Film Research Seminar

Film as Data: A Note on Behavioral Science and the Moving Image

Professor Vinzenz Hediger, our speaker, Professor of Film Studies at Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main. He gave this seminar online on 20 October 2020 to a large number of attendees from all over the globe.

This contribution looks at the use of film in the study of human and animal behaviour in mid-20th century ethology. Based on a discussion of the “Human Ethology Film Archive“, a 600 hour collection of observations of patterns of human behaviour based on five long-term studies conducted by German biologist Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt and his team between 1966 and 2007, I will argue that film not only records and documents, but constitutes behaviour as an object of knowledge.

Vinzenz Hediger is Professor of Cinema Studies at the Goethe University, Frankfurt and the Director of the Graduiertenkolleg “Configurations of Film“. He is a co-founder of NECS – European Networks for Cinema and Media Studies and the founding editor of the Zeitschrift für Medienwissenschaft (Journal for Media Studies). He is a principal investigator of the Research Center “Normative Orders” at Goethe University and a member of the Academy of Sciences and Literature Mainz. His research concerns the aesthetics of film within the larger framework of a history of risk and uncertainty in modernity.

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