Project Team: Chris Keathley, Jason Mittell
About: [in]Transition is a collaboration between MediaCommons and the Society for Cinema and Media Studies’ official publication, Journal of Cinema & Media Studies – is the first peer-reviewed academic journal of videographic film and moving image studies, and is fully open access with no fees to publish or read. Subscribe to our email list to receive links to new issues.
Practitioners of these forms (which include, inter alia, the ‘video essay’, ‘audiovisual essay’, and ‘visual essay’ formats) explore the ways in which digital technologies afford a new mode of carrying out and presenting film and moving image research. The full range of digital technologies now enables film and media scholars to write using the very materials that constitute their objects of study: moving images and sounds.
Though a number of other outstanding sites present videographic work, none has yet received the disciplinary validation that is accorded to written scholarship. In large part, the strictures of written academic discourse pose a challenge for this nascent form of multi-media ‘writing’. [in]Transitionaims to address this challenge. This journal is designed not only as a means to present selected videographic work, but to create a context for understanding it – and validating it – as a new mode of scholarly writing for the discipline of cinema and media studies and related fields. This goal will be achieved through editorial curating of exemplary videographic works, through critical analysis and appreciation, pre-publication open peer review and ongoing peer commentary.
Most posts on [in]Transition features three elements: a videographic work, a statement by the creator of the video, and one or two signed peer reviews solicited by the editorial team. These peer reviews indicate the gatekeeping process that preceded the publication of the video, with experts evaluating the project, offering feedback for potential revisions, and recommending publication. Reviewers have a chance to revise these reviews for publication, focusing on how the video and accompanying statement function as scholarship. The goal of presenting these reviews openly is to set the terms of evaluation for videographic work, and contextualize it for acceptance and validation by our discipline.
We hope that the process of peer review does not end upon publication. [in]Transitionis committed to a vigorous open peer commentary process. Registered users of MediaCommons are invited to comment on and engage in dialogue with other readers and creators about published work. This commentary is a crucial component of the disciplinary dialogue that must take place if videographic works are to be accepted as scholarship. This dialogue can serve to further define the formal criteria we expect from distinguished videographic work. We invite readers to register with MediaCommons and engage with us in this stimulating and important dialogue concerning the future of videographic work as a scholarly form.
Note that for the first four issues of [in]Transition, the co-editors and invited members of the editorial board selected existing videographic works to present as exemplary of the form. These issues select and organize works thematically, around the various formal features that have already begun to take shape in videographic practice. Each selected work is accompanied by a short critical essay that explains and justifies the work in two ways: for its creative use of multi-media tools; and for the way it creates a ‘knowledge effect’ – that is, for its impact as scholarship. These initial curated works and conversations set the groundwork for the ongoing presentation and validation of videographic criticism.