CFP: European Cinema in Postwar America (SCMS)

My collague Karl and I are putting out a call for papers for this next year's Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference. Contributions and queries welcome. Though note that deadlines - for this and other SCMS panels - are approaching. Presenters will need to be SCMS members by time of submission.


SCMS 2007 Conference Proposed Panel
Organizers: Karl Schoonover and Chris Cagle

European Cinema in Postwar America

Increasingly, film historical scholarship argues against conceiving of national cinemas as self-contained entities, focusing instead on transnational influence and international imbrication. This panel aims to juxtapose and unite different approaches to understanding the industrial, social and political impact of European cinema on U.S. movie-going and filmmaking from roughly 1945 to 1965. It is broadly accepted that the distribution of European films in the United States at the end of the Second World War heralded a new era of interest in international cinema here, but beyond box office how do we measure the influence of these imports upon the social field of American cinema?

We invite approaches to this problem. Papers may be readings of individual texts or directors or may offer broader studies of genres, national cinemas or industrial practices. Ideally, panel participants will use the textual and historical studies to touch on broader theoretical issues, though the avenues of inquiry are open. Such issues may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Hollywood imitations of European genres, styles and movements (Neorealism, the Rank Studios "quality" film, French New Wave, kitchen sink drama, the exploitation-art film)
  • Effects of the American market on European films and production
  • Distributor or exhibitor marketing practices
  • Art cinema as place: exhibitor strategies or local film cultures
  • Co-production as an industrial practice before 1965
  • The relation between art cinema and "low" genres
  • The place of imported films or foreign production companies in the U.S. film industry
  • National quotas, trade policy, or international regulation
  • Cosmopolitan taste and the rise of the critic
  • Stateside discursive or industrial conception of "Europeanness"

By contributing to the growing historiography that attends to the industrial and aesthetic details of this transatlantic exchange, we aim to revisit and interrogate the social and political assumptions that accompany the concept of art cinema. We hope to enrich our understanding of a period of transnational influence that is often acknowledged but rarely explored in depth.

Send a brief abstract or any queries to Chris Cagle (Chris UNDERSCORE Cagle AT mindspring DOT com). DEADLINE FOR ABSTRACTS: August 8.


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