Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Framing Media #1: JD Schnepf on Drone Humanitiariansm

Today, The Cinephiliacs presents the first episode of a new podcast that will take over this feed: Framing Media. The podcast will highlight and discuss new and innovative research in the field of moving image and sound studies. The name comes from Martin Scorsese's famous phrase, "Cinema is a matter of what's in the frame and what's out." We take this not just to be an issue of aesthetics, but technology, ideology, race, gender, and culture.

Episodes will focus on how media images—whether film, television, radio, new media, or beyond—are framed: the design and craft of what audiences see, the hidden stories of the labor and talent obscured outside it, and the histories of how frames are made, distributed, and exhibited. 

Coming every other week, host Peter Labuza sits down with a scholar to discuss their recent scholarly publication, introducing their work to a broader audience beyond those with access to paywall publications. Framing Media hopes to highlight new research that demonstrates the value of what media scholars bring to today's questions.

Today's episode features JD Scnepf, a scholar of American Studies in Political Culture and Theory at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. We discuss her article, "Flood from Above: Disaster Mediation and Drone Humanitarianism," published in Media+Environment. Schnepf looks at the culture of the drone in humanitarian disasters like hurricanes and floods, studying how the private digital media infrastructure reveals the privatization of American life. Moreover, she explores how seeing and studying how drones work in these environmental situations demonstrates how we are taught to see drones as "life giving" objects, and how that provides a new critique of their military uses.

Notes and Links to the Conversation
—Learn more about JD Schnepf and her research.
—JD analyzes Martha Stewart's use of drones in this essay here.
—Lady Gaga's drone filled half time show.
—Drone delay during a recent Minnesota baseball game.
—Tommy Orange's There There
CPB's drone use during the recent George Floyd protests
Signal Traffic, edited by Lisa Parks and Nicole Starosielski
—How New Yorkers knew of an incoming earthquake via Twitter
—Caren Kaplan's Ariel Aftermaths
A Theory of the Drone by Grégoire Chamayou

Theme Music: "Hot Pink" by Chad Crouch

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