In this Spring 2015 issue we are excited to present our second guest-edited special section, dedicated to ‘Animals’. Guest editors Barbara Creed and Maarten Reesink have assembled a coherent collection of essays that explore animals from a variety of angles, including photography, film, television, and new media. Their introduction ‘Animals, anthropocentrism, media’ sketches out the prospects of thinking animals through the lens of media studies. The idea for this special section was born when Creed, who wrote an evocative essay in the Spring 2013 issue titled ‘Nenette: Film theory, animals, and boredom’, mentioned in passing that she had not encountered any media studies journal issues dedicated to animals. We hope the timely and inspiring work that Creed and Reesink have done here can serve as a key reference point for those interested in questions of the animal and the animated, as well as the antropomorphic, the creaturely, and the human as related to the media that affect our daily lives.
The features section in this issue includes four contributions. Michael Witt uncovers a little-known film experiment that Jean-Luc Godard executed at the International Film Festival Rotterdam in the early 1980s. Jenifer Chao examines a Canadian television series that depicts ‘ordinary’ Muslims in mundane situations. Lidia Merás and Sarah Wright explore a forgotten film by Michael Powell through cultural tourism and transnational concerns. In closing out the features section, NECSUS editor Annie van den Oever and Feminisms (Amsterdam University Press, 2015) editor Anna Backman Rogers engage the esteemed theorist Laura Mulvey in a ‘triologue’ about feminist film studies 40 years after the publication of her seminal essay ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’.
Our new audiovisual essay section, edited by Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin, returns with two pieces. Catherine Grant, film scholar and editor of Film Studies for Free, has long been among the active scholars who push the boundaries of the audiovisual essay. She presents her most recent work, Carnal Locomotive, which repurposes a train ride sequence from René Clément’s wartime resistance romance Le Jour et l’heure (The Day and the Hour, 1963), putting special emphasis on the haptic relations between the on-screen ‘carnal’ bodies. With his piece Club Video (1985), the Australian avant-gardist Philip Brophy proves that the audiovisual essay is nothing new in terms of artistic expression. However, the novelty of the video essay today may well lie in its pedagogical applications in the 21st century.
As always, this issue includes a book review section, this time with reviews in the fields of television studies, documentary studies, and screen narration. This issue also presents the continuation of the exhibition review section. The festival review section explores archival delights in Pordenone as well as a Cat Video Festival going viral. Furthermore, we would like to draw your attention to the mini-dossier on the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2015, moving full circle with Witt’s feature essay in an investigation of the past and present of this venerable old institution founded in 1972 by the late Huub Bals.
Finally, we would like to inform you of the progress of the crowdsourcing campaign driving our efforts to sustain the open access publishing model for NECSUS. In the past few months we have welcomed the following new partner institutions: Philipps-Universität Marburg (Germany); Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz (Germany); Bauhaus-Universität Weimar (Germany); and Università degli Studi Roma Tre (Italy). We want to thank these pioneering institutions for their support of our mission to maintain open access for media scholars and to look for alternative financing models beyond article processing costs. We hope to soon add more partner institutions to our list of affiliates. Our aim is to grow the financial base of the journal so that we can secure the development and publishing of the 2015 and 2016 volumes, and then to continue to chart out a feasible support model so that NECSUS will be strenghthened in the years to come. If your home institution or you as an individual are willing to support NECSUS and share our mission of providing outstanding academic research and writing under a gold open access model that is truly open in terms of publishing opportunities, reading, and circulating ideas among an ever-increasing international community, please join us by visiting our crowdsourcing page and becoming a partner. We thank you very much for reading NECSUS and hope you enjoy the new issue.
NECSUS Editorial Board