Research at the Department of Film Studies encompasses a broad range of themes pertaining to film and its contexts of reception. Aesthetical, historical, and theoretical issues are explored from a liberal arts/cultural studies perspective. Individual and collaborative research projects fall into three general areas, which inevitably overlap:
Film history (including historiography) and film theory (including the history of theory):
- basic research in film history, film theory, and conceptual history
- the historiography of film and the history of discourses on film
- the history of film exhibition and reception in a variety of contexts
Aesthetics and technologies
- visual, narrative, and pragmatic aspects of film and its reception, from cinema to recent media platforms
- film in the context of other arts, popular media, and gender discourses
- genres of fiction, documentary, experimental, and non-theatrical film
National heritage and transnational circulation
- cinematic heritage, especially in Switzerland
- material, technical, and economic aspects of film, cinema, and recent mobile contexts of reception
- problems of film digitization, presentation, and archiving
Thematic priorities are set through the launch of or participation in larger research projects. At present, key research areas are:
- Film Reception and the Public and The Diffusion of Cinematic Images and Imagery, examined in the context of the ProDoc program Discourses and Practices of Cinema and the Audiovisual (2009–2014), a joint project with the University of Lausanne. To renew this cooperation, the SUC program Film, Photography, and Other Visual Media was launched in 2013.
- Dynamics of Cinematic Display as part of the NCCR Mediality: Historical Perspectives, an interdisciplinary project at UZH’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
- Early Cinema, which includes a cooperation with the Universities of Utrecht (Netherlands) and Trier (Germany) within the framework of the Early Cinema Colloquium.