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Film scholars, critics, programmers and archivists are increasingly ‘writing’ about cinema not in words but in images and sounds. Such work, often referred to as videographic criticism, videographic scholarship, or simply the “video essay,” is highly self-reflexive, in that it utilizes the medium of moving images in order to study moving-image media. How does digital video enable the presentation of research, argumentation, and critical analysis of film and other moving-image media? Two video essay practitioners Dr Shane Denson (Stanford) and Conor Bateman (4:3, ABC) present recent work and discuss, from scholarly and critical perspectives, the theory and practice of the video essay form. Followed by a Q&A, chaired by Dr Susan Potter.





Shane Denson is Assistant Professor of Film & Media Studies in the Department of Art & Art History at Stanford University. His research and teaching interests span a variety of media and historical periods, including phenomenological and media-philosophical approaches to film, digital media, comics, games, videographic criticism, and serialized popular forms. He is the author of Postnaturalism: Frankenstein, Film, and the Anthropotechnical Interface (Transcript-Verlag/Columbia University Press, 2014) and co-editor of several collections: Transnational Perspectives on Graphic Narratives (Bloomsbury, 2013), Digital Seriality (special issue of Eludamos: Journal for Computer Game Culture, 2014), and the open-access book Post-Cinema: Theorizing 21st-Century Film (REFRAME Books, 2016). For more information, see

Conor Bateman is a writer, video editor, and the managing editor of 4:3, an independent online film magazine. His work has been published in Fandor Keyframe, The Lifted Brow, Senses of Cinema and more. He currently works as the Digital and Social lead at ABC Arts and previously has worked for Sydney Film Festival, ABC iview, SBS and the University of Sydney. He was a jury member at the Possible Worlds Film Festival, a participant in the Melbourne International Film Festival’s Critics Campus program and has been a panelist at the Emerging Writers Festival and the Melbourne International Film Festival. You can find him online at 4:3 or on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.

Susan Potter is a Lecturer in Film Studies in the Department of Art History. In 2017 she was awarded a Strategic Education Innovation Grant to develop, together with a team of student partners, a series of assessments leading to a final video essay for students in ARHT2652 From Silent to Sound Cinema. You can also find her on Twitter.


Scan the QR codes to see examples of their work:


5-6:30pm, Wednesday 5 September 2018
Heydon Laurence Lecture Theatre 217
Science Road
University of Sydney
NSW 2006

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