July 15, 2019
The HoMER (History of Movie Going, Exhibition and Reception) Conference, recently held at University of The Bahamas (UB) under the theme Anchoring New Cinema History has been credited with expanding the base of knowledge on cinema history.Delegates from five continents attended the three-day conference held at UB’s Oakes Field Campus from 26th - 28th June 2019.
Daniela Treveri Gennari, one the HoMER conference coordinators, said the intention was to move beyond the focus on film history to include matters relating to cinema more broadly. “This really means moving beyond the action into the distribution of film, the circulation of films, the exhibition of films and the reception, so looking at all audiences, which is something that for many years has not been done and [has been] neglected to a certain extent. Now we’re trying to reposition the audiences within film studies in a sort of strong place,” Gennari said.
Pre- and post- conference activities included a cinema exhibition in the foyer of the Harry C. Moore Library and Information Centre entitled ‘Big Screens in Little Nassau in the 1950s’, which was on display from 24th June – 1st July 2019 and was curated by Monique Toppin, the local conference coordinator.
Toppin is an Assistant Professor in Communication and Creative Arts at UB. “I got involved in HoMER about three years ago when I had the opportunity to present a paper at the NEXT Conference, which is a thought leadership conference in Germany. I met Daniela and other HoMER members who proposed the idea of hosting HoMER in The Bahamas while I was pursuing my doctoral studies and I was thrilled with the idea. At last year’s conference in Amsterdam, they had to decide where the next conference would take place and The Bahamas won the bid against countries like Turkey and Ireland,” explained Toppin.
The conference covered the history of cinemas in the context of:
• political places in the non-western world,
• memories as an entry to cinema experiences,
• cinemas as educational places,
• cinema programming strategies,
• transactional film distribution among many other topics.
Conference presenter were from Germany, Greece, Italy, Holland, Belgium, The United Kingdom; the United States, Canada, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, South Africa and Australia. Conference participants represented more than 25 countries.
HoMER was founded in 2007 at a conference in Belgium of international cinema scholars. The programme aims to promote an understanding of the complex, international phenomena of film going, exhibition and reception through research collection and the creation of a portal website to make new databases searchable and the dissemination of new models of collaborative research and support for a variety of means of publishing research findings.
Gennari also noted the importance of the conference that was held recently in The Bahamas. “It is important to be in The Bahamas because the idea that we had for HoMER was to expand the geography of the research and to really explore uncharted territories in research of the history of cinema. And being in The Bahamas really sends a big signal of trying to be inclusive, not just from having researchers from other parts of the world but also having research projects that look at areas that have never done this kind of research before,” he added.
For more information about HoMER, visit http://homernetwork.org/.
Participants of the HoMER Conference cascade the stairs the Harry C. Moore Library and Information Centre for a group photo.
The cinema exhibition that was on display in the foyer of the Harry C. Moore Library and Information Centre.
Conference Co-ordinators from l-r: Daniela Treveri Gennari, Monique Toppin and Clara Pafort-Overduin.
About University of The Bahamas
Chartered on 10th November 2016, University of The Bahamas (UB) is a beacon for national transformation. Approximately 5,000 students are enrolled in the University of The Bahamas system which includes campuses and centers on New Providence, Grand Bahama, San Salvador and Abaco, as well as UB online education. UB’s diverse academic programs, research engagements, athletics and leadership development experiences equip our students to become global citizens in a dynamic world. For more information visit www.ub.edu.bs.