The Classical Hollywood SIG had our second annual meeting at the Chicago 2017 SCMS conference.
We reviewed the developments of the previous year, including the rapid growth in membership and the development of an online presence, with a website, Facebook page and Twitter feed.
The Chairs encouraged members to contribute content to our online ventures. Members can either volunteer to tweet or post on our accounts or send one-off items to Dawn Fratini (firstname.lastname@example.org) for posting.
We discussed the possibility of expanding our online presence with more content. Co-Chair Chris Cagle brought up the example of the Documentary Studies and its new Docalogue feature, geared around a film-of-the-month discussion. Member Paul Monticone suggested a “book of the month” discussion in which members revisit a seminal book in the field of classical Hollywood history. The consensus was that such ventures were interesting but would take more time to discuss and develop.
One area that the chairs agreed would be a good priority is maintaining a clearinghouse of conference news and calls for papers. Chris volunteered to maintain one.
Co-chair Emily Carman presented a proposal for a mentorship program. The program would match grad students and junior scholars with senior scholars. There was general discussion and overall support for this program. Emily and Chris will refine the proposal in consultation with the graduate representative, Chandler Taylor and taking on group input. A program will be put in place, with applications in Fall of 2017 and assignments by the start of 2018, in advance of next year’s SCMS conference.
The group discussed what the priority should be for next year’s budget. Consensus was that we should try for a special or affiliate event at Toronto 2018. Ross Melnick, Paul Monticone, and Colleen Montgomery volunteered to help with partnering with Toronto film institutions. TIFF is a logical partner, but Steven Cohan emphasized the need to coordinate with larger SCMS plans at TIFF. Emily suggested an archival screening, possibly with Il Cinema Ritrovato’s road show, and/or the UCLA Film and Television Archive or the Academy Film Archive [both of which have staff that attend SCMS each year]. The chairs and volunteers will work over the summer to plan an event proposal.
The last item of discussion was the possibility of forging professional alliances, with other disciplines and academic bodies outside of North America. Grégoire Halbout noted the isolation that French scholars on Hollywood cinema often feel from SCMS. He noted the work of SERCIA in France and Europe. Steven suggested he and others volunteer to be on SCMS’s program committee. The chairs reemphasized the role of the SIG in developing workshops and panels.
Co Chairs, Chris Cagle and Emily Carman