Conference Overview

The Craft of Criticism Conference will be held April 25-26, 2014, at the University of Notre Dame’s Conference Center.  All events are free and open to Notre Dame faculty, students, 
and staff.  To register, please send an email by March 21 to

The Craft of Criticism Conference aims to explore and elaborate research methods used within critical media studies—an interdisciplinary field encompassing humanities scholarship on film, television, radio, games, popular music, and the Internet, as well as media industries, producers, technologies, and audiences.  Methods to be discussed include those used in research on narrative, representation, acting, industry, authorship, reception, sound, celebrity, genre, discourse, history, policy, and cultural geography.  Please scroll down to view the conference schedule.

Bringing Notre Dame faculty and students together with a group of leading scholars from prestigious media studies programs across the U.K. and North America, this event will involve an intensive workshop environment wherein the bulk of time will be spent in dialogue, rather than research presentations.  By carefully articulating how and why the methods in this field have developed, and by offering concrete examples of the application of such methods, our objective is to develop a practical roadmap for those pursuing critical media studies.

Prior to gathering at Notre Dame, each invited scholar will prepare an outline of her/his presentation on a specific research method as well as provide a case study demonstrating the use of that method in contemporary scholarship.  All conference attendees will have access to these materials and are invited to give constructive criticism on them at the conference.  The end goal is an anthology to be edited by the conference organizers, Michael Kackman and Mary Celeste Kearney, Department of Film, Television, & Theatre, University of Notre Dame.

The Craft of Criticism Conference is generously supported by the University of Notre Dame's Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, College of Arts and Letters, Henkels Lecture Series, as well as the following Notre Dame departments and programs: the Nanovic Institute; the Department of Film, Television, & Theatre; the Graduate School; Undergraduate Studies; the Department of American Studies; the John W. Gallivan Program in Journalism, Ethics & Democracy; the Department of Anthropology; the Department of Art, Art History & Design; the Department of English; GeNDer Studies; and the Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement.