November 15, 2013 - CONFERENCE


Location: Indiana University Cinema


8:30AM - 9:00AM



9:00AM - 9:45AM




Shola Lynch, Curator of Moving Image and Recorded Sound Division at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, is scheduled to present the keynote address "Film, Race & Archives - The Odyssey of a Film Maker & Curator".





9:45AM - 11:15AM

The State of Research and Platforms for Access


This session will engage panelists in a discussion of historical and current approaches to research in early black-audience film and the modes of research access to film and related documentation, bringing scholarship into conversation with past, current, and evolving technologies for access and presentation. 


  • What have been our methodological approaches to research in this area?  How have these shifted or developed over time?
  • In what formats have film elements and other primary sources been discoverable and made available to researchers?
  • What is the efficacy for scholarship of these sources and formats?  How have they been deployed to support spatially or temporally expansive research?



Greg Waller, Department of Communication and Culture, Indiana University - Bloomington


Matt Bernstein, Department of Film and Media Studies, Emory University

"The Digital & New Routes for the Study of Early Black Cinema"

- Cara Caddoo, Department of American Studies, Indiana University - Bloomington

Dana White, Graduate Institute of Liberal Arts, Emory University



11:15AM - 11:30AM





11:30AM - 1:00PM

The Carrier as Content


Examining the characteristics of archival film prints as they survive in fragmentary and variant versions, this session will evaluate these material manifestations of early black-audience films as presenting evidence for understanding their meaning and context.  Can we consider the multiplicity of film artifacts and their characteristics as constituting meaning apart from their image and sound content?  And how do we contend with the mutability of the film artifact over time and location? 



Rachael Stoeltje, Director of the Indiana University Libraries Film Archive, Indiana University - Bloomington



Jacqueline Stewart, University of Chicago

Mike Mashon, Moving Image Section, Library of Congress

"Black Filmmakers: Places in History/Place in Museums"

- Leah Kerr, The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

Jan-Christopher Horak, UCLA Film and Television Archive, University of California - Los Angeles



1:00PM - 2:45PM





2:45PM - 4:15PM

The Case of the Race Movie Circuit


Considering the arena of the race movie circuit as a unifying context of films, performers, producers, distributors, investors, venues, and audiences, this session will explore relationships between race films and the web of related documents dispersed across archival and private collections.


·         How do we establish the race movie circuit in counterexample to the more standardized practices of Hollywood? 

·         What are the historical records most essential to reconstituting an understanding of the circuit? 

·         Can we articulate relationships between these bodies of records and the evidentiary content of film prints as artifacts?



Barbara Klinger, Department of Communication and Culture, Indiana University - Bloomington



"The Archive of Absence: Research Methodologies for Non-Extant Films & Race Movie Exhibition"

- Allyson Nadia Field, Department of Film, Television and Digital Media, University of California, Los Angeles

"Unpacking the Picture"

- Terri Francis, Cinema Studies, University of Pennsylvania

It Takes a Darn Good One to Stick”: Researching Norman"

- Barbara Tepa Lupack, Independent Scholar

Talkin' Under Peoples Clothes”: Exhausting African American Newspapers and Exploiting Primary Documents to Reconstruct Black Film History"

- Charlene Regester, Department of African and Afro-American Studies, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill



4:15PM - 4:30PM





4:30PM - 5:30PM




Michael T. Martin, Black Film Center/Archive, Indiana University - Bloomington



Rhea L. Combs, National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution

Cara Caddoo, Indiana University, Bloomington

Leah Kerr, The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
Jacqueline Stewart, University of Chicago
Allyson Nadia Field, University of California, Los Angeles
Jan-Christopher Horak, University of California - Los Angeles
Shola Lynch, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture




5:30PM - 6:45PM



Drinks and Hors d'oeuvres at the Black Film Center/Archive


Please note: This is an invitation only reception.



7:00PM - 8:30PM

Film Screening: The Flying Ace

Location: IU Cinema

This screening is free but ticketed.


In ‘Six Smashing Reels of Action,’ The Flying Ace tells the story of World War I flyer-hero Captain William Stokes who returns home to solve the mystery of a missing paymaster and save the life of the beautiful Ruth Sawtelle. Featuring an all-black cast, The Flying Ace is the only full-length film surviving from Richard Norman, a prominent director and distributor of silent race films in the 1920s. The film was restored in 2010 by the Library of Congress from an original nitrate negative donated by the director’s son, Captain Richard Norman, Jr. (35mm presentation)

Live piano accompaniment by Dr. Philip Carli.





November 16, 2013 - WORKSHOP

Location: Black Film Center/Archive


registration Closed

Reconsidering how we define the content of a film print beyond the audiovisual information recorded within the frame introduces a series of questions bearing on the representation of film as a digital object:

• How must we reevaluate and amend current best practices for digitization of motion picture film which by design omit or obscure physical attributes of the original artifact?

• What tools might be turned to unconventional uses in representing original film artifacts as static images for close examination and study?

• And how might this representation of film as a material object offer a conceptual bridge for integrating audiovisual media in digital platforms within a wider network of related visual and textual documentation?



8:30AM - 9:00AM





9:00AM - 9:15AM




9:15AM - 10:30AM

Session One

Reto Kromer, AV Preservation by LLC

Andy Uhrich, Department of Communication and Culture, Indiana University - Bloomington

Brian Graney, Black Film Center/Archive, Indiana University - Bloomington



10:30AM - 10:45AM





10:45AM - 12:00PM

Session Two

Will Cowan, Library Technologies Software Development, Indiana University – Bloomington

John A. Walsh, Department of Library and Information Science, Indiana University - Bloomington

Doug Reside, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts



12:00PM - 1:00PM




1:00PM - 2:00PM



3:00PM - 4:30PM

Film Screening: Within Our Gates

Location: IU Cinema

This screening is free but ticketed.


Through his young protagonist, Sylvia Landry (Evelyn Preer), Oscar Micheaux critically examines the lines between races, classes, and North and South in his earliest surviving film. The complex and twist-filled narrative follows Sylvia as she crosses between North and South, recovering from a broken engagement by finding new purpose in a rural school for African American children and new love with Dr. Vivian. Long thought lost, a single nitrate print was discovered under its Spanish release title, La Negra, at the Filmoteca Española and reconstructed by the Library of Congress. (35mm presentation)

Live piano accompaniment by Dr. Philip Carli.