Neubauer Collegium workshops and seminars gather University of Chicago faculty and scholars together with experts from around the world for formal meetings, working group discussions, and targeted training opportunities in a setting that facilitates rigorous investigation of new scholarly trajectories.
2013-2014 FUNDED Visiting fellows
Cinemetrics Across Boundaries: A Collaborative Study of Montage
Cinemetrics is an open-access interactive website designed to collect, store, and process scholarly data about films. Launched in 2005 as a digital tool to facilitate the analysis of film editing, in the few years of its existence Cinemetrics has grown into an interdisciplinary forum on experimental methods in cinema studies, used regularly by hundreds of researchers from around the globe. Yet, although Cinemetrics provides an intense environment for online trafficking of data and ideas, its future as a field in Humanities depends on face-to-face gathering of regular Cinemetrics contributors and principal collaborators in statistics and cultural production, and a thoughtful study of its place in the field. A conference and collaborative meetings are two directions in which the project will move. The Neubauer Collegium will bring Michael John Baxter from Nottingham Trent University (UK) for short-term visits and lectures on the use of state-of-the-art statistics in modern film studies, and Daria Khitrova, a specialist in poetry and dance with more recent stakes in film studies, from UCLA, to contribute knowledge from other meter-driven arts such as music, poetry, and dance. Their collaboration aims to produce a book volume on Cinemetrics as an emerging field of film studies.
History-writing in China often strikes U.S. readers as nationalistic and therefore “out of step” with Euro-American common practice. Our assumption is rather that the historiographic conventions differ, and require a reading that engages, as do Chinese humanists, with philosophical questions drawn from both Chinese and non-Chinese traditions. Among the profound, long-term social particularities of the Chinese intelligentsia are an appreciation of philology and a ready circulation among disciplines usually kept separate in our academy: history, aesthetics, and metaphysics. We locate the maximal contrast in styles of understanding history in the currently-influential scholarly movement known as “New National Studies” (Xin Guoxue). By engaging Chinese scholars through an on-going series of short-term visiting scholarships, this project will sharpen our understanding of humanities and social scientific research being conducted in China today and help University of Chicago scholars reflect on the protocols and implicit frontiers of their own arguments.
Since Pablo Picasso’s inclusion of oil cloth and rope in his Still-Life with Chair Caning (1912), and Marcel Duchamp’s attachment of a bicycle wheel on a stool for his first assisted ready-made (1913), the diversity of materials used in art making has exploded. Nothing, perhaps, distinguishes 20th-century art more from prior art than its materials. Yet their significance – if, when, and how these materials matter and mean – has not been seriously addressed in art history. Such an effort entails, for example, considering a material’s exact scientific make up, its nature as shapeable matter or found commodity, its historical and cultural meanings or transcendence thereof, its tactile as opposed to merely visual appeal or use, its manner of being worked, its existence in time and possible demise, its function in shaping and withdrawing monetary or cultural value, and its very role in shaping identity and definition of art. This surprising lacuna results most obviously from the peculiar conjunction of discipline-specific and interdisciplinary expertise required to address these issues. This two-year project will bring New York based conservator Christian Scheidemann to the University of Chicago campus for a series of engagements with a growing number of local scholars interested in the materials of modern and contemporary art. A leading conservator of contemporary art, Scheidemann is the only one in the world who has built his expertise on art made from non-traditional materials. A scholar who, in his publications, draws on his art historical training, intellectual breadth, and conservation experiences, Scheidemann is also a practitioner in the sense that he fixes art, halts or slows its aging process, or advises not to intervene, but also in the sense that he consults and collaborates with artists who work with unusual materials.
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