER Network Conference

Hosted by the Circuits of Cinema Project

Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada

22 to 24 June 2017 (Thursday to Saturday)

Pre-Conference 21 June 2017: all-day Mapping Movies “data hack”


Deadline to submit 250-300 word abstracts, by email to psmoore@ryerson.ca

Wednesday, 30 November 2016.

As a field of study, histories of movie exhibition and reception have robustly focused on the audience. Movie theatres have been privileged as the setting for cinema’s subjective and collective experience. Scholars have analyzed cinemas’ regulation, heritage, and nostalgia as local institutions. At the same time, the diversity of audiences and venues has become as important as the mainstream. Further, digital projection and preservation have prompted intermedial archaeologies of the boundaries between movies and other media.

Underlying all these cinematic experiences and spaces is film distribution, which can be broadly defined as the circulation of materials and practices across political, economic and cultural territories.

Circuits of Cinema seeks presentations of historicized or comparative research on movie distribution and media infrastructures of cultural exchange. Presenters should foreground the mechanics and conditions that allow cinema to happen, and should scrutinize the planning and negotiations too often hidden in back offices and filing cabinets. Presenters at Circuits of Cinema will collectively provide a spectrum of critical analysis on aspects of media distribution ranging from classical Hollywood’s global circulation, to histories of local and regional film circuits, to conditions in today’s networked media spaces.

Circuits of Cinema aims to be inclusive of a diversity of perspectives. Especially welcome are studies from the social and geopolitical periphery; studies of the gendered, racialized, and discriminatory results of distribution practices; and, studies from new scholars and doctoral students.

Presentation topics include, but are not limited to, the following themes and topics:

Mapping Territories of Movie and Media Exhibition

  • Booking and Zoning: Hollywood’s Standard Exhibition Contract
  • Diasporic cinemas & international import/export patterns
  • Alternative, Underground, Art film, and Non-theatrical Markets & Circuits

The material conditions of mediated cultural and social exchange

  • Theatrical Suppliers, Servicing & the Labour of Sales People
  • Itinerant Exhibitors’ Circuits and Exchange Territories
  • Read it! Hear it! Own It! Intermedial Distribution movie-radio-tv-novel-toys-etc.

The circulation of movie and media experience

  • Coming Soon! Advertising, Advance Publicity and Delayed Gratification
  • Now Playing Everywhere! Wide Release & Blockbuster Marketing
  • Held Over! Roadshow and Showcase Releasing


Deadline is Wednesday, 30 November 2016, to submit presentation proposals.

Send abstracts of 250 to 300 words, plus 3 or 4 bibliographic entries, and a 50-word academic biography to conference host, Paul S. Moore, psmoore@ryerson.ca

Updated Information will be posted at www.psmoore.ca/circuits-of-cinema


Members of the Circuits of Cinema Project:

Paul S. Moore, Ryerson University; Sébastien Caquard, Concordia University;

Deb Verhoeven, Deakin University; Kathryn Fuller-Seeley, University of Texas-Austin;

Jeffrey Klenotic, University of New Hampshire


Confirmed speakers include:

Judith Thissen, Utrecht University; Richard Maltby, Flinders University

Eric Hoyt, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Gregory Waller, Indiana University

New coordinators

Dear colleagues and friends,

As announced at the HoMER General Meeting in Potsdam, July 2016, Lies Van de Vijver and myself (Maria Velez-Serna) are passing on the baton as coordinators of the HoMER Network. It has been a real privilege and pleasure to work with this extraordinary community, and we thank you all for the opportunity and for your support.

We are also very pleased to welcome two new coordinators, as elected by the membership:

Dr. Clara Pafort-Overduin (Utrecht), a HoMER founding member with extensive scholarship on film exhibition and distribution in the Netherlands: http://www.uu.nl/staff/CPafortOverduin/0

Dr. Daniela Treveri Gennari (Oxford Brookes), a leading researcher on historical cinema audiences and part of the DICIS (Digital Cinema Studies) project:  http://arts.brookes.ac.uk/staff/danielatreverigennari.html

Over to Clara and Daniela – with much gratitude and best wishes!

HoMER @ NECS 2016 ::: Programme

The full programme for this year’s conference of the European Network for Cinema and Media Studies is now available, including thirteen HoMER panels. Please visit the conference homepage for further information about the event, pre-conferences, location, and so on.

The HoMER strand within the conference was selected and programmed by our own committee and advisory panel, but it is fully integrated into NECS (as has been in previous years), and open to everyone. The abstracts for all HoMER papers can be seen here: HoMER@NECS 2016 – Abstracts

While we won’t have a HoMER pre-conference, there are three HoMER-specific events:

  • Sightseeing boat trip (Wednesday 27th July, 1pm)
  • HoMER General meeting (Thursday 28th July, 6pm)
  • ‘Connecting the dots’ workshop by Jeff Klenotic (Saturday 30th July, 11am)

HoMER colleagues will also be interested to hear that Prof Deb Verhoeven is one of the conference’s keynote speakers.

With all this activity, we are confident that this year’s HoMER meeting will be engaging, productive, and fun. See you in Potsdam!