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May 2002, Week 1


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mark H Nornes <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 3 May 2002 10:36:01 -0400
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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First, one more addition to the list: Film Quarterly. Aside from its long
tradition of excellence and solid peer review, I admire FQ's ability to
engage ANY lover of film while adhering to the highest standards of the

Second, Jeremy's question on online journals. If you haven't seen
Screening the Past, give it a try. It's impressive and "hefty" in its own
way. Aside from original writing of one sort or another, they are also
taking advantage of the economic edge of online publishing to reprint
important writings with scholarly  introductions/annotations, as well as
translations. These are two precious kinds of publishing that print
journals rarely if ever feel they can afford to try (I'd like to hear
their justifications for avoiding it!)

As for the tenure question, I have a some sense for this at the University
of Michigan. At the level of daily life and the chaos of rhetoric on
campus, there is a lot of talk about supporting faculty's efforts at using
digital technologies for pedagogy and research. At this school, it's
actually backed up by ready money. I've regularly received financial
support for such experiments. There's also talk about how the faculty is
supposedly smart enough to critique and judge any piece of research, no
matter where it's published. However, in reality I think it's safe to say
the basics have to be covered in the traditional manner (peer reviewed
print journals  and a monograph from a decent university publisher). Once
this reality is dispensed with, online publishing is nice icing for the
cake. It provides fodder for the tenure case...innovative approaches to
research, experimenting with technologies that are certainly in our
collective future, etc. etc. I think in my own recent case,
straightforward, linear writing published online did not count for much.
However, the attempts at hypertext and other kinds of research and
pedagogy that try things impossible on paper media were embraced....but
only because the usual bases were covered. As long as journals like
Screening the Past keep up the peer review, they will be well-positioned
to unproblematically count for tenure when 1) economies of scale make
paper publishing prohibitively expensive, 2) academic culture in the
humanities gets used to the idea, 3) online library subscriptions become
the norm, as they swiftly are, 4) it starts becoming competitive to get
accepted, 5) etc. etc. etc.

I'd be interested in hearing other people's experiences.


Program in Film and Video Studies
University of Michigan

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