Screening Collectives and Collectivity

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Jackman Humanities Institute Program for the Arts



This symposium and film screening event will bring together a core group of scholars working on questions of collectives and collectivity in relation to moving image media. The symposium will explore how cinema has represented and re-imagined historical and future concepts of the collective. Notions of how collectives emerge, cohere, and are sustained are central to our contemporary politics and they are indebted to moving image culture’s figuration of collectives and collectivity. While film and media scholarship has long been interested in spectatorship—the collective experience of watching films in a cinema—it also has engaged in a sustained investigation of the inextricable relation between aesthetics and politics. Film movements from diverse geopolitical contexts have mobilized the raw power of the moving image to foment collective action. This symposium will examine questions of the formation of, desire for, and reshaping of collectives and collectivity as elaborated by moving images.


Schedule of Events


9:00 a.m. -- Welcome Remarks, Sara Saljoughi (University of Toronto)

9:15 a.m. -- Paige Sarlin (University at Buffalo, SUNY) "Forms of Association: Collective and Collected"

10:15 a.m. -- Michael Cramer (Sarah Lawrence College) "Concrete/Utopia: The Search for a Collective in Godard's Radical Period"

11:15 a.m. -- Matthew Croombs (University of Calgary) "The Colonizer Who Refuses: René Vautier and the Horizons of Solidarity"

12:15 p.m. -- BREAK

1:15 p.m. -- Toby Lee (New York University) "'Can a Film be like a Nest?': Mereness, Collectivity and Public Life"

2:15 p.m. -- Maggie Hennefeld (University of Minnesota) "The Most Revolutionary Affect of the Masses"

3:15 p.m. -- Priya Joshi (Temple University) "Dystopia, Past, Present"

4:15 p.m. -- Claudia Breger (Columbia University) "Crowd Resurgences: Some Notes Towards a Politics of (Post-)Cinematic Assembly"

6:00 -- 7:00 p.m. -- Screening of Spit on the Broom (2019, 12'), Q&A with director Madeleine Hunt Erlich (CUNY-Queen's College), moderated by Lauren Cramer (University of Toronto)


For more information:

Organizer Sara Saljoughi (


To download the event flyer as a pdf file, click HERE


To join: