Each year, the Humanities and Social Science divisions offer a range of research workshops for faculty and advanced graduate students. Many Cinema and Media Studies faculty and graduate students actively participate in these workshops. The format varies, but (in addition to occasional presentations by visiting scholars) participants normally discuss common readings or present the results of their own research, such as dissertation chapters or drafts of essays for publication. It is understood that Ph.D. students will participate in workshops and other similar groups throughout their time in the department.

Mass Culture Workshop

The Mass Culture Workshop operates as a forum dedicated to the recent and ongoing academic research on the historical, theoretical, and practical dimensions of modern mass media (commercial, consumer, or popular) including cinema, television, journalism, popular music, photography, advertising, fashion, public amusements, and computer technology. Organized by CMS graduate students (elected each year during the final Town Hall) and sponsored by CMS faculty, the workshop is typically held Friday mornings three to four times per quarter. To ensure participation is possible, no CMS courses are scheduled during the same time.

As Mass Culture provides an essential resource for students, CMS graduates in Scholastic Residency (prior to reaching Candidacy) should attend all Mass Culture Workshops during each academic year.

Digital Media Workshop

The Digital Media Workshop is a forum for students and faculty who work on issues of digital media across the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Physical Sciences at the University of Chicago. As digital media spans theoretical scholarship, scientific inquiry, and artistic practice, this workshop is a highly interdisciplinary site for engaging the political, aesthetic, social, cultural, and technical dimensions of digital media across its many formats. The Digital Media Workshop is held in the Media Arts, Data, and Design Center. As such, this workshop operates as a laboratory where scholars can convene to discuss, design, and test a range of computational and digital media platforms, including digital games, electronic music, virtual & augmented reality, biometrics, motion capture, alternate reality games, machine learning, and other human-computer interaction.

Other Workshops

20th/21st Century Workshop

The 20th/21st Century workshop is open to a variety of disciplinary approaches and it is primarily organized around conceptual questions specific to this historical period, including: the instability of categories like “high” and “low” culture, modernism’s lives and afterlives, the effects of changing media technologies, and 20th/21st century histories of race, class, gender, ability, and sexuality.

Sound and Society

The Sound and Society workshop seeks to shed light on the manifold ways that music and sound are deeply intertwined with history, people, and society.

Visual and Material Perspectives on East Asia

The Visual and Material Perspectives on East Asia workshop is oriented toward the study of material or visual objects from East Asia. It explores the possible use of recent theories of art, history, and material and visual culture in the study of East Asia, such as film, museum studies, and visual culture etc. 


RAVE - Research and Visual Evidence features scholarship on art, architecture, media, and art criticism across divisions of geography and historical periodization. The goal of RAVE is to create a public workshop open to all graduate students who utilize visual evidence in their arguments.

Theater and Performance Studies

The Theater and Performance Studies workshop seeks to provide a forum for questions of performance that have arisen in a host of disciplines across the divisions, and to extend to the graduate level a systematic reflection on the longstanding divide between the theories and praxes of performance that has, for the past few years, animated work in the undergraduate committee on theater and performance studies.