Monday 28 May 2012

Cinema, Experience, Vernacular Modernism: More on the Work of the late Miriam Bratu Hansen

"Miriam Bratu Hansen (1949–2011) was one of the great film scholars of our time.  She was also a friend and colleague to us at Critical Inquiry.  In celebration of the newly-published Cinema and Experience: Siegfried Kracauer, Walter Benjamin, and Theodor W. Adorno, we are proud to present this short film [above] by Miriam's student Christina Petersen, along with a dossier of five major articles from our archives." [From a note at the Critical Inquiry website to accompany its "Dossier Miriam Hansen"]
"Siegfried Kracauer, Walter Benjamin, and Theodor W. Adorno—affiliated through friendship, professional ties, and argument—developed an astute philosophical critique of modernity in which technological media played a key role. [Hansen's last book] explores in depth their reflections on cinema and photography from the Weimar period up to the 1960s. Miriam Bratu Hansen brings to life an impressive archive of known and, in the case of Kracauer, less known materials and reveals surprising perspectives on canonic texts, including Benjamin’s artwork essay. Her lucid analysis extrapolates from these writings the contours of a theory of cinema and experience that speaks to questions being posed anew as moving image culture evolves in response to digital technology." [Publisher's note on Miriam Hansen's Cinema and Experience: Siegfried Kracauer, Walter Benjamin, and Theodor W. Adorno, University of California Press, 2011]
On February 5, 2011, the hugely distinguished Film Studies scholar Miriam Bratu Hansen passed away. The next day Film Studies For Free published its appreciation of her career with links to other online tributes to her, and to examples of her work online. It is still this website's single most visited entry, a tiny sign of warm esteem in which she was held in our discipline.

Since the publication of her remarkable, final book Cinema and Experience, last year, three further, openly accessible items of great interest have appeared online.

Two of these are part of a Dossier on Hansen put together at the Critical Inquiry website: the above video about Hansen, and a collection of five major articles that Hansen published in that great journal. All are accessible at this webpage.

And you can also read the wonderful first chapter of Cinema and Experience -- on the work of Siegfried Krakauer --  at the University of California Press webpage. 

To further celebrate the above, FSFF has updated its links to useful online discussions or applications of Hansen's work, including, at the foot of this entry, a very recent video presentation.

    'Paranoid Hermeneutics as Queer Cinematic Vernacular' by Catherine Grant.
    A film studies presentation prepared for the "Queer Cinema and the Politics of the Global" Workshop held at the University of Sussex, May 12, 2012. The Workshop was part of series of events held by the Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded research network GLOBAL QUEER CINEMA based at Sussex, led by Rosalind Galt.

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