The Workshop

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Over the course of each two-week workshop, participants will  immerse themselves in the forms of videographic criticism by viewing examples, reading theoretical reflections, and learning the craft of creating such work. As we explore the possibilities for this form, we will consider not only rhetoric, but aesthetics as well, for using moving images and sounds inevitably engages non-linguistic representations and thus draws upon a range of potential styles and affects. These videos, which range from the explanatory to the poetic, will offer useful models to consider as participants undertake their own projects.

In advance of the workshop, each participant will select three or four familiar media objects (at least one film) on which s/he would like to work during their time at Middlebury. The first week will be dedicated to in-depth discussions of the history of the form and the state of current practice. Each day, participants will be given a short videographic production assignment that will involve their selected media objects; these will then be screened and discussed together. These assignments will be oriented two ways: firstly, toward introducing participants to some of the dominant genres of videographic essay that have evolved and encouraging them to attempt work in those genres; and secondly, toward foregrounding specific formal elements (e.g., image manipulation, sound/image recombination, split screen, voice over, etc.) in their work. Just as importantly, these exercises will serve to get participants practicing and working with image and sound manipulation and recombination starting on the very first day.

Throughout this first week, we will also convene workshops offering instruction in the software platforms participants will use to produce their digital scholarship. No prior experience with video editing software will be expected, as all the needed technical skills will be taught and supported through the workshop.

The second week of the workshop will feature presentations and conversations around key issues related to this form, including copyright and fair use, peer review and academic validation, and pedagogy. The bulk of this week will foreground individual work time, with primary emphasis on participants starting work on a substantial videographic critical essay on a topic of their choosing. The workshop directors and staff, and the guest mentors will be available for consultation and technical instruction. In mentoring participants’ work, we will emphasize the distinction between a traditional essay with moving illustrations, and the more integrated and innovative form of multimedia scholarship we hope to inspire. The workshop will conclude with participants presenting their works-in-progress to the group in a critique-style setting. It is expected that every participant will leave the workshop with at least one piece of videographic criticism well on the path toward submission and dissemination.

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