The Media and Environment Scholarly Interest Group just won the prize for best attended business meeting at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. Or so we were informed by the SCMS interest group liaison present at the meeting.
This year’s SCMS featured what to my mind was by far the largest assemblage of panels and papers on all manner of environmental/ecological themes: analyses of filmic representations of nature, disasters and catastrophes, animals and nonhumans; theoretical excursions in ecocinema, eco-aesthetics, toxic and “energetic” media, frontier and extraction imaginaries, and more; and eco-materialist analyses of production processes, data backup systems, and other things. Some of these were sponsored by the M & E interest group; many were not.
Here’s the new group’s mission statement:
The Media and the Environment Scholarly Interest Group (MESIG) aims to provide a forum for shared discussion of research and pedagogy at the intersections of media and environment. We believe that nearly every aspect of film and media practice and studies — from materials manufacturing and physical infrastructures, to filming locations and resources, to audiovisual aspects and themes, and beyond to marketing, preservation, obsolescence, and also scholarly discourse — touches matters of the environment and sustainability.
Various approaches from an environmentalist perspective have been taken and more are still being developed to investigate how our mediated cultural practices have, do, and will position humans in relation to physical and natural worlds. How can we further film and media studies as a global — read planetary — concern, focused on dire changes and issues affecting the Earth and our natural surroundings?
We believe our field has much to contribute to discussions and findings more frequently held in and attributed to science disciplines and Environmental Studies. With this Scholarly Interest Group, we seek to cultivate the study of significant matters of media and the environment within our field and through the representative collective that is SCMS.
Next year’s conference will be in Montreal. Details here.
Further details about the interest group can be found at Ecomedia Studies.