Domitor Conference 2014



Last week I attended the 13th International Domitor conference, which took place in Chicago an Evanston, June 21-25. It was a very well organised meeting of Domitorians from many different countries discussing various aspects of early cinema and the broader media and entertainment landscape around 1900. Sabine Lenk (who unfortunately could not come) and I contributed a paper on the complex question of so-called “fake” films and in particular staged topical films, which at that time were generally marketed by the producers as “reproductions” and “representations”.

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Lausanne Lecture on Dispositif



The colleagues from Lausanne University have formed a research group on dispositifs and I was invited to give a lecture on May 7. This happened to be the day there new Centre d’études cinématographiques was officially opened, so this was a special occasion. We particuarly discussed the similarities and differences in the way in which we conceptualise dispositif. The Lausanne perspective gives a quite central place to discursive constructions, including literary texts, of what might be called a “cinematic epistemè”.

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Lectures in Paris on Dispositif



I have been invited to give three lectures in the Roger Odin Chair seminar series at the Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle, my old Alma Mater. The topic I have chosen is “Towards a Historical Pragmatics” and I am trying to develop my ideas on the concept of dispositif. The lectures are scheduled for January 14, 21 and 28. It’s a pleasure and a privilege to discuss my ideas with students and colleagues, and I am particularly happy that Roger Odin himself attends all the lectures.

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Montreal Conference: The Magic of Special Effects

At this conference, I presented a paper entitled “Truco-logiques: la magie des trucages et des effets spéciaux entre la scéne et l’écran”, which I co-wrote with Sabine Lenk. We discussed the different attitudes towards stage effects in Germany and France during the 19th century and their consequences for the status of cinematic tricks in early cinema.


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Cerisy la Salle



From June 19-22 Sabine Lenk and I attended the conference La mise en scène théâtrale et les formes audio-visuelles at Cerisy la Salle.

We presented a paper on André de Lorde’s play “Au téléphone” and its various filmic adaptations. Thanks to the wonderful collection of the Association de la Régie Théâtrale deposited at the Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville de Paris, we had access to documents used for the staging of the play. This is an extraordinarily rich collection and the various presentations at this conference amply demonstrated its value.

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