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A must-read for all scholars, teachers and video makers interested in using moving images to understand moving images. The book not only forms a blueprint for how to develop skills in ‘videographic essay’ production, but also provides a window into the future of film and media studies as a discipline. Including essential creative and practical advice by leading practitioners in the field, this book is sure to play a key role in the advancement of this exciting new approach to film and media studies.
— Richard Misek, University of Kent

Read a review of The Videographic Essay in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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The Videographic Essay: Criticism in Sound and Image

Christian Keathley (Middlebury College) and Jason Mittell (Middlebury College)
with contributions by Eric Faden, Catherine Grant and Kevin B. Lee

View the videographic criticism produced by participants in the Scholarship in Sound and Image workshop and discussed in the book, along with related resources.

The last decade has seen extraordinary developments in the multimedia presentation of cinema and moving image scholarship via the form that is commonly known as the ‘video essay’. What the finest examples of this videographic criticism have made clear is that such work allows for and even demands a different rhetoric than written film scholarship, which can in turn transform how we engage with and study cinematic texts. Some of the form’s alternative rhetorical approaches to the traditional scholarly goal of producing knowledge were tested in summer 2015 at an NEH-funded workshop, ‘Scholarship in Sound and Image’, organised by Christian Keathley and Jason Mittell at Middlebury College in Vermont. There, fourteen international scholars gathered to experiment with the new form. This volume grows out of that workshop.

View the video essay Dissolves of Passion, by film scholar Catherine Grant, discussed by her in depth in The Videographic Essay.

With special focus on the practice and pedagogy of videographic production, the volume contains detailed descriptions of the assignments that were designed to both stimulate work and teach technology; in addition, a companion page on the caboose website features videos produced by participants during the workshop. This unique volume will be of great value to teachers and students, critics and videomakers, as well as anyone interested in this growing area of critical practice. The volume will also address issues such as the professional validation of videographic work, copyright and fair use, and technology. Also featured are original contributions by the workshop’s special guests: Eric Faden, Catherine Grant and Kevin B. Lee.


June 2016, 64 pp., 5.5” x 8.5”. Paperback, ISBN 978-1-927852-04-0, $5 + $8 in stores. Electronic version, $4.

Christian Keathley is Associate Professor of Film & Media Culture at Middlebury College. He is the author of Cinephilia and History, or The Wind in the Trees (Indiana UP, 2006). He is also the author of a number of essays on videographic works, as well as being an active producer. In addition, Keathley is the co-editor of [in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film & Moving Image Studies.

Jason Mittell is Professor of Film & Media Culture at Middlebury College. He is the author of Genre and Television (Routledge, 2004), Television and American Culture (Oxford UP, 2009) and Complex TV: The Poetics of Contemporary Television Storytelling (NYU Press, 2015). He is the MediaCommons Project Manager for [in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film & Moving Image Studies.