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Upcoming conference aims to redefine animation

The event invites researchers to offer their ideas on the developing field of animation and digital arts.

“Redefining Animation,” the name of the 25th annual conference to be held by the Society for Animation Studies (SAS), will be hosted on June 23-27 by the John C. Hench Division of Animation & Digital Arts (Hench-DADA) at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

The event invites scholars, researchers and artists to present, address and critique the expanding art form across disparate media and to contribute their papers, ideas and observations in the ever-evolving field of animation and digital arts.

“We are proud to host ‘Redefining Animation’ here at the School of Cinematic Arts,” said Kathy Smith, chair of the Hench-DADA. “Los Angeles provides a dynamic location and meeting place for scholars and practitioners at varying intersections of the industry, academia and the arts, and we welcome all to participate in this year’s conference.”

“Redefining Animation” will begin with an opening address by DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and Chief Creative Officer Bill Damaschke. The conference will feature a series of screenings, panels and microtalks featuring topics such as “Animation on the Move: Animated Journalism and Global Reporting,” “New Frontiers in Visual Music,” “Animating the Future: Collaboration and Storytelling” “Poetry in Motion” and “DIY Viral Animation.”

Keynote speakers include character animator and USC Professor Tom Sito, artist Davide Quayola, visual effects supervisor and USC Professor Michael Fink, robotics designer David Hanson, actress Geena Davis, founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, and Tracy Fullerton, holder of the Electronic Arts Endowed Chair at SCA. The conference will conclude with DreamWorks Animation inviting a limited number of guests for a tour of the DreamWorks Animation Studio.

“The SAS is pleased to be holding its annual conference at USC this year,” said Paul Ward, professor of animation studies at the Arts University Bournemouth (United Kingdom) and president of the Society for Animation Studies. “We are a truly international society, devoted to the study of animation in all its forms, with members all over the world.

“Previous conferences have been hosted at esteemed institutions in the UK, Europe, North America and Australia,” he added. “The current importance of animation to a wide range of creative industries is reflected in the diversity of research, practice and scholarship going on within the SAS. It is a dynamic and exciting growth area, and we welcome new members all the time.”

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