CFP: Investigating Contemporary Western Gay Cinema conference


Straight to the Front Row: 
Investigating Contemporary Western Gay Cinema

University of Northampton (UK)
16-17 February 2019

Abstracts due: Monday 5 November 2018

Confirmed Keynotes:
Prof. Richard Dyer (King’s College London, UK)
Dr. Andrew Moor (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK)

From Weekend (dir. Andrew Haigh, 2011) to Call me By Your Name (dir. Luca Guadagnino, 2017), from God’s Own Country (dir. Francis Lee, 2017) to Moonlight (dir. Barry Jenkins, 2016) and Love, Simon (dir. Greg Berlanti, 2018), contemporary Western gay cinema has endured a shift in both representational strategies and a boom in popularity within both mainstream and independent spheres, since 2010. Prior to 2010, there have been Western gay films that have been significant in either their representations or their popularity (ranging from New Queer Cinema to films such as Brokeback Mountain [dir. Ang Lee, 2005]), however, Western gay films since 2010 have: gained (mass) attention within hegemonic spheres of success such as the Academy Awards and the BAFTAs, infiltrated a plethora of genres from the Teen (Young Adult) Film to the Erotic Thriller and Romantic Drama, adopted realist strategies to try and ‘represent a more visceral and complex experience that queers undergo in the modern world’ (Winterton 2017: 48), and some have begun to (further) investigate intersectionalities of age, class, race and sexuality.

This two-day conference aims to investigate both independent and mainstream Western gay cinema, and its many facets and iterations. Being an interdisciplinary event, we welcome contributions from postgraduate researchers, early career academics and established scholars, from Film, Media, and Cultural Studies more broadly. For the purpose of this conference, ‘contemporary’ connotes new and modern gay films, and therefore discussion and analysis should focus on films released since 2010. Moreover, while what constitutes ‘Western cinema’ or the ‘Western world’ is a much-debated topic, by ‘Western’ we mean films that are produced and released in Europe and North America.

We welcome abstracts that centre on, but are not limited to the following in direct relation to contemporary Western gay cinema:

  • Representations of gay identity
  • Space, place, temporalities and time
  • Genre, ideology and iconography
  • Representations of sex and/or intimacy
  • Representations of love and/or romance
  • Stylistic and narrative techniques (representational strategies)
  • Analysis of critical and commercial reception of contemporary Western gay films
  • Gay audiences, fans and fandom
  • Intersectionality (age, race, class, gender, sexuality etc.)
  • The relationship between mainstream and independent gay filmmaking practices
  • The relationship between contemporary Western gay cinema more specifically, and contemporary ‘queer’ cinema more broadly
  • Contemporary Western gay films and their place in Queer Film Festivals

Please send abstracts of 250 – 300 words, with a supporting bio of no more than 100 words, to both Connor Winterton ( and Anthony Stepniak (


Popular Posts