Sean Cubitt, Goldsmiths

Friday, 29th, 4pm – 6 pm

Keynote 1 – Sean Cubitt (Goldsmiths, University of London, UK)

Against Connectivity

One symptom of the 1960s revolt against patriarchy and colonialism was an assault on the old certainties of cultural hierarchies. For two decades, the mark of culturally successful work was that it was subversive or resistant. The weakness of this position became increasingly clear, and it was finally, if incompletely, overwhelmed by the positive evaluation of connectivity that followed the rise of mass participation in network communications during the 1990s. But has connectivity lived up to its hype? On the one hand, there is a reasonable admiration for the democratising impact of network communications on audiovisual culture; but on the other are critiques of monopoly tendencies, standardisation and closed communities of the like-minded. Connectivity might best be considered as a condition rather than an unalloyed good, a technical condition as well as a human one, which can be distinguished from ontological, political and ecological mutuality.


You can find a PDF of Cubitt’s keynote speech: here.

Sean Cubitt is Professor of Film and Television and Joined Head of Department at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is currently researching the history of visual technologies, media art history, and relationships between environmental and post-colonial criticism of film and media, three strands that converge around the political economy of globalisation and aesthetics. Having worked in Canada, New Zealand and Australia, he has an interest in the film and media of these countries, and have ongoing research collaborations and honorary appointments at the Universities of Dundee and Melbourne.

Prof. Cubitt is on the editorial boards of a number of journals including Screen, Cultural Politics, Animation, International Journal of Cultural Politics, Visual Communications, Futures, Time and Society, fibreculture, MIRAJ and The New Review of Film and television Studies, and is a series editor for Leonardo Books, MIT Press.


Deb Verhoeven, Deakin

Saturday, 30th, 4pm – 5 pm

Keynote 2 – Deb Verhoeven (Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia)

Connectedness, Co-existence and Digital Collections

Discovery and innovation in humanities research, including media studies, has traditionally rested on researchers making serendipitous connections by meandering along knowledge trails and proposing unexpected conceptual links. Emerging digital research tools are producing even richer opportunities for connectivity in the humanities, but are often designed for efficient information retrieval rather than serendipitous discovery. Interrogation techniques based on networked information models or collection visualisations as well as more general discovery tools offer promising new avenues for discovery, but don’t always align with approaches to the production of knowledge used by humanities scholars. This presentation asks how we can engage with computational platforms to co-create a new and imaginatively revised “ordering” of the world and how this might produce alternative opportunities for global understanding.

Deb Verhoeven is Professor and Chair of Media and Communication at Deakin University. Amongst her many accolades she was named Australia’s Most innovative Academic in 2013. From 2012-2014 she was Deputy Director of the Centre for Memory, Imagination and Invention (CMII). Until 2011 she held the role of Director of the AFI Research Collection at RMIT University. A writer, broadcaster, film critic and commentator, Verhoeven is the author of more than 100 journal articles and book chapters. Her most recent book is Jane Campion published in 2009 by Routledge, a detailed case study of the commercial and cultural role of the auteur in the contemporary film industry. Professor Verhoeven is one of Australia’s leading proponents of Digital Humanities research. Her work is internationally recognised and evident in her recent appointment as Chair of Digital Humanities 2015. Verhoeven’s research addresses the vast amounts of newly available ‘cultural data’ that has enabled unprecedented computational analysis in the humanities. Verhoeven is a founding executive member of the Australasian Association of the Digital Humanities (aaDH) and the Tasmanian Government’s Digital Futures Advisory Council. She is currently the International Chair of Digital Humanities programming committee (ADHO).

Deb Verhoeven has an active role in film publishing. Until 2012 she was Chair of the widely read film journal Senses of Cinema and was Editor for the journal Studies in Australasian Cinema (Intellect) in 2009/10.