- Introducing the Band
This issue marks the start of a new editorship, and to an extent, a new era for Cinema Journal. I wanted to take a moment to explain what will change and what will stay the same.
Cinema Journal is a prestigious, high-status vehicle, one of the leading and longest-running publications in the discipline. It is literally, as you hold it in your hands, a shiny black vehicle. It is a vehicle I am very proud to steer for the next five years. But it is a slow-moving, stately vehicle.
Publishing in Cinema Journal can be an important step toward tenure, appointment, and promotion, and we must cherish its role in that process. However, publishing in Cinema Journal can take years, not just because of the highly selective acceptance rate but also because of the length of time—given our robust review process—between submission and printing.
Cinema Journal will stay as it is: as a major, prestigious, traditional journal. And yet Cinema Journal will change because it will become more than a traditional journal. Rather than an island, it will be a central hub. We have already forged exciting partnerships with some of the leading online platforms for film and media scholarship—including In Media Res, Scope, Antenna, Flow, and Transformative Works and Cultures—and confirmed a range of jointly branded online features that will supplement and add value to the central content. Through these Cinema Journal satellites, all linked from our main website, readers will be able to engage with and debate our articles. Authors will be able to curate clips from their articles and revisit their work to add afterthoughts. Conference reports will appear immediately after the event, rather than following the slow schedule of print. Workshops that sparked discussion at the annual Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference in March can continue in April and May, through our online platforms. Cinema Journal, in a broader sense, will become a network, a matrix, a dialogue with surrounding scholarship—as I feel it should be.
We want to encourage and inspire dialogue in many different ways, in many different directions. Our cover images for this issue are carefully chosen. The front illustration, from Kyle Stevens’s article on A Single Man, shows George Falconer (Colin Firth) in front of a poster for Hitchcock’s Psycho—a character from a color film, released in 2009, against the billboard of a black-and-white film from 1960; a film about a gay man exploring love and identity, and a film fueled by heterosexual, arguably misogynistic, desires; a small man, watched by a woman. It is a rich, complex image, rife with juxtapositions and contradictions. But these clashes and conflicts are a form of dialogue, part of meaning making. [End Page 1]
The back cover, from Michael Cowan’s article in this issue, is taken from Julius Pinschewer and Walter Ruttmann’s Der Aufstieg (The Climb, 1926). Here I am taking the image out of context, away from its original meaning as a commercial for an exhibition in Düsseldorf. To me, the image speaks of aspiration but also of generosity: a figure (its gender is less important than its smile) mounting a flight of stairs and either throwing a ball up or catching it as it comes down. This, I feel, is how academia should work. We climb up, pushing our bright ideas ahead of us like a red ball, and sometimes we are helped by others who have made the climb before us, and sometimes we pass the favor along to people earlier on the same route. The “In Focus” section in my first issue is a space for new voices: early-career scholars, reflecting on their journeys so far, on the challenges they have faced and the people who have mentored them. Already they are mentoring and inspiring people in turn.
In her first issue as editor, Heather Hendershot paraphrased Charles Foster Kane: “I thought it would be fun to run a journal.” I didn’t think it would be fun, exactly. I thought it would be a lot of hard work. But as in so many things, Heather...