PhD Candidate Maria Zalewska Celebrated by USC Shoah Foundation

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Read the full article here

Congratulations to Maria on all her amazing achievements!


First Forum 2017: CONTAGION




FIRST FORUM invites submissions that explore the multiple valences of the term ‘contagion’ in relation to the movements of cinema and media. Embedded in medicalized discourses of the body, the word has often been negatively associated with the spread of disease and illness. Even as theories of globalization imagine the uninterrupted flow of information and commodities, the fear of contagion calls for the containment of populations and territories. The Ebola virus, the terrorist, the computer bug, and the zombie alike threaten to breach the boundaries of the body and the nation. Derived from the Latin con (together with) and tangere (to touch), the word ‘contagion’ also implies a proximity of sentiments and sensations. While it may be connected to the risk of contamination and danger, the term might also open up a zone of empathetic contact. Taking its etymological potential as a starting point, this conference invites papers that consider the broad implications of the term. Can ‘contagion’ be a productive model for thinking about the movement and organization of ideas, cultures, and peoples? How can contagious border crossings queer seemingly stable categories of identity, revealing the artificial and arbitrary nature of their construction? What impact do existing representations of contagion—whether of affect, disease, or environmental agents—have on our cultural imaginaries? Can cinema be considered a contagious medium that invites bodily and sensory engagement rather than relying on the distant gaze? How are the material dimensions of this contagious transmission reconfigured through the networks of digital circulation?

In addition to panel presentations, we will have alumni respondents, a faculty roundtable, and a keynote address from Dr. Bliss Cua Lim.

Please submit an abstract of no more than 200 words for a 20-minute panel presentation and a short bio. Non- traditional, creative projects are welcome, as are individual papers or pre-constituted panels.

Please email your submissions and inquiries to by June 30, 2017

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • Swarms, insect, and viral media
  • Touch, haptics and phenomenologies of film
  • Zombies, vampires and body horror
  • Discourses of racial purity and miscegenation
  • Queering contagion
  • Immigrants, refugees, and diasporas in film and media
  • Biopower, technology, and national security
  • Environmental contamination, pollution, and ecocide
  • HIV/AIDS and other epidemic media
  • Medical media (radiography, stethoscopy, and medical imaging)
  • Educational and pedagogical films on contagion

A special lecture by Dr. Henry Jenkins: “Comics … And Stuff”

ZdC Presents a Special Lecture:

Dr. Henry Jenkins: “Comics … And Stuff”

7:00 p.m. Wednesday, November 20, 2013 SCI 106


In a culture awash with “stuff” (material objects, belongings, collectibles), comics, as a medium, has provided particularly rich insights into our historic, shared, and personal relationships with the stuff of everyday life. In part, this is because of our particular relationship to the mise-en-scène of comics: the ways that we can pause and scrutinize the image in a way that is closer to our relationship to a still life painting and yet these objects are also inserted into a larger narrative framework which often depicts the character’s relationships to their belongings, dealing with the nature and process of memory.  If comics are often discussed as a sequential art with an emphasis on the juxtaposition between frames, comics have also from the start been preoccupied with juxtapositions within the frame, burying elements in the background to be discovered by the reader.

This talk is intended as an introduction to a new book project which will ultimately discuss the work of 9 graphic novelists, each of whom deals with aspects of material culture and media history.  This talk lays the foundation for the project, developing a conceptual vocabulary for thinking about the place of mise-en-scène in contemporary comics.

Henry Jenkins is the Provost’s Professor of Communication Journalism and Cinematic Arts at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Henry Jenkins joined USC from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was Peter de Florez Professor in the Humanities. He directed MIT’s Comparative Media Studies graduate degree program from 1993-2009, setting an innovative research agenda during a time of fundamental change in communication, journalism and entertainment.  His most recent books include Reading in a Participatory Culture: Remixing Moby-Dick in the Literature Classroom (with Wyn Kelley, Katie Clinton, Jenna McWilliams, Ricardo Pitts-Wiley and Erin Reilly) and Spreadable Media: Creating Meaning and Value in a Networked Society (with Sam Ford and Joshua Green).

ZdC is the Graduate Student Organization for the Division of Critical Studies within the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

Click here for a PDF of the flyer for this event