Meet RTVF radio historian, scholar, and former DJ Professor Mike Adams

28 06 2010

RTVF Professor Mike Adams needs no introduction:   he’s the former Associate Dean of the College of Humanities and Arts and former Chair of the Department of Television-Radio-Film-Theatre.

Mike’s is the voice we all hear on SJSU’s phone system, narrating interesting and unusual facts about the university.  You can thank his experience as a top-40 disc jockey during the golden age of rock and roll AM radio for that. In fact, Mike  spent 12 years as DJ and Program Director of legendary station WCOL-AM in Columbus, Ohio.

But did you know that Mike is a also a first-rate radio historian and scholar?

Mike has presented papers on broadcast history topics at conferences sponsored by the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) the IEEE, the Antique Wireless Association (AWA), and the Audio Engineering Society (AES).

In fact, Mike’s scholarly work is of such high caliber that the AWA awarded him the prestigious “Houck Award” for historical documentation in 1995.

In addition, Mike has written numerous articles for historical radio journals and periodicals and two books on radio and television production, the biography Charles Herrold, inventor of radio broadcasting.

Mike is currently writing a book  about Lee de Forest and his invention of Phonofilm, the first sound-on-film process, that eventually became Movietone in 1927.  Most of the  materials he needs to consult are  in museums and private collections. Fortunately, the de Forest paper collection is at History San Jose, where, as he says, “I have spent many days with it over the past four years.”

Mike’s passion for the research and writing he does in early broadcast technology history (1900-1920) extends to speaking engagements as well.  This summer he will speak twice on the topic of his book (under contract at Springer) — first at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in July and then in Rochester, New York  in August.

As Mike says so often himself, the hits keep on coming!


CFP: Horror Ad Nauseum: The Changing Face of Horror (deadline: 6/30/10)

16 06 2010

*Call for Papers: Horror Ad Nauseum *

Volume 6.2 of Cinephile, the Film Journal of the University of British Columbia

Deadline for Abstracts: 30 June 2010

Deadline for draft submissions 30 July 2010.

The horror genre continues to regenerate itself ad nauseum. On one hand, the genre may be liberating itself from the weight of many formulaic straight-to-video films that have tainted its image over the past two decades, re-imagining itself through the quintessential films that defined horror cinema in the 1970s and 80s. On the other hand, the genre has perhaps reached a moment of hyper-intertextualization to the point where it has literally mined itself dry of new ideas.

The fall issue of Cinephile looks to examine these issues and beyond, with an eye towards the past in order to understand where the horror genre may be headed in the near future. The issue aims to focus on two key aspects of contemporary horror’s relation to its immediate past. First, does the appropriation of international horror cinema by Hollywood and its many remakes suggest a perverse turn in the globalization of the genre? How do remakes embrace, reject or negotiate the cultural elements of the original for Western and global audiences? Secondly, what is the state of horror’s power to shock? How has the virtual domination of computer-generated effects affected the horror industry, on both aesthetic and technical perspectives? Do digital effects add to the genre’s visceral impact, or instead detract from the sense of plasticity that made the genre infamous in the 1970s and 80s?

Submissions should have a focus beyond a mere genre study, with focus on either horror’s special effects (and their fan cultures, technical aesthetics, and controversial aspects), the (un)changing representation of gender and character archetypes, or cultural influences and appropriations of modern day horror (or even historical aspects such as the Westernization of international horror cinema on VHS, where great effort was taken to conceal all foreign aspects, compared to modern day practices).

We accept submissions from both faculty and graduate students.

Abstracts should be 300 words and include a short bibliography and biographical note. Papers should be approximately 1500-3000 words, formatted in MLA, and submitted with a works cited and brief biography. Submissions and inquiries should be directed to:

Cinephile is the University of British Columbia=92s film journal, published with the support of the Centre for Cinema Studies. Since its inception in 2005, Cinephile has been steadily broadening its readership and increasing its academic influence, featuring original essays by such noted scholars as Slavoj Zizek, Barry Keith Grant, Murray Pomerance, Jay Beck, and K.J. Donnelly. In 2009, the journal adopted a rigorous blind peer-review process, and moved to biannual publication, available online and in print via subscription. For more information, please visit

Fall 2010: RTVF 135: Special Projects in Production (Second Life)

10 06 2010

If you have questions about this class, email Dr. Alison McKee at

RTVF faculty member will head to Venice

7 06 2010

Congratulations to RTVF professor Dr. Alison McKee whose paper “Real Place/Virtual Space: Venice, Narrative Architecture, and Metaverse-Building in Second Life” has been accepted to the 2010 International Conference on the Constructed Environment.

The conference will be held in Venice, Italy from 17-19 November 2010 in conjunction with the 12th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale (la Biennale di Venezia), directed by Kazuyo Sejima and titled People meet in architecture.

From the website of the Venice Biennale:

The Venice Biennale … has for over a century been one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world. Ever since its foundation in 1895, it has been in the avant-garde, promoting new artistic trends and organising international events in contemporary arts. It is world-beating for the International Film Festival, for the International Art Exhibition and for the International Architecture Exhibition, and continues the great tradition of the Festival of Contemporary Music, the Theatre Festival, now flanked by the Festival of Contemporary Dance.

Dr. McKee’s work in and on Second Life grows out of an interest that was born when she and Dr. Kimb Massey co-taught RTVF 173: Media Theory and Research (now RTVF 180: Critical Studies and Research in RTVF), part of which was devoted to a study of avatars in Second Life.

Her work on Second Life continues in Fall 2010 when she will teach RTVF 135: Special Projects in Production.  Together, she and students in the class will work toward building a sustainable RTVF space in Second Life to augment RTVF’s online presence and identity.

New Ph.D. program in Film & Digital Media Critical Practice at UC Santa Cruz

3 06 2010

Students interested in both production and scholarly work will be happy to hear that this fall the first cohort of students will be entering U.C. Santa Cruz’s new doctoral program in Film & Digital Media Critical Practice.

Its innovative program stresses an integrated approach to scholarly and creative practice.

It’s never too early to think about your post-B.A. career!  If interested, click the link above for more information.

Spotlight: Check out Cineaste Magazine

3 06 2010

Welcome to the Cineaste Magazine Newsletter
Announcing Our New Issue Summer 2010
In This Edition
Special Focus on the DVD
Alain Resnais on Wild Grass
Rick Goldsmith tracks The Most Dangerous Man in America

On The Cover

Family affairs: A Milanese dynasty is rocked by matriarch Tilda Swinton’s infidelity in Luca Guadagnino’s I Am Love, which opens in the U.S. on June 18. “The film shows how today’s most ruthless capitalist thinking mirrors Mussolini’s emphasis on opportunism and expediency over principle,” writes reviewer Megan Ratner.

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View Our Online Cumulative Index to Cineaste Vol. 1 (1967) through Vol. XXXIV (2009)

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To Our Readers:

Press “Play” and explore this edition’s Special Focus on the DVD, which has changed film culture in unexpected and indeed controversial ways. You won’t want to fast-forward through an array of features that examine DVD’s dominance…and, on the flip side, concern over our retreat to our home theaters.

In The Magazine

The “theatrical experience” is one that moviegoers hold sacred, with DVD seen as a false god. But in an article that appears in the magazine and also online Jonathan Rosenbaum wonders if the purists aren’t too tied to the past, given the availability on DVD of pristine presentations of such films as Carl Dreyer’s Day of Wrath (pictured), which were for decades close to unwatchable on film. The “real thing,” he argues, isn’t always the best option. And for many nontheatrical films, DVD is the only option, writes David Sterritt, as he pores over a variety of international documentaries, literary biographies, and avant-garde productions that are otherwise under the radar.

Alas, options for lovers of classic cinema are fewer these days, as recession-wracked Hollywood majors opt out of releasing much-requested titles on DVD. One solution is Manufacturing on Demand (MOD) programs, exemplified by the Warner Archive, and James Neibaur looks at their pros and cons. Picking up some of the slack, writes Jennifer A. Wood, is Blu-ray, as the high-definition format favored for Avatar and Transformers begins to redefine itself with new editions of Red Desert and Contempt.

Douglas Pratt gives a shout-out to the best DVD commentaries and commentators in an overview of that popular extra. We have extras of our own, too: A guide on how to become a region-free DVD viewer, an editors’ wish list of most wanted titles, and, online, an International DVD Distributor Directory, which includes a list of recommended international websites for DVD purchasing.

Last Year at Marienbad is one landmark film available on DVD and Blu-ray. Director Alain Resnais isn’t resting on his laurels, however, and celebrates his 88th birthday today with a film that echoes his often unconventional approach, Wild Grass. Gary Crowdus and Richard Porton interview the legendary filmmaker as Wild Grass spreads to the U.S. beginning June 25.

Currently in release is The Father of My Children, a fictional film derived from the shocking suicide of French producer Humbert Balsan. Writer/director Mia Hansen-Løve explores the mysteries of love and filmmaking with Richard Porton.

The Most Dangerous Man in America is Daniel Ellsberg, the subject of the Oscar-nominated documentary codirected by Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith. As the film continues its theatrical run, Goldsmith tells Dan Lybarger how the production got the story behind the story of Ellsberg and his decision to leak the Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War.

On Our Website

In a Web Exclusive interview Neil Jordan tells Paul McGuirk about his use of fantasy in Ondine (pictured), starring Colin Farrell as a fisherman and Alicja Bachleda as the “selkie” who entrances him. Opening this Friday in the U.S., the film, Jordan says, is his attempt to restore some magic to his native Ireland.

Cataloguing elusive Irish visual culture i s the aim of the new book Ireland in Focus: Film, Photography, and Popular Culture, edited by Eóin Flannery and Michael Griffin. Reviewer Derek Gladwin applauds the effort to demystify the subject, which includes essays on Irish documentaries and features about prisons and hunger strikes.

Though Kino International’s DVD collections Avant-Garde 2 and Avant-Garde 3 are less than the sum of their parts, Michael Sicinski praises their survey of American avant-garde cinema in its transitional phase from the Twenties to the Fifties. Included are the invaluable The Cage, by Sidney Peterson, and Jean-Isidore Isou’s Venom and Eternity.

Rooting out obscurities is the aim of The Orphan Film Symposium, a biannual conference that convened in New York earlier this y ear. Lost, now found, reports Livia Bloom: 1959’s The Cry of Jazz, a Fifties TV show with Orson Welles, and African films from the Sixties and Seventies.

For original coverage of cinema, check out Cineaste, available online and on sale. Be sure to join our mailing list to receive future announcements.
The Editors

CFP: Representations of Love in Film and Television (deadline: 9/15/10)

3 06 2010

Representations of Love in Film and Television
2010 Film & History Conference
November 11-14, 2010
Hyatt Regency Hotel
Milwaukee, WI<>

FINAL DEADLINE!  September 15, 2010

Film & History has now entered its final CFP period! We invite those who have not already done so to submit proposals for individual papers, panels, and roundtables for our upcoming conference, “Representations of Love in Film and Television,” to be held November 11-14, 2010, in Milwaukee, WI.  Please see the list of active topic areas, below, and watch for topical calls for papers soon!

We are also delighted to welcome director and film theorist Dr. Laura Mulvey, as the conference’s keynote speaker.  Dr. Mulvey, professor of film and media studies at Birkbeck College, University of London, is widely known for her influential essay, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” (1975), and is also the author of _Death 24x a Second: Stillness and the Moving Image_ (2006), and _Fetishism and Curiosity_ (1996), along with numerous articles.  Her films, co-written and co-directed with Peter Wollen, are recognized for their complex explorations of identity, symbolism, and the female experience.

Please consult our website (<>), or email Director of Communications, Cynthia Miller, at<>, for additional information.

Areas currently open for paper and panel submissions include:

*  The Bond Girls: Sex and the Secret Agent
*  America’s Love Affair with Movie Gangsters
*  Love and Violence: Action Heroes

* Chicks in Love: “Chick Lit” into “Chick Flicks”
* L’Amour Noir: Fear and Danger in Romance, 1920-1960
* Blaxploitation Films
* Lust in Space: Love and Sex in Science Fiction Film and Television
* Cowboy Love

* An American Bromance: Homosocial Love in Film and Television
* Love and the Family Man
* Women and Children First: Gender and Ethics
* Queer Love
* Sons of the Sheik: Global Perspectives on the Alpha Male in Love
* Love, Marriage, and a Baby Carriage

* Across the Tracks: Love and Class
* Affairs of Race
* Jewish-Gentile Romances
* Teacher, Teach Me Love: Teacher-Student Relationships
* Different Bodies

* Vampire Love
* Lovers on the Side: Tramps and Rogues
* Dangerous, Transgressive, and Unloved: The View from Way Outside
* The Dark Side of Love
* Love, Sex, and Violence

* Writers in Love/Writers on Love/Writing and Love
* Jane Austen
* Shakespeare In (and Out of) Love

* For the Love of the Fans: Fandom, Comics, and Film Adaptations
* Love and Sex in the Films and Graphic Novels of Alan Moore

* Cinephilia
* Love and Food
* Things of Love/the Love of Things
* Loving the Machine

* Agape: Faith, God, Mission
* Citizen Love: Flag Wavers, Flag Burners
* Love and Commitment in Fraternity/Sorority Films
* Love Thy Leader
* Pro Patria Mori: Patriotism in Film and Television
* Love, Romance, and Social Justice in Film

* All in the Family: The Bonds of Family Affection in Television
* Love in the Golden Age of Television
* Reality-TV Love
* Taking Care of Business: Office Romance in Television


* The Special FX of Love
* Jazz and Film: A Love Affair
* Listening to the Music of Love in Film and Television
* Performing Love/Loving Performance: Broadway Musical Motifs in Cinema and Television

* Love in the Ancient World
* Medieval Love and Sexuality
* Love in a Time of War

* Love and Death
* Love at the End of Life

* Sex and Love in Asian Contexts
* Hollywood’s (m)Other(ly) Love: (post)Freudian Approaches
* The Landscape of Love: Nature and the Environment in Film and Television
* The Intrusion of Love