A scholarly workshop and follow-up activities that will bring together film studies scholars, moving image archivists, and library professionals to consider how digitization of early motion picture film might be improved to better capture the physical attributes of the film print. The workshop would focus on early twentieth-century films made for African-American audiences.
The study of "race movies," the early motion pictures produced for black audiences in the first decades of the 20th century, presents an ideal humanities context for framing important questions bearing on the digital representation of film artifacts as material evidence: 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?; And how might this representation of film as a material object offer a conceptual bridge for integrating audiovisual media within a wider network of related visual and textual documentation? The Black Film Center/Archive (BFC/A) at Indiana University proposes in this Level I Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant to explore these questions by convening an interdisciplinary group of scholars, moving image archivists, and technology specialists in digital humanities for a two-day conference and workshop to be held in November 2013.