I. Academic policy

1.Kittler’s position is highly important: he argued for the historical analysis of technological infrastructures of (seemingly eternal) entities like “spirit”. This analysis shows the infrastructures to be historically contingent. And this is, of course, a first task of the humanities: showing the technological, cultural and social structures to be contingent and showing why the world is as it is and not differently. That opens up the space for critical interventions and also for political freedom. The second is of course the conservation of cultural knowledge and of historical forms of knowledge and perception: The humanities have at the same time critical and conservational tasks which are indispensable for any society. Because we can only understand ourselves when we know how we became what we are.

II. Self-reflexive questions of the field

2. Film studies is important because it addresses the question of the aesthetics of one of the most significant perceptual form of the 20th century – the moving image. For me film studies is a legitimate part of media studies, because film is one of the most typical modern mass media. It can contribute to media studies – and media studies is an open heterogeneous field, in which different ways to read and analyze films can and will find their place. So called ‘traditional’ aesthetic approaches are also part of the wide field of media studies and should coexist with other approaches, especially since they can contribute important insights on the perceptual offerings of modern media.

3. I think that both [the cinematic canon, national film history vs. cinema as a social or medial practice] are important objects for study and both should be studied – especially since the boundary between art and the popular is a) blurry, there are several cases in which they intermingle and b) itself historical. The fixation on a strict canon is paralyzing for science, blocking science from the openness for new developments, and especially the critical function of the humanities should be addressed to “popular” media forms and analyze their different and by no means only hegemonial operations. “Art” in the 20th century was always in direct dialogue with the “popular” (either by rejecting it or by quoting it) and the “popular” always re-used operations from Art – so it makes no sense to play them against each other.

4. Film in the sense of moving images (plus sound) will exist for a long time to come. So if it opens up to new forms of presentations (digital and mobile media) and doesn’t stay conservatively fixated on “the cinema”, it will have a bright and important future.

III. Public and tertiary education (and national curricula, such as the NAT in Hungary)

5. Digitalization and globalization are the most important challenges, they change “film” fundamentally. On the one hand you have to teach film as part of a wider digital media culture, on the other hand you cannot focus on European or Western Cinema (neither on Eurocentric notions of art). Especially teacher training should include these aspects of digitalization and globalization.

6. As I said above I think that the aesthetic, historical and institutional aspects of media and moving images have to be taught critically (including digitalization and globalization) for an improved self-description of society but also for extended creative possibilities – because you can only invent the new if you know the old. Media culture is a central part of every modern society, so it has to be taught not only practically but also critically and historically.

Erre a szövegre így hivatkozhat:

Jens Schröter: Responses to the Apertúra Questionnaire 2018. Apertúra, 2018.ősz. URL: