[csaa-forum] Media Film and Theatre seminars

James Donald j.donald at unsw.edu.au
Tue Aug 8 16:11:21 CST 2006

UNSW Media, Film & Theatre Seminars
5 p.m. Wednesday 9 August
Webster Building Room 327

Ballet mécanique revisited
James Donald

Over eighty years after it was made, Fernand 
Léger and Dudley Murphy's Ballet mécanique (1924) 
continues to perplex and provoke critics.  Is it 
a Cubist film, a Dada film, an Abstract film or a 
Purist film?  in this talk, I take a different 
tack.  Setting it in the context of contemporary 
debates about jazz as a cultural phenomenon (for 
example in Clive Bell's 1921 'Plus de jazz' and 
in the reception of Eliot's Wasteland as a jazz 
poem) and examining what the various participants 
in the project - Man ray, Ezra und and george 
Antheil as well as Léger and Murphy - makes it 
possible to see in the film a jazz ethos and 
perhaps even an aesthetic of jazz modernism.

James Donald is Professor of Film Studies at the 
University of New South Wales.  He holds an ARC 
Discovry Grant for reserch into the impact of 
Josephine Baker and Paul Robeson on European 

5 p.m. Tuesday 15 August
Webster Building Room 331
(Please note change of day and venue)

Andrew Barry

Interdisciplinarity is a not a new phenomenon, 
but the current level of interest in 
interdisciplinarity may well be. But although 
interdisciplinarity is widely spoken about today, 
is it a unified phenomenon? Is there a general 
movement from disciplinary forms of research 
practice to interdisciplinary forms and, if so, 
why? In this paper I examine the diversity and 
fragility of contemporary interdisciplinary forms 
and institutions, and their specific historical 
origins. The paper focuses, in particular, on the 
history of interdisciplinary research which cuts 
across the boundaries between the natural 
sciences, on the one hand, and the arts and 
social sciences, on the other.

Andrew Barry is Reader in Geography at Oxford 
University and the author of Political Machines: 
Governing a Technological Society and co-editor 
of The Technological Economy and Foucault and 
Political Reason: Liberalism, Neo-Liberalism and 
Rationalities of Government.

Dr James Donald
Associate Dean (Education), Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Professor of Film Studies, School of Media, Film and Theatre
University of New South Wales
NSW 2052

Telephone	(02)9385 4858
Mobile		0433 126445
Facsimile		(02) 9385 6812

Telephone	+612 9385 4858
Mobile		+61433 126445
Facsimile		+612 9385 6812

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