Sunday, March 31, 2013

More Small Conferences, Please

However the SCMS election turns out, I second wholeheartedly Maria Pramaggiore's suggestion to "explore the possibility of sponsoring small, 1-day conferences in diverse locations, organized by caucuses or SIGs, to expand the opportunities for networking around specific research interests." I've mentioned on Twitter how impressed I am by the number and scope of topical conferences in the UK. Those in the US have trickled down to at times negligible numbers. I'm not sure exactly what's driving the trend here, but I think the discipline is poorer for it.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

CFP: Cinephilia and Teaching


Book Collection: Cinephilia and Teaching
Editors: Rashna Wadia Richards and David T. Johnson
Abstract Deadline: June 1, 2013

We invite contributions to Cinephilia and Teaching, an edited collection of essays clustered around ideas of cinephilia and pedagogy. While essays may explicitly interrogate connections between ciné-love and teaching, we envision a collection that explores both concepts broadly, creating a productive dialogue between cinephilia and education, a long-neglected relationship in Film Studies.

In the introduction to their 2012 MLA collection Teaching Film, Lucy Fischer and Patrice Petro describe a central tension that characterizes the field: while Film Studies appears to belong to "the advanced guard—at times leading the way in the humanities," it "still suffers from a certain lack of recognition and its attendant deprivations." Such ambivalence is often reflected in the field's own attitude toward its subjects, and few sites of inquiry have demonstrated that tension more, and perhaps better, than cinephilia, a discourse traditionally associated with an obsessive love of cinema and its fragments, details, and remains. It is precisely these associations with fetishism that led to the scholarly dismissal of cinephilia in the 1960s. Thriving on the spirit of counterculture, Film Studies blossomed into an academic discipline by eschewing ciné-love in order to engage in systematic, critical inquiry. As Laura Mulvey notes in a recent dialogue with Peter Wollen, the transition "from cinephilia to film studies" occurred because "[w]hat begins with cinephilia, with the love of Hollywood, . . . becomes the theoretical study of Hollywood, becomes also a sustained critique of the ideology of Hollywood," and this critique is feasible only via "a rejection of your own cinephilia." Of course, even during that era of anti-cinephilic fervor, cinephilia never entirely disappeared from the experience of teaching and learning about film.

More recently, cinephilia has strongly re-entered Film Studies, playing a vital role in the field's quest for (re)definition in the era of new media and new avenues for criticism. In the last decade, cinephilia has been the subject of edited collections like Movie Mutations: The Changing Face of World Cinephilia; Cinephilia: Movies, Love, and Memory; Cinephilia in the Age of Digital Reproduction (in two volumes, no less); and monographs like Cinephilia and History, or the Wind in the Trees and Cinematic Flashes: Cinephilia and Classical Hollywood. Cinema Journal and Framework have also devoted special dossiers and issues, respectively, to the subject. Developments in the digital sphere, too, have enabled immense cinephilic discourse, in writing and in video, and we have seen more fluidity between academic and non-academic work, with scholars frequently writing in non-institutional contexts and popular critics exerting more influence on academic scholars.

Given its rising significance, it is curious that so little attention has been paid to how teaching engages with, or avoids, cinephilia. The overall goal of Cinephilia and Teaching is to consider the relationship between cinephilia and pedagogy from multiple locations and perspectives, both in and outside of university settings. Contributors may consider but are not limited to the following questions about cinephilia's connection with teaching:

  • Is there such a thing as cinephiliac pedagogy? 
  • Can the love of cinema inform the serious study of cinema for today's student? 
  • How does cinephilia inflect teaching in national and transnational contexts both in and outside of English-language institutions? 
  • Can cinephilia expand beyond its primary object of desire to encompass the teaching of television and new media? 
  • How might cinephilia serve as a site for conceiving pedagogy in broader ways, ones that extend well beyond the walls of the academy and potentially include those digital sites where, surely, if learning is taking place (as it is), teaching is as well? 
  • Might we consider cinema itself to be its own best "teacher"? If so, how do various films and filmmakers engage in pedagogical practices? 
  • How might we negotiate this relationship in ways that would productively think about why a cinema education matters today, whether it takes place in an academic setting or not? 
  • Might the 1960s rejection of cinephilia bear some warnings we might heed? In our rush to embrace its return, are we neglecting important pedagogical consequences that cinephilia's often optimistic tone may be inclined to ignore?

Please email a 500-word abstract and a short biographical note to and by June 1, 2013. Complete essays will be due by December 31, 2013.

CFP: European Film Cultures


European Film Cultures: An International Conference
8-9 November 2013, Lund University, Sweden

ECREA Film Studies Section Interim Conference

The study of film as culture and of filmcultures has been an expanding area of study in recent years. The aim of this two-day conference is to focus on the most recent developments anddiscussdifferent ways of analyzing film in cultural contexts, as well as film as a cultural product, with the aim to debatehow different methodologies and perspectives can inspire each other in productive ways.

The European film industry is currently undergoing profound transformations on account of important economic, technological and cultural reasons. The internationalization of markets, the impact of the digital revolution, the repositioning of Europe on the global scene are some of the factors that currently impact on ideas and practices of European cinema.

The centrality of film to European cultures is both reaffirmed today and challenged by these radical changes. Thinking of film as culture and as a cultural product is essential to our understanding of the evolution of European cinemas within both industrial and creative contexts, and to an assessment of their role in and contribution to our societies. The conference is in dialogue with, and aims to contribute to, recent scholarship that focuses on cinema's participation in a network of relationships that connect cultural practices and economic realities, technological innovation and industrial production, policy and creativity.

Confirmed keynote speakers:

Professor Daniel Biltereyst, Centre for Cinema and Media Studies, Ghent University, Belgium. Provisional title: Multiple audiences: Revisiting historical film reception.

Professor Paul McDonald, Chair in Creative Industries, Department of Culture, Film and Media, University of Nottingham, UK
Provisional title: Reflections on the 'industry turn' in Film Studies.

We welcome papers on:

  • film production as a creative industry
  • evolving cultural practices and technologies of film distribution and consumption
  • film as culture, cultural functions of film
  • film festival studies
  • film culture and celebrity culture
  • national and transnational film cultures
  • European film culture in a global perspective
  • national and transnational film genres
  • private and amateur film cultures, as well as documentary and avant-garde
  • history of film culture
  • film as media event, film and the tourist industry
  • film audiences and the social experience of cinema-going
  • film between art and popular culture
  • film and fan culture
  • digital and onlinefilm cultures
We welcome proposals either as open call or as a part of a pre-constituted panel. Abstract submission deadline is 31 May 2013, and notification will follow shortly thereafter (around 30 June 2013). You do not have to be a member of ECREA to participate in the conference. Please submit your proposal to, Helle Kannik Haastrup Associate Professor, Roskilde University, Denmark.

Proposals should include title, abstract (max 150 words), 3-5 key bibliographical references, name of the presenter and institutional affiliation. Panel organizers are asked to submit panel proposals including a panel title, a short description of the panel and information on all the papers as listed above. Panels may consist of 3-4 speakers with a maximum of 20 minutes speaking time each. When you write your proposal, please remember that the conference language is English.

The conference will be held at the Centre for Languages and Literature at Lund University, Sweden. Lund is among the oldest cities in Sweden, and can easily be reached via the airports in Copenhagen and Malmö. Further information on travel and accommodation will be given by the time papers are accepted.

CFP: Slow Cinema


Slow Cinema
Editors: Nuno Barradas Jorge, Tiago de Luca

Over the last decade, a cinematic trend characterized by aesthetic minimalism and slow tempo has made its mark on the world cinema map. Although directors such as Carlos Reygadas, Tsai Ming-liang, Béla Tarr, Pedro Costa and Lisandro Alonso, among others, do not pertain to a cohesive film movement, their films have been largely subsumed under the term ‘Slow Cinema’.

And yet, what exactly is Slow Cinema? While its presence in international film festivals continues to gain prominence worldwide, the term has too often been examined within the framework of a binary model that simply places it against the ‘intensified’ Hollywood style (Bordwell). With a view to rethinking its validity beyond dual systems and reductive binarisms (Nagib), this collection seeks to reposition Slow Cinema in a more expansive discursive and theoretical terrain. How can we productively understand this cinematic expression as inserted within diverse local, historical and (inter)cultural contexts, yet simultaneously as a response to wider industrial, social and even geopolitical forces at play?

For one thing, the emergence of Slow Cinema - or rather ‘slow cinemas’ - would seem to coincide in time with other cultural movements of capitalist resistance such as ‘slow food’, ‘slow travel’ and ‘slow media’. On the other hand, as far as cinema is concerned slow filmic traditions arguably stretch way back in time (European modernism, structural cinema, etc.), and this new trend seems to restore, as well as radicalize, tenets historically associated with cinematic realism (elliptical storytelling, non-professional actors, the long take, etc.). That a renewed phenomenological interest in materiality and duration should emerge at the moment the digital threatens to obliterate film’s link with physical reality might similarly suggest a resistance to simulation processes in our information- and stimuli-saturated era.

The proposed anthology thus seeks to examine this cinematic phenomenon in its multiple facets and in the present context of film as a rapidly changing technological and institutional practice. It aims to offer a global overview of this trend and map out how these cinemas interrelate on technical, aesthetic and political levels, while at the same time being wary of treating them as an ossified and undifferentiated corpus. The editors particularly welcome in-depth case studies that aim to contextualize this term within local and international traditions (cinematic or otherwise).

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  •     Contextualizing ‘slow’ in contemporary cultural production
  •     The politics of slowness
  •     Theoretical approaches: cinematic realism, phenomenology, temporality
  •     Historical case studies of slow filmic traditions : realism, modernism, experimental cinema, etc.
  •     Slow Cinema and the international film festival circuit
  •     Slow Cinema in the digital era: modes of production, distribution and reception
  •     In-depth case-studies of current ‘slow cinemas’, and the ways in which they dialogue with local and global traditions, past and present. Directors may include but are not limited to: Lisandro Alonso (Argentina), Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Turkey), Pedro Costa (Portugal), Lav Diaz (Philippines), Bruno Dumont (France), Kim Ki-duk (South Korea), Amat Escalante (Mexico), Hou Hsiao-hsien (Taiwan), Naomi Kawase (Japan), Abbas Kiarostami (Iran), Hirokazu Koreda (Japan), Tsai Ming-liang (Taiwan), Carlos Reygadas (Mexico), Gus Van Sant (US), Albert Serra (Spain), Abderrahmane Sissako (Mauritania), Béla Tarr (Hungary), Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Thailand), Jia Zhangke (China).

Please send a chapter outline (300-400 words) accompanied by a brief author biography to Nuno Barradas Jorge ( and Tiago de Luca ( by 31 March 2013. For more information, please visit the anthology blog:

This volume was solicited by Edinburgh University Press (EUP) for the Traditions in World Cinema series. Contributors are expected to submit completed chapters by January 2014.

CFP: Contemporary Use of Fairy Tales

A call for submissions for an edited collection of essays on contemporary uses of fairy tales in popular culture.

The collection will focus on recent reinterpretations and reboots of classical fairy tales, ways the contemporary texts address the original tales and narratological implications of the repetitions and adjustments of these stories. In essays that explore the functions and consequences of fairy tale reboots, remakes and updates, authors will consider the ways fairy tale generic conventions have been revised over time, representations of race, gender, class and sexual identity, the roles of archetypes, mythic tropes and patterns and the emergence of self-referential and meta-tales within these texts.

Essays may also address fan culture influence on contemporary tales, opportunities for interactivity and the roles of stars in fairy tale reboots.

Text focus could include television series, feature-length films, comic books and graphic novels, games and animation. Possible topics include but are not limited to:

Fables (Bill Willingham/Vertigo, 2002-present); The Red Shoes (Kim Yong-gyun, 2005); Lost Girls (Alan Moore/Top Shelf, 2006); Hansel and Gretel (Yim Pil-Sung, 2007); Sydney White (Joe Nussbaum, 2007); Bluebeard (Catherine Breillat, 2009); The Sleeping Beauty (Catherine Breillat, 2010); Red Riding Hood (Catherine Hardwicke, 2011); Hanna (Joe Wright, 2011); Beastly (Daniel Barnz, 2011); Once Upon a Time (ABC, 2011-present); Grimm (NBC, 2011-present); Snow White and the Huntsman (Rupert Sanders, 2012); Mirror, Mirror (Tarsem Singh, 2012);  Hansel and Gretel (Anthony Ferrante, 2013); Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (Tommy Wirkola, 2013); Jack the Giant Slayer (Bryan Singer, 2013)

Submit a two-page proposals by the deadline of June 19, 2013 to Dr. Melissa Lenos at melissalenos - AT - gmail - DOT - com; questions may be addressed to the same. Please also include a short bio. If your proposal is selected, the final essay (5000-8000 words) will be due on December 1, 2003.