Cinema Journal Name Change
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12/6/2017 at 10:25:51 AM GMT
Posts: 1
Like Will, I'm surprised the hear that 84% of CJ articles have been film-related. I wonder if that analysis were shortened from 10 to 5 years what the numbers might bear out. My impression is that the journal, like the conference, has diversified significantly since I joined SCMS in 2007. For instance, 57:1 contains articles on cable access TV, television affect, and cinematic remediations of radio. I'd be happy to run those numbers during the upcoming break if others think they might be helpful.

I'm also surprised that members, who no doubt are aware of the remarkable variety of work that is increasingly found at the conference each year, would presume CJ to be less hospitable to scholarship in other media.

Finally, to encourage more participation in this matter, could the vote somehow be attached to next year's membership renewals or conference proposals (i.e, one is prompted to record a vote prior to proceeding to dues payment or final submission)?

12/14/2017 at 1:43:08 PM GMT
Posts: 9
Dear Kevin, Justin, and Daniel,

Thank you all again for weighing in. The SCMS Executive Director, Presidents (Past, Present, and Elect), Secretary, and Treasurer and I have been pouring over the SCMS bylaws together and discussing the concerns you raised here. And let me say how much I really appreciate you taking the time to articulate your concerns so that we could respond!

It had not occurred to me or the others that a no-protest vote would seem overdetermined, and I am sorry it gave that impression, since that was never the intent. When the idea was raised, it struck me as a tried and tested solution to low voter turnout that SCMS had had success with before, so why not use it again? It never occurred to me that anyone would interpret it as less than "truly democratic," and I regret that lack of foresight.

I agree with Daniel that this issue is too important for the voting procedure itself to even seemingly affect the results, so the Presidents and Executive Director have decided to change the referendum to a simple majority vote. This may mean, given that traditionally low voter turnout in SCMS elections, that a minority of voters still determines the issue for the entire SCMS membership, but I don't know how to increase voter turnout other than outreach and reminders to vote. If anyone has any other ideas, please let me know!

And Daniel, if you have other ideas you'd like to share about how we can re-brand the journal, please let me know. Given the vocal support I've heard for changing the name (mostly expressed via email directly to me), I am not inclined to cancel the vote. But I hope that this procedural change does address some of the concerns raised here. Do let me know if you have additional ideas or concerns!

12/15/2017 at 5:12:51 PM GMT
Posts: 3
hi Caetlin

thanks very much indeed for this update, and for the consideration you and the SCMS executive have given this matter.

I'm personally really impressed by the way you and colleagues have actively listened to members... not surprised, from my own five years of positive experience with the Board, but nevertheless I think this is a great example of SCMS doing things the right way.

best wishes

12/18/2017 at 2:50:50 PM GMT
Posts: 3
Hi Caetlin,

Thanks for the thoughtful, transparent, and speedy update on the voting process.


12/21/2017 at 10:09:39 PM GMT
Posts: 9
Thank you, Will and Kevin. And agin, I really appreciate your time in this discussion. As Pam emphasized, what we want most of all, as always, is as high a voter turnout as possible. So please use your networks to encourage as many members to vote as you can.

And thanks again!

1/3/2018 at 2:33:41 PM GMT
Posts: 5
Name Change for CINEMA JOURNAL

SCMS Colleagues: No one seems to have addressed one of the earliest questions raised on this thread: Why was the name CINEMA JOURNAL maintained even after the organization's name was revised to include Media Studies?


As the editor of CJ at the time of that shift, I can enumerate the reasons given for maintaining the title -- but adding the subtitle: The Journal of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies:


1. Libraries and on-line search engines like consistency in naming.

2. CINEMA Journal preserves the historic import of the society's origins in the study of film, while the subtitle adds the new direction into moving image cultures.

3. The Executive Council feared that "Media" in the journal title would encourage many misdirected submissions on topics such as print journalism, telephone calls, radio, and other forms of media that did not fit the purview of the journal.

4. "Media Studies" as part of the journal's title was thought to have connotations about scholarly methodologies and paradigms -- e.g., statistics, quantitative analysis, surveys, etc.  -- which were thought to be inimical to the journal's longstanding focus on the qualitative investigation of moving images from a liberal arts/humanities perspective. 

5. Likewise, there was concern expressed that the term "media" was so vague and all-consuming that the nature of the organization itself would change into a Media Studies or Communication Studies society, rather than one devoted exclusively to the moving image.

6. The impetus for changing SCS to SCMS was prompted by the growth of significant scholarship on TELEVISION and, to a more limited extent, New Media. The full blossoming of new technologies for accessing moving images was not accounted for or was thought to be the province of future SCMS Officers and journal editors to confront.

My Cinema Journal essay (see attached) addresses some of these concerns. It was the Introduction to a number of thoughtful articles on the changing nature of cinema/media studies at the time of its publication. Those also should be looked up and read by anyone interested in the history of our society and its scholarly journal.


Best to all,


Frank P. Tomasulo, Ph.D.

Former Editor, Cinema Journal (1998-2003)

 Attached Files: 

Last edited Wednesday, January 3, 2018
1/3/2018 at 2:48:55 PM GMT
Posts: 1
I am disappointed that a name change is under consideration. I think that we have a broader view of what is "cinema" than simply films playing in a movie house. I like the term 'cinematographic' with its implications of both movement and enscription. It is a more evocative word than 'media' and it emphasizes the creative aspects of moving image. And 'cinema' is not old fashioned - it's a living word, often employed as a term of approval - "cinematic."
On a more practical level, it takes time to build up a journal's reputation and - given that there are so many journals out there, many with the word 'media' in their name but few with 'cinema' - the strong 'brand recognition' that the journal has earned could be lost.

1/3/2018 at 3:10:42 PM GMT
Posts: -10
Hello all,

Caitlin, first, allow me to echo my colleagues enthusiastic support of your work. The productive energy you bring to SCMS is palatable. Thank you!

Second, I want to follow-up on Tim Shary’s and D. Martin’s comments. As Martin notes, Cinema Journal is world-renowned with a significant history and, as such, carries significant weight in the field. The title is something not to take lightly and, as I note below, remains relevant.

This is not to say (as Shary points out) that the new disciplinary areas should be overlooked as the field, rightly, develops and unfolds. Indeed, recent publications in Cinema Journal reflect that transforming field, whether they focus on new media, cultural studies, or changes in film-industry practices. And so on.

I would suggest, however, given the cinema’s own history as a multimedia phenomenon that the membership reflect on the historical breadth of “media” already embedded in the term “cinema.”

Rather than change the name of the journal, we may wish to consider revising the mission statement that informs the impetus behind the scholarship published within. To my mind, cinema (or the cinematic) is a broad term that encapsulates—as its very history indicates—a range of media and their fascinating creative and political intersections.


1/8/2018 at 8:39:10 PM GMT
Posts: 9
The Facebook Live Discussion

Dear fellow SCMS members,

Here's the FB Live video from our discussion this afternoon. Please email me at if I can answer any additional questions for you.

All the best,


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