Book Salon and Talk by Armond R. Towns


The Media History Research Center is running a Book Salon on September 22nd, showcasing and celebrating recent local publications. There has been a considerable amount of local scholarly output over the last couple of years but pandemic conditions have prevented some of our more traditional ways of honouring those contributions. We invite you to gather in person for a ceremonial toast and to peruse our teeming book table!

Dr. Armond R. Towns will open our event with his talk “The Medium is the Message, Revisited: Media and Black Epistemologies,” which examines the political-economic context that informed the theoretical position of mid-twentieth century Canadian media theory, particularly the work of Marshall McLuhan. It will open up new ways to think about this context in relation to not just media, but also race, humanity, and radical politics.

Dr. Towns is Associate Professor in Media and Communication Studies at Carleton University and is the author of On Black Media Philosophy (U of California Press, 2022).

This evening also marks the first edition of the new Montreal Media History Seminar: a series of public talks on recent media historical scholarship that will run throughout 2022-23. For the full schedule click here

Come join us on Sept 22.

For more information, contact MHRC co-ordinator, Laura Pannekoek,

Orphans Film Symposium

Concordia University is pleased to be hosting the 2022 Orphans Film Symposium from June 15-18.

New York University join forces with Concordia University to present the 13th edition of the Orphan Film Symposium in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal, June 15-18, 2022. 

This biennial event brings together an international group of archivists, scholars, artists, curators, preservationists, librarians, collectors, distributors, documentarians, students, researchers, and others devoted to saving, studying, and screening all manner of neglected moving image artifacts. What is an orphan film? Narrowly defined, a motion picture abandoned by its owner; more generally, any work outside of the commercial mainstream.

Orphans 2022 focuses on ‘counter-archives’, by which we mean to invoke a disposition toward ‘orphan films’ that foregrounds not just abandoned materials but also stories, themes, and peoples often underrepresented, absent, or silenced by historical struggles for power, access, and survival. We aspire to include orphan films redressing historical injustice in its many forms and contexts, and to embrace films that offer such communities a voice and visibility. How have neglected, obscure, and previously unknown works recorded, (mis)represented, and imagined these constituencies throughout the history of moving images? What counter-archival practices allow us to access and understand such audiovisual materials? 

Orphans 2022 will feature screenings and talks that address counter-archives as interpreted across diverse contexts. The symposium will cover a range of historical and theoretical perspectives through a variety of presentation formats. In addition to screening orphaned works: traditional illustrated conference papers; introductions to single films; performances, demonstrations, and interventions; and recent art pieces or media productions engaging archival or found footage. And, works from audio-visual archives, private collections, libraries, and other institutions large and small. 

Presenters will discuss and screen re/discovered or recently preserved films from collections and archives around the world. As always, the Orphan Film Symposium showcases a diverse array of rare orphan film and video works – silent, experimental, non-theatrical, sponsored, independent, scientific, documentary, educational, newsreel, fragmentary, amateur, industrial, personal, incomplete, and other moving images from outside of mainstream cinema.

Find more information, schedule, and registration here.