Can blogging be a hobby?

Originally posted on The Research Whisperer:

Keep up and blog on (Photo by Alexander Baxevanis | Keep up and blog on (Photo by Alexander Baxevanis |

It is ironic that I’m writing this blogpost on whether blogging can be a hobby at 11pm on a Saturday night when I’m technically on annual leave for a week.

I’m working this late because I made time to have a family dinner and catch up with my sister and her partner.

I also chatted with my partner about our well-intentioned and erratic packing for the camping trip that starts tomorrow.

What I didn’t do was spend time working on the post… until now.

This post is about how academics choose to spend our time, and how – quite often – when I’m not working, I’m blogging, or thinking about blogging.

I’m realising that writing for blogs has become my hobby. Other people may knit, play instruments, or cook.

I blog.

A hobby is “an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure”…

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Experimental Film and the Academy

Although published at the end of last year, I just discovered Genevieve Yue’s article, “Living Cinema: Experimental Film and the Academy”. It is an interesting read on how experimental filmmakers have come to almost rely on the academy in order to sustain the genre. Here is a brief excerpt:

Experimental filmmakers today have grown dependent on the academy, more than the museum, the film festival, or any another institution. Unlike the writers who can turn to the New York publishing establishment in the “MFA vs. NYC” dichotomy, artists who sometimes gain a foothold in the gallery scene, or even filmmakers who make crossover mainstream fare, there are few viable means for experimental film artists to support themselves outside of the academy. The closest model would be that of poets who, unable to finance their careers through book sales alone, have long since moved into the university to sustain their practice.

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#SCMS15 for Masters Swimmers and Triatheltes

Many of my colleagues here in Montréal, as well as those who live beyond that have participated in many of the SenseLab‘s research-creation events, know that I am actively involved with Masters swimming. On top of being a postdoctoral research fellow at the Université de Montréal, I also am the head coach of the Westmount YMCA Swim Club. As an advocate for the sport of swimming, I would like to pass on some information to the many researchers and artists coming to Montreal this week to attend the Society of Cinema and Media Studies annual conference (#SCMS15).

If you are visiting Montréal for the conference and are also a Masters swimmer or a triathlete who would like to get in a good swimming workout, there are two swim clubs that are a short bus ride from the conference site.

The first is my team, the Westmount YMCA Swim Club. We train at the Westmount YMCA,  4585 Sherbrooke Street West, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6:20am-7:35am and 8:15am-9:30am; and Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 7:30pm-9:00pm. Buses 24, 104 and 138 stop near the pool.

If you want to come or need more information please email me at troy [dot] rhoades [at] gmail [dot] com or consult the team’s website.

The second team is À Contre-Courant. They train out of the Cégep du Vieux-Montréal, located at 255 Ontario St. East. Consult their website for their training schedule. Please contact them before arriving because I am not exactly sure what their policy is for visiting swimmers.

Happy conferencing and swimming!

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Seven upgrade strategies for a problematic article or chapter


Here is some interesting advice for writing articles and chapters.


Originally posted on Progressive Geographies:

Some interesting writing and publishing advice here. Here’s the heavily compressed version:

Do one thing well. Flatten the structure. Say it once, say it right. Try paragraph re-planning. Make the motivation clearer. Strengthen the argument tokens. Improve the data and exhibits.

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CFP: The Dark Precursor: International Conference on Deleuze and Artistic Research 2015

This call for papers looks really interesting and has a great list of invited speakers. The full call is below and more information can be found here.

The Dark Precursor: International Conference on Deleuze and Artistic Research 2015

Orpheus Institute, Ghent, Belgium – 9 – 11 November 2015

The philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and/or Félix Guattari has become increasingly relevant to the field of artistic research. It acts as a key reference for many artist-researchers, who engage with knowledge across academic and non-academic fields of practice. At the same time, the term artistic research remains suspended in its definition in order to highlight immanent modes of knowledge creation. The extent and depth of Deleuze and/or Guattari’s influence on this emerging field is largely unchartered, nor has their philosophy been evaluated from the perspective of artists who work at the borders of philosophy. DARE 2015 is the first international conference entirely dedicated to the relation between artistic research and Deleuze and/or Guattari’s philosophy, and welcomes both artistic presentations and scholarly papers that investigate this relation.

Art plays a crucial role in the philosophy of Deleuze. He dedicated a substantial part of his oeuvre to literature, theater, painting, cinema and music. Importantly, he understood art as a mode of thinking, irreducible to and imbricated with philosophy and science. Like art, philosophy and science are both creative practices; and like philosophy and science, art is research in the sense of continued experimentation and infinite learning. Moreover, and independently of his writings on the arts, Deleuze created philosophical concepts that are open to different kinds of reflections and appropriations by artists and artist-researchers.

Choosing as its title the concept of ‘dark precursor,’ the conference reflects the duality and openness inherent to artistic research. Deleuze appropriated this expression from meteorology, where it designates a stage in a cloud-to-ground lightning sequence. The stepped leader, as the dark precursor is technically referred to, develops when the charge separation within a stormy cloud is so strong that the surrounding air is ionized and becomes conductive (plasma). Thus, a charge transfer ensues from the top of the cloud to its base, and from there, a flow of negative charges begins making its way towards the ground. Along the path that now connects the cloud and the ground, a much stronger flow of positive charges travels freely from the ground upwards, generating heat. In one thousandth of a second, the air surrounding the return stroke becomes five times hotter than the sun surface and the incandescence produces the brilliant flash we see of the lightning.

The notion of the dark precursor concerns the question of how a communication between heterogeneous systems, ‘of couplings and resonance,’ occurs without being predetermined. In relation to artistic research we ask how to compose these resonances, how to create new couplings that are not accidental but rigorous and at the same time indeterminate. How to create in the midst of a primordial difference?

We encourage artist-researchers and scholars to experiment with all modes of presentation and to submit outlines in all areas of interference between Deleuze and/or Guattari’s philosophy with artistic research. For instance, presentations may address questions about the creative act in artistic practices and trans-disciplinary research (music, film, painting, writing, new media, etc.); the genesis of forms and processes of individuation (dark precursor, diagram, abstract machine, assemblage, haecceity, fold, etc.); the production, validation and dissemination of knowledge in artistic research (dramatisation, experimentation, metamodeling, rhizomatics, schizoanalysis, etc.); styles of thinking (image of thought, form, sign, utterance, code, etc.); the ethico-aesthetic paradigm and its politics, subjectification and universes of value (becoming-x, habit, life, nomadism, double capture, micropolitics, resistance, etc.)

In line with the theme of the ‘dark precursor’, we are particularly interested in receiving proposals for scholarly and artistic presentations that exceed simple interpretations and representations of either Deleuze and/or Guattari’s philosophy or an artistic practice at hand.

DARE 2015 welcomes presentations ranging from academic to artistic in modalities, including performative, collaborative, interactive, visual, new media, installations etc. Proposals, written either in English or French, should be submitted through the conference online submission system.  Scholarly presentations are limited to 30 minutes including Q&A, while duration and form of artistic presentations will be considered case by case.

To submit your outline of presentation, please visit: and follow the simple on-screen instructions provided (you will be required to setup an account first). The outlines should not exceed 500 words and include the title, followed by not more than five keywords. Artist-researchers should include a physical description of the artistic presentation they propose, specifying for instance, the number of people involved, its dimensions and duration, materials, technical requirements, etc. The outlines may be supplemented, uploading separate files to ‘Ex Ordo’. The attached files should:

  • not exceed 5 in number
  • not exceed 2GB each in size
  • be in any of the following file formats:
    • Images: PDF, TIFF, JPEG, GIF, BMP, PNG
    • Audio: WAV, AIFF, FLAC, MP3
    • Video: AVI, QuickTime, MP4
  • be clearly named after the submitting author and their sequence number from 1 to 5. For example: LASTNAME_Firstname_1.pdf
  • be listed by file name in the text of the submission

A short list of references may be attached as PDF, preferably formatted in Chicago Referencing Style.

The closing date for submissions is Monday, 1 June 2015.

After the submissions are closed, the Editorial Board will peer-review submissions and notify authors by Friday, 17 July 2015.

Accepted authors are kindly requested to promptly confirm their participation and submit by Tuesday, 1 September 2015 a final version of their outline of presentation and short CV, that will be published on the DARE 2015 website alongside the conference programme. Requirements for each presentation are negotiated with individual authors at this stage.

All accepted abstracts will be published open-access on the conference website and presentations at DARE 2015 will be video recorded for documenting and archiving purposes. A publication of the conference proceedings is in planning.

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Deleuze and Guattari in the Anthropocene


Arun Saldanha and Hannah Stark are the editors of an upcoming special edition of Deleuze Studies titled, “Deleuze and Guattari in the Anthropocene.” Here is the CFP.

Originally posted on Society for Radical Geography, Spatial Theory, and Everyday Life:

This CFP from Arun Saldanha and Hannah Stark for a special edition of Deleuze Studies, “Deleuze and Guattari in the Anthropocene,” might be of particular interest to readers:

cfp Deleuze and Guattari in the Anthropocene pic

Twenty years after his death, Deleuze’s thought continues to be mobilised in relation to the most timely and critical problems society faces. As theory is starting to reconcile itself with a grim environmental future and with the emergence of the Anthropocene as a key conceptual framework, we are compelled to consider the philosophical consequences of the irreversible and profound impacts of industrialisation and consumerism on environments at a planetary scale. The Anthropocene disrupts thought itself, requiring that we re-evaluate the human and its place in the cosmos: a third Copernican Revolution. It is widely accepted now that the human species is itself a geological force. Any erstwhile conceptual gap between human and natural history has more or less collapsed. The question…

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#CFP – Film Studies Association of Canada: 17th Annual Graduate Colloquium

Call for Papers – Version Française ci-dessous



FEBRUARY 27-28, 2015
Keynote Lecture by Dr. Will Straw, Director, McGill Institute for the
Study of Canada, McGill University
Submission deadline: Monday, December 15th 2014*

Propaganda is pervasive in contemporary society, and has generated a
considerable body of artefacts and theories which attempt to explain
them. In fact, it is thanks to its role as propaganda during WWI that
cinema became a legitimate art. By the end of the 1930s, its
mobilizational potential was taken seriously by all countries with
established film industries, and continued to be valued during the Cold
War, thus generating speculations that cinema has an inherent structural
and technological predisposition for distortion – both of optics and
of meaning (Paul Virilio). In this digital age, because of ubiquitous
screen media outlets, we have witnessed an unprecedented proliferation
of conspiracy theories as an alternative form of (dis) information or
propaganda. Moreover, since its emergence as a mass media phenomenon,
film propaganda has always already been associated with (self)
censorship and surveillance. Therefore, at the 2015 FSAC Grad
Colloquium, we invite discussion of the complex – even paradoxical –
relationship between film/media arts (and film language), on the one
hand, and propaganda, surveillance, (self) censorship and conspiracy
theories, on the other – from both contemporary and historical points
of view.

Papers and possible topics may include, but are not limited to:
Historical role of film propaganda, surveillance and (self) censorship
Theoretical approaches to film propaganda
Conspiracy cinema
Conspiracy theories on film and in social media
Censorship and self-censorship in cinema and in social media
Censorship, self-censorship and the evolution of film language
Surveillance on film
Surveillance and (self) censorship
Contemporary cinematic forms of propaganda and consensus building
The filmmaker as propagandist
Digital technology and propaganda
Cinematography, film sound and editing in service of propaganda
Propaganda in narrative cinema or avant-garde film or computer games

*Submissions are invited from all English and French speaking graduate
students (MA & PhD), in Film and Media Studies or a related discipline.
PLEASE NOTE THAT PROPOSALS ON TOPICS other than the colloquium’s
official theme ARE ALSO WELCOME. There is a limited POOL OF FUNDING to
assist with travel costs. The fund will be disbursed equitably among
eligible applicants. Please submit an abstract of no more than 250
words. Be sure to include your name, degree, academic affiliation,
e-mail address, as well as the title of your presentation. Abstracts
should be sent to: Please write “Grad
Colloquium 2015” in the subject heading of the e-mail, and upload the
abstract as an attachment (in either Word or PDF format). Notices of
acceptance will be sent in early January 2015.




27-28 FÉVRIER, 2015
Discours d’ouverture prononcé par le Dr. Will Straw, Directeur de
l’Institut d’études canadiennes de McGill, Université McGill
Date limite de soumission: lundi, le 15 décembre 2014*

La propagande est largement répandue dans la société contemporaine,
ayant produit un large corpus d’artefacts et de théories qui tentent de
les comprendre. En fait, c’est grâce à son rôle de propagande pendant la
première guerre mondiale que le cinéma est devenu un art légitime. Dès
la fin des années trente, son pouvoir de mobilisation fut prise au
sérieux par toutes les nations dotées d’une industrie
cinématographique, et continua d’être appréciée pendant la guerre
froide. Certains en conclurent que le cinéma est caractérisé par une
prédisposition structurelle et technologique à la distortion optique
et sémantique (Paul Virilio). En cette ère numérique, à cause de
l’omniprésence des écrans médiatiques, on peut observer une
prolifération sans précédent de théories conspirationnistes qui
servent d'”information” ou de propagande. De plus, depuis son apparition
au sein des mass média, la propagande cinématographique a toujours déjà
été associée avec la censure et la surveillance. Ainsi, au colloque
2015 de l’ACEC pour les étudiants de 2e et de 3e cycles, nous invitons
les participants à débattre d’une question complexe, voire paradoxale,
soient les rapports entre les arts filmiques (leurs langages respectifs)
d’une part, et la propagande, la surveillance, la censure et
l’auto-censure, et les theories du complot d’autre part, de points de
vue contemporains et historiques.

Les présentations et sujets potentiels peuvent inclure, sans s’y
Le rôle historique du film de propagande, de la surveillance et de la
Les approches théoriques du film de propagande
Le cinéma conspirationniste
Les théories du complot concernant le cinéma et les médias sociaux
La censure, l’auto-censure et l’évolution du langage cinématographique
La surveillance au cinéma
La surveillance et l’auto-censure
La propagande cinématographique comme recherche d’un consensus
Le cinéaste comme propagandiste
La technologie numérique et la propagande
La caméra, le son, et le montage au service de la propagande
La propagande dans le cinéma narratif ou d’avant-garde, ou dans les
jeux vidéos

*Tous les étudiants de 2e et 3e cycles en études de cinéma ou toute
discipline connexe, pouvant s’exprimer en anglais ou en français,
peuvent soumettre une présentation. PRIÈRE DE NOTER que les propositions
ne correspondant pas à la thématique du colloque SONT ÉGALEMENT
ACCEPTABLES. Des FONDS sont disponibles pour les frais de déplacement,
et seront distribués équitablement entre les conférenciers éligibles.
Veuillez faire parvenir un résumé de votre présentation (maximum : 250
mots). Assurez-vous d’inclure votre nom, diplôme, affiliation
académique, courriel, ainsi que le titre de votre présentation. Les
résumés doivent être envoyés à : Veuillez
indiquer « Colloque 2015 – 2e et 3e cycles » dans la section « Objet »
du courriel et inclure le résumé de la présentation en pièce jointe
(format Word ou PDF). Un avis d’acceptation sera envoyé en début
janvier 2015.

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