The Society for Cinema and Media Studies is the largest professional organisation for film educators, filmmakers, archivists, historians, journalists and media professionals. 2007’s conference was held in Chicago, where I presented SP-ARK.

This year’s theme was “Media in the Public Sphere,” so there were many panels thinking about education, media literacy, access and the changes wrought to film viewership by new media.

SP-ARK’s aims fit right into this theme, and there were positive responses to the project from people in a number of fields: filmmaker and professor at Columbia College Michelle Citron, whose feminist classic Daughter Rite screened at festivals in 1979 alongside Potter’s Thriller, is creating a series of online interactive film/video projects, and was intrigued to hear about the online archive, as were early adopters of Web 2.0 in education Julia Lesage, one of the editors of the online journal of new media Jump Cut, and Paul Hertz, creator of online education environment the Collaboratory .

SP-ARK also found interested parties at the Media Literacy and Outreach Special Interest Group, founded by James Castonguay, as well as a meetup of the academic blogging network Dr. Mabuse’s Kaleidoscope and the Media Archives Committee, whose members include the directors of the Media Archives graduate programs at NYU and UCLA, and Barbara Hall from the Margaret Herrick Library.