CFA will be representing at the upcoming National Communication Association's 104th annual conference

October 31 2018

The University of Utah College of Fine Arts is thrilled to have three faculty members presenting at the National Communication Association’s 104th annual conference this November. Sarah E. S. Sinwell, Ph.D faculty member in the Department of Film & Media Arts, Kate Mattingly, Phd and Molly Heller, MFA, both faculty members in the School of Dance, are representatives of the groundbreaking creative and scholarly research currently being conducted in the CFA.

The National Communication Association (NCA) advances communication as the discipline that studies all forms, modes, media, and consequences of communication through humanistic, social scientific, and aesthetic inquiry. NCA serves the scholars, teachers, and practitioners who are its members by enabling and supporting their professional interests in research and teaching. Dedicated to fostering and promoting free and ethical communication, NCA promotes the widespread appreciation of the importance of communication in public and private life, the application of competent communication to improve the quality of human life and relationships, and the use of knowledge about communication to solve human problems.

“The CFA's faculty and graduate students are actively creating new knowledge and disseminating timely, relevant, and innovative research far and wide,” said Melonie B. Murray, Ph.D., the CFA’s Associate Dean for Faculty & Academic Affairs. “The fact that more than one discipline from the CFA will be represented (Film & Media Arts and Dance) at the upcoming National Communication Association conference reflects the range and impact of our college's research.”

Sinwell’s presentation title is: To Queer Things Up: Sexing the Self in the Queer Documentary Web Series. Sinwell addresses the ways in which queer documentary web series such as Losing It With John Stamos, To Queer Things Up, and The Peculiar Kind construct confession as queer by mapping it onto ideas of celebrity, intersectionality, and political activism. In an effort to utilize “third and fourth screen” practices, these web series attempt to reach a new audience, viewers who watch videos on their laptops, tablets and cell phones. Appearing on sites such as Yahoo Screen, YouTube, and Vimeo, these series reimagine new ways of telling stories about sex, desire and the body by questioning the relationships between the verbal, the visual and the confessional. Investigating terms such as queer, gay, lesbian, androgynous, transgender, monogamous, etc., these web series also explore how ideas of celebrity, intersectionality, and advocacy are tied in with understandings of queer sexuality. Sinwell’s focus is on how queer documentary web series reimagine the relationships between sexuality, the self, the other, and the camera as a means of further exploring the construction of queer sexual confessions in contemporary media culture.

As new faculty members in the School of Dance, Molly Heller and Dr. Kate Mattingly applied to present their research at the NCA’s 104th annual convention because it’s a place where they can engage with scholars across the disciplines and across the country. Since the theme of this convention is “Communication at Play,” they plan to both present research on dance as embodied play and also engage in a playful dialogue about their different perspectives and their intersections.

Their panel, made in collaboration with Michelle LaVigne, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Rhetoric and Language at the University of San Francisco, is entitled "Playing with/while/within Dancing: Communicating for/with/about Dance." Molly Heller, an Assistant Professor and interdisciplinary artist, creates performances that highlight the emotional and narrative elements of embodied play. In her presentation, Heller will explain the choreographic processes that enable her performers to access modes of being that reveal inner landscapes. Kate Mattingly, Ph.D., an Assistant Professor, will present part of her current book project that traces how dance critics and historians have attempted to transfer dance’s sensorial engagement into linguistic interpretations, and what this transfer does to dance as embodied play. Together with LaVigne, Heller and Mattingly will explore how writing for/with/about dance is a kind of play that can happen between dancers, writers, and choreographers.

Panels take place 11/8 at 8A and 11/10 at 9:30A in the Salt Palace in the Salt Palace Convention Center. For more information please visit here.