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Interrogating the Modes of Videographic Criticism

Organisers and Participants


Maria Hofmann is a film scholar and video essayist. Her research focuses on contemporary documentary film, videographic criticism, horror film, and Austrian studies, and has been published in [in]transition, Studies in Documentary Film, and Austrian Studies, among others. Her video essay "Beyond the Screen #nofilter" was screened at the Adelio Ferrero film festival where it received the award for best video essay.

Kathleen Loock is Professor of American Studies and Media Studies at Leibniz University of Hannover and director of the DFG-funded research group “Hollywood Memories: Cinematic Remaking and the Construction of Global Movie Generations.” She has published articles and book chapters on remakes, sequels, reboots, and seriality in film and television. Her video essay on Blade Runner 2049“Reproductive Futurism and the Politics of the Sequel”—was published in [in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film & Moving Image Studies (2019).

Alan O’Leary is Associate Professor of Film and Media in Digital Contexts at Aarhus University and Visiting Researcher at University of Leeds. He has published video essays in [in]Transition and 16:9 and his manifesto for a parametric videographic criticism appeared in NECSUS in Spring 2021. His most recent book is a study of the 1966 anti-colonial film classic The Battle of Algiers (Mimesis 2019)

Speakers, chairs and respondents

Dr. Elizabeth Alsop is an Assistant Professor of Communication and Media at the CUNY School of Professional Studies, and also teaches film studies at the CUNY Graduate Center. Her video essay, “The Television Will Not be Summarized,” was published in [In]Transition and recently included in the 2021 Sight and Sound poll of Best Video Essays. Her writing on film and television aesthetics, feminist media history, and contemporary television has appeared in The Journal of Film and Video, Feminist Media Studies, Film Quarterly, The LA Review of Books, and The Atlantic. She is currently at work on a book on the films of Elaine May. 

Ariel Avissar  is a video essayist, lecturer and PhD student at the Steve Tisch School of Film and Television, Tel Aviv University. He has co-edited Sight & Sound’s “Best Video Essays” poll since 2019, and was co-editor (along with Evelyn Kreutzer) of the “Once Upon a Screen” audio-visual essay collection published in “The Cine-Files” (issue 15, fall 2020). Since 2021 he has served as Associate Editor of [in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film & Moving Image Studies.

Dr Johannes Binotto is researcher in cultural and media studies, experimental filmmaker and video essayist. He obtained his PhD at the University of Zurich with a study on spaces of the uncanny in art, literature and film and is now senior lecturer in film theory at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, and in English and American Studies at the University of Zurich. Since 2021 he has led the Swiss national research project "Video Essay. Futures of Audiovisual Research and Teaching". Apart from his work in and on video essays his research focuses on the interconnections between media theory, psychoanalysis and philosophy of technology. 

Katie Bird is an assistant professor of film studies and digital media production at The University of Texas at El Paso in the department of Communication. Her research focuses on the role of manual labour and embodied thinking in the history and discourse of film technical craft practitioners and Hollywood unions. She has published on these topics in JCMS: The Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, The Velvet Light Trap, Spectator, [in]Transition, and has work forthcoming in Feminist Media Histories, Film History, and BAFTSS Open Screen

Mathias Bonde Korsgaard is Associate Professor at the Department of Media and Journalism Studies, Aarhus University, Denmark. He has published extensively on music videos and audiovisual studies, most notably the book Music Video After MTV: Audiovisual Studies, New Media, and Popular Music (Routledge, 2017), which covers core issues in the study of music video and explores the digital afterlife of music video online. Furthermore, Korsgaard is also the editor-in-chief of the Danish online film journal 16:9 which publishes articles in both Danish and English on film, series, documentary, music video and more, also including the publication of scholarly video-essays.

Stephanie Brown is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Washington College. While she tends to publish on gender, comedy, and emerging media, her new area of research asks how we use popular culture as a shared language with which to foster community building and interpersonal connection.

Andrea Comiskey (University of Pittsburgh)

Allison de Fren is Associate Professor and Chair of the Media Arts & Culture department at Occidental College in Los Angeles. Her research-practice focuses on gender and technology and, increasingly, videographic criticism and pedagogy. Her documentaries and video essays have screened internationally and her videographic criticism published in a variety of online journals. Her most recent publications are "The Critical Supercut: A Scholarly Approach to a Fannish Practice" in The Cine-Files, Issue 15 (Fall 2020) and "From the Essay Film to the Video Essay: Between the Critical and Popular" in the anthology Reclaiming Popular Documentary (2021).

Will DiGravio is a New York City-based writer, podcaster, and video essayist. He has spoken about the form and curated work at film festivals, academic conferences, and universities throughout the United States and Europe. He hosts The Video Essay Podcast and writes the weekly newsletter, Notes on Videographic Criticism. He holds an MPhil from the Centre for Film & Screen at the University of Cambridge.

Cormac Donnelly is a lecturer in audio engineering based in Manchester, UK. He is researching a PhD at the University of Glasgow, experimenting with videographic practice and film sound. He has published video essays in NECSUS, [in]Transition, and Screenworks. He currently holds an associate editor position at the journal [in]Transition

Kevin L. Ferguson is associate professor of English at Queens College, City University of New York, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on digital humanities, adaptation studies, and college writing. He is also a faculty member in the M.A. programs in Digital Humanities / Data Analysis and Visualization at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. He is also co-editor of the award-winning [in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies. 

Ian Garwood is a Senior Lecturer in Film and Television Studies at University of Glasgow. He has published video essays and writing about audiovisual criticism in [In]TransitionNECSUS and Cine-Files. Indy Vinyl, his audiovisual and written research project on record playing in American Independent Cinema, won the 2021 Videographic Criticism award from the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies. He is particularly interested in the role of sound in videographic criticism and the use and production of video essays in a teaching context.

Catherine Grant is a former Professor and current Honorary Research Fellow in Birkbeck, University of London. She has published widely on theories and practices of film authorship, adaptation and intertextuality, and edited or authored numerous collections of work on the scholarly online video, as well as on world cinema, Latin American cinema,and digital film and media studies. She is especially known for her work as a prolific maker and publisher/curator of remix-based videographic film and television studies, and is a founding co-editor of [in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies, the first peer-reviewed serial publication in this field.

Chiara Grizzaffi is a postdoctoral fellow at IULM University, in Milan, where she obtained her PhD in 2015. She’s the author of the volume I film attraverso I film. Dal “testo introvabile” ai video essay (Mimesis 2017); her essays have been published in journals such as The Cine-FilesBianco e NeroImagoCinergie and in books like Writing About Screen Media, edited by Lisa Patti (Routledge 2019); Harun Farocki. Pensare con gli occhi, edited by Luisella Farinotti, Barbara Grespi, Federica Villa (Mimesis 2017) and Critofilm. Cinema che pensa il cinema, edited by Adriano Aprà. She is co-editor of [in]Transition and associate editor of Cinergie.

Susan Harewood is an Associate Professor at the University of Washington Bothell. Her research examines media and Caribbean popular culture as key sites at which the pursuit of justice is contested, constrained, and shaped. Her published work has appeared in a number of journals and edited collections.

Danielle Hipkins is Professor of Italian Studies and Film at the University of Exeter. She has published widely on gender representation in postwar Italian cinema. In 2019 she participated in the videographic workshop Scholarship in Sound & Imageat Middlebury College, which led to her interest in the video essay form. She is now leading the AHRC-funded project ‘A Girls’ Eye-view: Girlhood on the Italian Screen since the 1950s’ (2021-2024), together with Romana Andò (Università la Sapienza). She is interested in how the video essay form could be used to disseminate their findings about how young women consume cinema and television.

Grace Lee. On their YouTube channel What's So Great About That, Grace Lee makes videos which combine cultural critique and media analysis with personal perspective and . These videos humorously explore broad philosophy and phenomena, always aspiring to come from a place of honesty and vulnerability. Grace has a BA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths (University of London) and an MFA in Fine Art from The Slade School of Fine Art (University College London).

Kevin B. Lee is a filmmaker, media artist, and educator. He has produced nearly 400 video essays exploring film and media. His award-winning Transformers: The Premake introduced the “desktop documentary” format and was named one of the best documentaries of 2014 by Sight & Sound. Through Bottled Songs he was awarded the 2018 Sundance Institute Art of Nonfiction Grant, the 2018 European Media Artist Platform Residency, and the 2019 Eurimages Lab Project Award at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. He is the Locarno Film Festival Professor for the Future of Cinema and the Audiovisual Arts at Università della Svizzera italiana (USI).

Christian Keathley is the Walter J Cerf Distinguished Professor of Film & Media Culture at Middlebury College, Vermont.  He is the author of Cinephilia and History, or The Wind in the Trees (Indiana UP, 2007), and is a founding co-editor of [in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film & Moving Image Studies.  He is co-convener, along with Jason Mittell, of “Scholarship in Sound and Image,” a series of workshops that teach the technical and conceptual basics of videographic criticism to film and media scholars.  These resulted in The Videographic Essay: Practice and Pedagogy, co-authored with Jason Mittell and Catherine Grant.

Jaap Kooijman is associate professor of Media Studies and American Studies at the University of Amsterdam. He is author of Fabricating the Absolute Fake: America in Contemporary Pop Culture(AUP, 2013) and co-editor, with Glyn Davis, of The Richard Dyer Reader(BFI, 2022). His audiovisual essays have been published in [in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film & Moving Image StudiesNECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies, and 16:9.

Evelyn Kreutzer is a postdoctoral researcher and video essayist in the international research group “(Con)sequential Images – An archaeology of iconic film footage from the Nazi era” at the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF, as well as Associate Editor at [in]transition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Images Studies. She is primarily interested in videographic scholarship; the essay film; film/media musicology & sound studies; archive theory & practice; and taste and canon politics.

Neepa Majumdar  is Associate Professor of Film & Media Studies in the English Department at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the author of Wanted Cultured Ladies Only! Female Stardom and Cinema in India, 1930s to 1950s and co-editor of the forthcoming Wiley Blackwell Companion to Indian Cinema. Her research interests include film sound, star studies, South Asian early cinema, and documentary film, and she is an alumna of the 2018 Middlebury workshop on videographic criticism. She is co-editor of the journals Music, Sound, and the Moving Image and [In]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies.

Jason Mittell is Professor of Film & Media Culture and American Studies at Middlebury College. His books include Complex Television: The Poetics of Contemporary Television Storytelling (NYU Press, 2015), The Videographic Essay: Practice & Pedagogy (with Christian Keathley & Catherine Grant, videographicessay.org), and How to Watch Television (co-edited with Ethan Thompson; NYU Press, 2013; revised edition 2020). He is project manager for [in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film & Moving Image Studies and co-director of the NEH-supported workshop series Scholarship in Sound & Image.

Hoang Tan Nguyen is a videomaker and film and media scholar. His short experimental videos include K.I.P, Forever Bottom!, PIRATED! and I Remember Dancing. He is the author of A View from the Bottom: Asian American Masculinity and Sexual Representation (Duke University Press, 2014) and articles on porn pedagogy and Southeast Asian queer cinema. He is associate professor of literature and cultural studies at the University of California, San Diego. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Cinema and Media Studies.

Jenny Oyallon-Koloski is an Assistant Professor of Media and Cinema Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her current book project for Oxford University Press explores the storytelling power of figure movement and dance in film musicals through both written and videographic content. Her videographic and practice-led research is published in [in]Transition, Screenworks, and Digital Humanities Quarterly.

Anupama Prabhala (Loyola Marymount University)

Maria Pramaggiore is Professor of Film and Media Studies at Maynooth University in Co. Kildare, Ireland, where she teaches film and media theory and history, screenwriting and documentary. She is currently at work on The Equine Imaginarythe Horse in Cinema  (Oxford UP), Disco Liberation? (Liverpool UP), an oral and archival history of queer Irish culture co-authored with Páraic Kerrigan and a videographic project on Sharon Tate's celebrity. 

Matthew Thomas Payne is an Associate Professor in the Department of Film, Television, & Theatre at the University of Notre Dame. His research interests include the cultural history of video games and interactive entertainment. He is author of Playing War: Military Video Games after 9/11 as well as co-editor of the anthologies How to Play Video Games, Flow TV, and Joystick Soldiers. Matthew is quite good at starting video essay projects; he’s less good at finishing them. 

Maike Sarah Reinerth is a postdoctoral researcher at Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF. Her current research focuses on political uses of online animation and on epistemological and praxeological aspects of videographic criticism. She has worked on representations of imagination and memory in film (with a book forthcoming in German). Maike is PI of the funded network “Animation and Contemporary Media Culture” and spokesperson of AG Animation, a group that advocates academic recognition of animation. Recent publications include “Political Genres of Online Animation,” in Media and Genre: Dialogues in Aesthetics and Cultural Analysis (2021); and “#AnimationMatters”, a video essay with A.-S. Philippi (2021).

Dr David Sorfa is a Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at the University  of Edinburgh and Programme Director of the MSc and PhD in Film Studies.  He is editor-in-chief of the journal Film-Philosophy and has particular interests in Existentialism, phenomenology, the work of Jacques Derrida and the presentation of thought and thinking in cinema. http://www.ed.ac.uk/profile/david-sorfa

Juan Llamas-Rodriguez’s research and teaching mobilize media theories to critically analyze social phenomena on a global scale. He is assistant professor of critical media studies at the University of Texas at Dallas. His areas of specialization include border studies, infrastructure studies, and Latin American film and television. He has published in the journals Feminist Media Histories, Television & New Media, Film Quarterly, Flow, Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, as well as several edited collections. He is the host of the Global Media Cultures podcast and a member of the Global Internet TV Consortium.

Ben Spatz is a nonbinary scholar-practitioner and a leader in the development of new artistic and embodied research methods. They are Reader in Media and Performance at University of Huddersfield (UK) and author of three books: What a Body Can Do (Routledge 2015), Blue Sky Body (Routledge 2020), and Making a Laboratory (Punctum 2020). Ben is founding editor of the videographic Journal of Embodied Research and the Punctum imprint Advanced Methods. Their work has been presented at more than thirty institutions in eighteen countries. For more information, please visit: www.urbanresearchtheater.com.

Maryam Tafakory (b. Iran) is an artist filmmaker whose video/textual collages interweave poetry, documentary, Iranian popular culture and television amongst other archival and found material. She has an ongoing body of essayistic videos on representations/victimisations and binaries of women in Iranian post-revolution cinema. Her work has appeared at Criterion’s The daily and Sight&Sound magazine. She studied for her MFA at Oxford University and holds a PhD from Kingston University. In 2019, she was awarded the Flaherty/Colgate Distinguished Global Filmmaker in Residence. 

Cydnii Wilde Harris (she/her) is a film scholar and video essayist, whose work largely concerns the representation of marginalized communities.  She is particularly concerned with the depiction of BIPOC women and femmes in film and television.

Barbara Zecchi, PhD University of California Los Angeles, is Professor of Film and Iberian Studies and Director of the Film Studies Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has published widely on feminist film theory, women filmmakers, and adaptation theory. In addition to about hundred articles and numerous video-essays, she is the author, editor or co-editor of ten volumes, including La pantalla sexuada (2014), Envejecimientos y cines ibéricos (2021), and Gender-Based Violence in Latin American and Iberian Cinemas (2020).  In 2011 she launched the Gynocine Project on women in global cinema. In 2017 she was elected Member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of Spain.