I’ve just completed a draft of the paper I’ll be giving at next weekend’s American Studies Association conference in Atlanta. It’s on the relationship between simulation and empiricism in CSI [warning: that’s a pretty Flash-heavy link], and it’s been a good deal of fun in the writing.
But here’s something I need to gripe about: I’m using a bunch of video clips in this paper, as one might expect. And of course I own the episodes I’m using clips from on DVD. And, granted, I’m showing six brief clips, from five different episodes, whch are resident on three different discs, so it wouldn’t make any sense to attempt to show them off the original DVDs anyhow. So I’ve performed the annoyingly complex set of machinations that the film industry forces me to perform in order to use video I actually own in a fair-use context.
But say I only wanted to show one clip. What’s with all the conferences I’m going to these days that only put TVs and VCRs in conference rooms? My first thought would be that, oh, it’s only conferences like ASA and MLA, conferences where people don’t use much in the way of A/V, that haven’t managed to advance so far as to rent DVD players. But last year at SCMS, there were no DVD players anywhere. At the freaking Society for Cinema and Media Studies. And no hookups for laptop projection.
I know we in the humanities go to conferences because we like to hear one another talk (*cough*), but wouldn’t it be a lovely thing if we could, say, move into the 1990s with our visual aids?
That is all.
Except to say that, if you live in Atlanta and have some spare time, come crash the party.
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