In its 19th edition, the Collegium follows its established plan, though we hope that every year brings some natural evolution in method and results. The 12 invited “scholarship” collegians are now augmented by an undefined number of voluntary associate collegians.
The Collegium’s aims remain unchanged: to attract new, young generations to the discovery of silent cinema, and to infiltrate these newcomers into the very special community that has evolved around the Giornate during its three decades. It is designed to take advantage of the unique conditions of the Giornate – a highly concentrated oneweek event; the possibility to see an extensive collection of rare archival films; the presence in one place and at one time of many (perhaps most) of the world’s best qualified experts in film history – scholars, historians, archivists, collectors, critics, academics, and just plain enthusiasts.
Rejecting the conventional “summer school” style of a formal teaching programme, the Collegium returns to a fundamental, classical concept of study, in which the impetus is the students’ curiosity and inquiry. Instead of formal lectures and panels, the daily sessions are designed as “Dialogues”, in the Platonic sense, when the collegians sit down with groups of experts in various disciplines. The Dialogues are designed not just to elicit information and instruction, but to allow the collegians to make direct personal and social connection with the Giornate habitués and to discover them as peers whom they can readily approach, in the course of the week, for supplementary discussion. To focus their inquiry, the members of the Collegium collaborate on the production of a collection of papers on themes emerging from or inspired by the experience of the week. Each collegian is required to contribute an essay, and the criterion is that the principal source must be the Giornate programme, or conversation and interviews with the scholars and experts to whom the week facilitates access. It has to be, in short, a work that could not have been produced without the Giornate experience.
The papers will be published on the Giornate website, and the best Collegium Paper of the year is eligible for the annual Premio Crédit Agricole FriulAdria, inaugurated in 2008 and deeply appreciated as a recognition of the achievement of the Collegium.