Conversations Across Screen Cultures – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Conversations Across Screen Cultures

Faculty from the HWS Media & Society Program and colleagues from Ithaca College are hosting a new online interview series focused on film and media scholars, media artists, and programmers in the Central New York region.

Associate Professor Leah Shafer and Visiting Assistant Professor Jiangtao “Harry” Gu ’13 will serve as interviewers for the bimonthly Conversations Across Screen Cultures. The initiative is designed to foster intellectual community and spark productive collaborations across undergraduate and graduate film and media programs in the Central New York region.

Alongside Ithaca College’s Assistant Professor of Spanish in the Department of Modern Languages and Literature Enrique González-Conty and Professor of Screen Studies in the Roy H. Park School of Communications Patricia R. Zimmermann, Shafer and Gu will interview guests about their new books, recent publications, current research, curatorial projects and the state of the discipline.

Launching on Tuesday, Sept. 15, the Zoom-based, invitation-only initiative will be integrated with courses at these regional institutions as a way to draw students into larger networks of people, disciplines and ideas in film and media culture when conferences, festivals and gatherings are not possible due to the pandemic.

Sessions, which will feature open discussion and dialogue with students and faculty in attendance, are open to students enrolled in film and media courses in the region whether they are being offered face-to-face, hybrid or remote. The initiative creates space for undergraduates to interact with students, graduate students and faculty from other institutions and with the larger discipline of screen cultures.

Conversations Across Screen Cultures is a collaboration among Hobart and William Smith, Ithaca College, the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival (FLEFF), the Cine con Cultura festival and the Syracuse University Human Rights Film Festival (SUHRFF). The initiative developed out of an ongoing informal consortium of film and media scholars in the region who meet regularly to share research and ideas about pedagogy.

The first four sessions are slated for September and October, and will continue throughout the academic year:

On Tuesday, Sept. 15, Shafer will interview Associate Professor of Communication Studies Ulises Mejias, SUNY-Oswego, on digital media and data mining.

On Tuesday, Sept. 29, González-Conty will interview Assistant Professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures Camilo Malagon, Ithaca College, on Latin American cinema.

On Tuesday, Oct. 13, Gu will interview Associate Professor of English, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies Roger Hallas, Syracuse University, on documentary and the visual arts.

On Tuesday, Oct. 27, Zimmerman will interview Associate Professor of English, General Literature and Rhetoric Monika Mehta, Binghamton University, on cinemas of India and the politics of circulation.

For more information, contact Leah Shafer at Hobart and William Smith Colleges at