Friday, 27 October 2017 — 12:00 noon — WAG 316

Caroline Frick, UT-RTF and Texas Archive of the Moving Image

“Not for the Faint of Heart: Preserving Medical Film and Video at the Texas Archive of the Moving Image”

Traditional film and television studies scholars have approached the intersection between science, medicine, and media largely in terms of representation. From the mid-twentieth century success of the Dr. Kildare series to Grey’s Anatomy, studies have focused on how doctors or scientists, and their work, have been depicted and what socio-cultural and industrial factors have contributed to such imagery. In the late 1990s, however, a new generation of media scholars began to shift attention away from Hollywood content to appreciating a larger body of moving image archival content: Industrial and training films, home movies, how-to videos, and more. For the last decade, the Texas Archive of the Moving Image, an independent 501c3 based in Austin, has traveled across the state with a “bring out your films” program particularly interested in such “orphan” films and, in doing so, has begun to construct a fascinating new history of Texas medicine and science as told on screen. This talk will offer a look at some of the archives’ highlights and will explain how cataloging some of this content (e.g., surgical films from Houston’s medical community) has proven…not for the faint of heart.


Caroline Frick is Associate Professor in the Department of Radio-TV-Film and is the Founder and Director of the Texas Archive of the Moving Image. Prior to her work in Texas, she worked in film preservation at the National Archives, Library of Congress, and Warner Bros.