Faculty Research and Publications
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- Item50 shades of access: equalizing student access to media for coursework(University of Lethbridge, 2021) Graham, Rumi Y.; Taylor, AaronContribution to a roundtable on Strategies and Struggles in On-line Teaching During the Pandemic held on June 1, 2021 as part of the Film Studies Association of Canada-Association Canadienne d’Études Cinématographiques (FSAC-ACÉC) Annual Conference. Following on FSAC’s recent Statement on Copyright and Online Screenings, this contribution identifies practical, legal and philosophical challenges involving appropriate access to media required for film studies courses that affect both instructors and students alike. It also proposes two avenues for remediating access problems: pursuing reforms for unnecessarily restrictive aspects of Canada’s copyright law and developing guidelines for good practices that facilitate appropriate access to film studies content.
- ItemAngels, stones, hunters: murder, celebrity and direct cinema(Taylor & Francis, 2011) Taylor, AaronDirect cinema’s attempt to withhold itself from the world is ethically problematic. The helplessness of documentary subjects and audiences is underscored by this observational style. In Gimme Shelter – a concert film by Albert and David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin about the Rolling Stones and the fatal violence at the Altamont Speedway Free Festival – social actors are forced to submit to a representational frame they cannot ‘see’, let alone access. Moreover, the audience’s own distance from the pro-filmic events is doubly assured: the film maker’s policy of non-interference precludes and/or renders moot a viewer’s impossible desire to intercede on the subjects’ behalf.
- ItemAvengers dissemble! Transmedia superhero franchises and cultic management(Intellect, 2014) Taylor, AaronThrough a case study of The Avengers (2012) and other recently adapted Marvel Entertainment properties, it will be demonstrated that the reimagined, rebooted and serialized intermedial text is fundamentally fan oriented: a deliberately structured and marketed invitation to certain niche audiences to engage in comparative activities. That is, its preferred spectators are often those opinionated and outspoken fan cultures whose familiarity with the texts is addressed and whose influence within a more dispersed film going community is acknowledged, courted and potentially colonized. These superhero franchises – neither remakes nor adaptations in the familiar sense – are also paradigmatic byproducts of an adaptive management system that is possible through the appropriation of the economics of continuity and the co-option of online cultic networking. In short, blockbuster intermediality is not only indicative of the economics of post-literary adaptation, but it also exemplifies a corporate strategy that aims for the strategic co option of potentially unruly niche audiences.
- ItemBefore, during & after the pandemic: challenges in accessing & using media in academic settings(2022) Aufderheide, Patricia; Graham, Rumi Y.; Nair, Meera; Taylor, AaronAn online workshop presented by the Media Access and Copyright Working Group, Film Studies Association of Canada (FSAC) during the 2022 FSAC Annual Conference. This workshop will provide an overview of the group's work and gather feedback from attendees. Before the conference the group will release a report that outlines three focal areas for the Association to pursue: advocacy for amending the Copyright Act to better support online teaching and learning; opportunities for accessing and exhibiting content using exceptions such as fair dealing; and best practices for repurposing and creating new videographic work using exceptions such as fair dealing. The workshop goals are to hear from a wide range of stakeholders on these issues and to prepare for the next stage of proposed Association working groups.
- ItemBlind spots and mind games: performance, motivation, and emotion in the films of Stanley Kubrick(University of Texas Press, 2016) Taylor, AaronThe acting style in Stanley Kubrick’s films can be regarded as a symptom of the “other minds problem” and its ramifications for the cinema. Performances in Kubrick’s work reveal the complications involved in positing narration as a rhetorical system with a priori claims to direct and accurate evaluative knowledge of characters. For Kubrick, narrative discourse is not a systemic correlative for authorial mastery over characters, and so, his actors help establish narrational patterns that collide with the intricacies of fictional subjectivities. The performative techniques that complicate our ability to conceptualize and engage with characters’ emotions are itemized with the aim of precisely conceptualizing the director’s unique approach to performance. These strategies include strategic improvisation, excessive ostensiveness, expressively neutral action, and artificially immobilized expressions. Such techniques allow us to appreciate Kubrick’s “skeptical classicism”: a mode of narration whereby we negotiate various avenues and impediments surrounding our longing for knowledge of an other’s mind.
- ItemA cannibal's sermon: Hannibal Lector, sympathetic villainy and moral revaluation(Nova Philosophy Institute, 2013) Taylor, AaronAbstract not available
- ItemComment le droit d'auteur entrave à la créativité et à l'apprentissage, et comment les communautés canadiennes d'études sur les médias peuvent agir(Association canadienne d'études cinématographiques, 2022) Taylor, Aaron; Christensen, Alec; Selman, Brianne; Tepperman, Charles; Innerd, Charlotte; Baron, Jaimie; Blankenship, Janelle; Stidwill, Jenna; Langrell, Kate; Nair, Meera; Lyons, Owen; Graham, Rumi Y.; Rouleau, Thomas; Rioux, Valérie
- ItemThe continuing adventures of the "inherently unfilmable" book: Zack Synder's Watchmen(University of Texas Press, 2017) Taylor, AaronAbstract not available
- ItemHow copyright impedes creativity and learning, and how Canadian Media Studies communities can take action(Film Studies Association of Canada, 2022) Taylor, Aaron; Christensen, Alec; Selman, Brianne; Tepperman, Charles; Innerd, Charlotte; Baron, Jaimie; Blankenship, Janelle; Stidwell, Jenna; Langrell, Kate; Nair, Meera; Lyons, Owen; Graham, Rumi Y.; Rouleau, Thomas; Rioux, Valérie
- ItemHow to see things differently: Tim Burton's Reimaginings(Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) Taylor, Aaron
- ItemMedia access & use in teaching: does copyright pose obstacles to your instructional mission?(University of Lethbridge. Teaching Centre, 2023) Langrell, Kate; Novakowski, Ebony; Hanstke, Tamar; Graham, Rumi Y.; Singh, Cyrus Sundar; Taylor, AaronHave you ever selected a film for online viewing by your class, only to find it is no longer available when students need to access it for an assignment? Has a student ever reported that your Moodle link to a film on a free Canadian streaming platform is geo-blocked in the student's home country where they are taking the course? Do your students have trouble figuring out what they may lawfully borrow or adapt from media sources when they create new media content as part of assigned coursework? This roundtable spotlights a multi-institutional initiative that is probing possible ameliorations to conundrums such as these. The Media Access and Copyright Group (MAC) was created by the roundtable convenors under the sponsorship of the Film and Media Studies Association of Canada. Comprising about 45 communication and media studies scholars, academic librarians, copyright advisors, filmmakers, and legal experts, MAC is pursuing the development of best practice codes to help faculty understand when unlicensed educational access to and use of media content may be permissable. Chairs and coordinators of MAC's three working groups will briefly outline the focus and progress of their groups to date and touch on why media access and use issues remain pressing ones--especially as we move away from physical media and further into the streaming age. Following a Q&A to address any questions about MAC, we will invite you to share your stories, experiences, and perhaps uncertainties regarding teaching and researching using media content while trying to remain copyright-compliant.
- ItemTwilight of the idols: performance, melodramatic villainy and Sunset Boulevard(University of Illinois Press, 2007) Taylor, AaronAbstract not available