Rough Cut is a bi-monthly venue that offers graduate students, Yale faculty, postdoctoral and pre-doctoral fellows, and visitors from beyond the Yale campus the possibility to share work in progress. In an intellectually engaging atmosphere speakers present on their current scholarship and receive feedback from their peers. Rough Cut may best characterize the ambience and tone fostered by the graduate students themselves and encouraged by the faculty. It meets regularly, convivially, and enthusiastically, all the while striving to broaden our community’s purview of the discipline and to deepen the work of those who present what they care about for discussion and debate. This not only keeps the Film and Media Studies Program on the cutting edge of contemporary research in the field, but also makes room for an interdisciplinary exchange that is inherently embedded in the very idea of film and media.
Film and media essentially operate on a globalized landscape, both geographically and methodologically. Indeed, students and faculty in the Yale Film and Media Studies Program come from a variety of backgrounds, amongst them American Studies, East Asian Languages and Literature, French, German, English, Slavic, Italian, as well as Comparative Literature, Music, and History of Art—with attention given to Anthropology, Political Science, Sociology, and Religious Studies.
To underpin interdisciplinary work that nevertheless remains oriented toward film and media, Rough Cut organizes special events. The focus of these events ranges from evenings devoted to categories within traditional national cinemas (Japanese jidei-geki, French New Wave, Hollywood genres, Weimar style, etc.), to aesthetic and social concerns that involve debates in the historiography of art, literary theory, cultural studies, and other methodological paradigms, to cross-media workshops that explore contemporary developments in architecture, installation art, sound, computer graphics, and so forth.
While Rough Cut holds out the opportunity to look just beyond the film and media discipline, at the same time, the series is meant to strengthen the work we do within our discipline and should be understood in its literal sense. A Rough Cut is a project still in the editing room; similarly this series serves mainly as a platform for work in progress –upcoming conference papers, dissertation chapters, book projects – aiming to create an environment in which all of us can observe and assist each other in academic scholarship as it is brought into being. Rough Cut is a place to test, reinforce, and broaden the horizon of challenging scholarship.
In all its efforts, Rough Cut aims for the highest degree of intellectual inclusion. The Film and Media Studies Program at Yale strives to provide space for appealing, creative, and critical encounters that reaffirm what academia stands for: a community of thinkers assisting one another in the pursuit of knowledge and value.