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Archiving Moving Images: From 16mm to Vimeo
October 25 @ 3:30 pm
Celebrating the Patricia Mellencamp Founding Collection
Distinguished Professor Emerita Patricia Mellencamp was one of the first faculty members at UWM—and indeed in the country—to teach film studies, and was instrumental in establishing film studies as a humanities discipline.
Mellencamp worked at the Center for 20th Century Studies from 1970-72 researching the viability of an interdisciplinary film studies program, and went on to teach film studies at UWM from 1972-2002. During her three decades at UWM, Mellencamp not only organized a range of Center conferences and events, she also established her reputation as a foundational scholar in film theory and history, feminist theory, and the nascent field of television studies.
During this time, Mellencamp also amassed a variety of 16mm film prints of films by Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, and others. These prints are now part of the UWM Film Studies Archive and are being catalogued, cleaned, and preserved by the Moving Image Society, a dedicated group of undergraduate and graduate students under the supervision of Film Studies Professor Tami Williams. With Mellencamp’s return to campus for Remembering the Center for 20th Century Studies, we hosted a special celebration of her work, followed by a dedication of the Patricia Mellencamp Founding Collection.
Mellencamp addressed a large gathering of current and former UWM students and faculty, discussing the early days of teaching film studies, and 16mm film as a format that presented challenges and opportunities for educators and filmmakers. Her daughter Dae Mellencamp, former president and CEO of online video platform Vimeo, responded with a talk on the site’s history and its development in relation to creators, film, and media.
Current UWM Film Studies students Hugo Ljungbäck and Christian Balistreri of the Moving Image Society also screened a short film from the archive.
This event was sponsored by the UWM Film Studies program and the Center for 21st Century Studies.