Image via JungleKey
Image via JungleKey

On behalf of the Society for Animation Studies and as Chair of the Jury, it is a pleasure to announce that Dr. Lilly Husbands’ paper, “The Meta-physics of Data: Philosophical Science in Semiconductor’s Animated Videos” [published in MIRAJ: Moving Image Review & Art Journal] will receive the 2014 Norman McLaren – Evelyn Lambart Award for the Best Scholarly Article in Animation published 2012-2013.

The submissions this year were exceptional in their scholarship and every juror who reviewed them commented on the difficulty of selecting one over the other. If you’ve read a similar statement in previous announcement letters (I know I have), let me assure you, it is certainly true of this group of submissions. For everyone who submitted, know that the work you submitted held its own in the competition by virtue of having been published in the first instance.

As Chair, I want to point out that the jury process was considerable and spanned evaluation by six readers across a six-month period. The submissions were redacted versions without author or publisher visibly listed and there were three anonymous readers who were charged with not only evaluating content, but evaluating the work as scholarship, per se. The anonymous readers are knowledgeable in the study and practice of animation and the digital arts and were invited to read submissions from the perspective of global scholarship that crosses media, cinema, performing, musical, theatrical and visual arts disciplines.

The final selection for the award was made by a second set of jurors whose academic scholarship, practice, and/or research is either in animation studies, histories and practices; aesthetics; the digital arts; online media; cinema studies and digital humanities and/or photography and film. Jurors and their short bios:

  • Jean Detheux, Belgian born, is a graduate of the Academie Royale des Beaux-Arts (Liege). Detheux has lived in Canada and the U.S. since 1971 where he served as faculty in fine art at the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture, New York University, Concordia University and Alberta College of Art. Detheux has created films at the National Film Board of Canada and has screened his numerous films in international festivals since 2005. An author as well as fine artist and animation artist, Jean Detheux has lectured and published widely in the digital arts, animation and visual effects.
  • Victor Vitanza, Ph.D. is Professor of English and Founding Director of the Ph.D. trans-disciplinary program in Rhetoric, Communication and Information Design at Clemson University. This program is the first doctoral program in the College of Architecture, Arts, and Humanities. Dr. Vitanza writes and teaches in the areas of Multimodal Writing (new media, digital studies, serious games, and collaborative teaching and research publishing on the Web); Modern and Contemporary Philosophy (U.S., German, French, and Italian); Photography, Film, and Video (Intermedia, Cinematics, Post-Cinematics, Production); Cultural Criticisms and Cybercultures. Vitanza has authored numerous books; his most recent, Chaste Cinematics, is under contract with Punctum Books.
  • Martin E. Rosenberg, Ph.D., formerly a Visiting Fellow in Cognition and the Arts at the Center for Transformative Media, Parsons University’s New School, New York, is currently a Research Associate with the New Centre for Research and Practice, Michigan. Rosenberg’s publications and research include scholarly articles on emergent behaviors visible in music notation and the cognitive neuro-science of improvisers. He has programmed instructional software; theorized about hypermedia and interaction-design; and contributed articles on the role of metaphor in trans-disciplinary inquiry. Rosenberg’s dissertation is on the cultural work across the arts of the scientific concept of “emergence.” Originally schooled in jazz composition at the Berklee College of Music, he has recently returned (after thirty years) to performing.
  • Janeann Dill, Ph.D., M.F.A. is Chair of Jury. A fine artist, scholar and experimental animation artist, Dr. Dill is the Founder and Director of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Art & Creative Intelligence (ThinkTank); and faculty for Critical Studies and Critical Writing Seminars in Animation Histories at Emerson College, Department of Visual and Media Arts, Boston (USA). Dill is the authorized biographer of Jules Engel (1909-2003).

Again, congratulations to Dr. Lilly Husbands for the 2014 Norman McLaren – Evelyn Lambart Award, Society for Animation Studies’ Best Scholarly Article On Animation published 2012-2013: Lilly Husbands, ‘The Meta-physics of Data: Philosophical Science in Semiconductor’s Animated Videos’, MIRAJ: Moving Image Review & Art Journal, Volume 2, Number 2, 1 October 2013, pp. 198-212 (15).

One last note about what I consider to be good news for all SAS members. The expanse of publishing bodies now interested in scholarly articles and research in animation studies has widened considerably since this first award was given in 1993. I thought it would be helpful for our membership to see a list of the publishers (in no particular order) for the articles submitted:

  • MIRAJ: Moving Image Review & Art Journal
  • Early Popular Visual Culture
  • Animation Practise, Process and Production
  • Comparative American Studies
  • Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal
  • Animation Journal
  • Literature/Film Quarterly

The next round of competition will be for articles published in 2014 – 2015 eligible for the 2015 McLaren – Lambart Award.

Dr. Janeann Dill

June, 2015