April 06, 2018–April 07, 2018

John MacKay: Vertov without Progress

Part of the IU Sawyer Seminar on Documentary Media and Historical Transformations

John MacKay presents the annual IU Cinema and Media Studies Naremore Lecture, “Vertov without Progress.” It is impossible to grasp Dziga Vertov’s film and theoretical work independently of the ideology of progress that informed it. If we accept that this ideology no longer carries the same force for the left, how are we to rethink Vertov’s work today, more than 100 years after the October Revolution? Is a Communist film practice possible without some ideology of progress?

Professor MacKay’s visit is sponsored by the Center for Documentary Research and Practice as part of the Sawyer Seminar series on “Documentary Media and Historical Transformations,” and co-sponsored by Cinema and Media Studies, the Media School, the IU Cinema, the Russian and East European Institute, and the Department for Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures.

Event Lecturer

John MacKay

Professor of Film Studies and Slavic Languages and Literatures, Yale University

John MacKay is Professor of Film Studies and of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Yale University. Over the years he has taught courses on film and media theory, Soviet cinema, Chinese cinema, Russian culture, slavery and serfdom in US and Russian literature, Marxist theory, Chekhov, and other topics. He has a particular interest in exploring historicizing modes of interpretation, primarily but not exclusively emerging from the Marxist and psychoanalytic traditions, in their application to a variety of different kinds of 19th and 20th century cultural production. He has written numerous books and articles on early Russian film and literature, and has a 2-volume book forthcoming in 2018, Dziga Vertov, Life and Work, Vol. 1 (1896-1921) and Dziga Vertov, Life and Work, Vol. 2 (1922-1929).


“Vertov without Progress”—the Cinema and Media Studies Naremore Lecture, by John MacKay
Friday, April 6th, 3:00-4:30 p.m., Franklin Hall 312

Man with a Movie Camera, with live piano accompaniment
Friday, April 6th, 7:00 p.m., IU Cinema

Saturday, April 7th, 3:00 p.m., IU Cinema