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Conferences Winter 2017 Edition

Here is my current list of English-language conferences of interest to those in film studies (and some for TV and media studies). Upcoming conferences are listed in order by date or, for open calls, by abstract due date. Please let me know if I should add anything.

Closed calls:
SCMS - Chicago, Mar. 22-26, 2017 [website]
ICA 2017 - San Diego, California, 25-29 May 2017 [call]
Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image (SCSMI) - Helsinki, June 11-14, 2017 [website]
Women and the Silent Screen - Shanghai, June 16-18, 2017 [website]
Circuits of Cinema (Histories of Movie/Media Distribution) - Ryerson Univ., June 22-24, 2017 [website]
Visible Evidence XXIV - Buenos Aires, Aug. 2-5, 2017 [website]
Current calls:
due date: January 15, 2017 Screen - Univ of Glasgow, June 23-25, 2017 [website]
due date: January 16, 2017 Console-ing Passions - East Carolina Univ., July 27-29, 2017 [call]
due date: January 31, 2017 NECS - Université Sorbonne Nouvelle and Université Paris Diderot, Paris, June 29 …

CFP: Black Film British Cinema Conference 2017

CALL FOR PAPERS

Black Film British Cinema Conference 2017
The Politics of Race in Contemporary Film and Digital Practice

Goldsmiths, University of London (Day One)
& Institute of Contemporary Arts (Day Two)
17-18 May 2017

abstracts due 3rd February 2017
CONFIRMED SPEAKERS

Professor Sarita Malik, Brunel University
Dr Kara Keeling, University of Southern California
June Givanni, Pan African Cinema Archives
Additional speakers will be announced as they are confirmed.

THEMES

Whether we consider the rise of the concept of diversity, the on-screen representation of identities, the off-screen workforce, the production trends of film institutions, new forms of independent production opened up by new media, or film education and talent development, questions of race and ethnicity remain central to contemporary British film.

This conference will mark nearly 30 years since the original Black Film, British Cinema conference at the ICA and its subsequent publication, which has been a huge influ…

CFP: Rethinking Film Genres: East Asian Cinema and Beyond

CALL FOR PAPERS

Conference:
Rethinking Film Genres: East Asian Cinema and Beyond 
University of Hull
14-15 September 2017

abstracts due 15 April 2017

What is film genre? Does it still matter in today’s film production, distribution and consumption? How have some film genres become so closely associated with a nation or region, such as Chinese martial arts films, Japanese horror, and Korean melodrama? The fact that genre is widely discussed by the general public suggests that it is still important. However, the examination of genre theory and the scholarly discussion of genres have remained predominantly focussed on Hollywood and European cinemas, as exemplified by the work of scholars such as Thomas Schatz, Steve Neale, Barry Keith Grant, Rick Altman, Belén Vidal, and Antonio Lázaro-Reboll. Despite their rich screen culture and their influence within and beyond the Pacific region, East Asian cinemas remain underexplored. In today’s context of increasingly international filmmaking, we w…

What Makes Film Sociological?

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I’m belated in responding to this, but several months ago, sociologist Jeff Guhin raised an interesting question in relation to The Wire: what makes a novel or movie or television program sociological? As he notes, “the problem is that if sociology is the study of the social, then what show or movie or book isn’t sociological?” As the question implies, we’re torn between a strict definition of the sociological and a sense that sociology has particular attitudes in the study of the social.

But I thought this was a question I would be qualified to weigh in on, at least partly. My new book, Sociology on Film: Postwar Hollywood’s Prestige Commodity, explicitly takes up this question, and its publication now has made me think more about the questions Guhin raises. After all, my book circles around this problem without answering it outright. I am basically concerned with how Hollywood social problem films in the 1940s began popularizing academic sociology. And I argue that this change was n…

Book announcement

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I am pleased to announce that my book, Sociology on Film: Postwar Hollywood's Prestige Commodity, is out now from Rutgers University Press. The shipping date will take a few more days or so, but you can order the book now. Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other book retailers should have it. Or you can order it directly from Rutgers University Press. In past years, Rutgers has had a good holiday sale, and I will update if they offer one this year.
I'm very pleased to see the final product. The press's production team did a great job, and it's just gratifying to see the end result of a long process, from dissertation to the final form this book took. I'll have a few more posts to talk about the book and give some preview of its contents.

For those who have helped along the way, you're probably in the acknowledgments but in any case I appreciate all the support. It's a paradox of academic writing that it is both a profoundly solitary exercise and reliant on the …

Conferences Fall-Winter 2016/7 edition

Here is my current list of English-language conferences of interest to those in film studies (and some for TV and media studies). Upcoming conferences are listed in order by date or, for open calls, by abstract due date. Please let me know if I should add anything.  I will update this post when the NECS call for papers is posted.

Closed calls:
MLA - Philadelphia, January 5-8, 2017  [website]
SCMS - Chicago, Mar 22-26, 2017 [website]
ICA 2017 - San Diego, California, 25-29 May 2017 [call]

Current calls:
due date: November 1, 2016 Women and the Silent Screen - Shanghai, June 16-18, 2017 [website | call]
due date: November 4, 2016 Visible Evidence XXIV - Buenos Aires, August 2-5, 2017 [website | call]
due date: November 30, 2016 Circuits of Cinema (Histories of Movie/Media Distribution) - Ryerson Univ., June 22-24, 2017 [website | call]
due date: January 15, 2017 Screen - Univ of Glasgow, June 23-25, 2017 [website]
due date: January 16, 2017 Console-ing Passions - East Carolina Univ., July…

Machine Gun or Typewriter?

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Machine Gun or Typewriter
Dir. Travis Wilkerson, US, 2016
Genre: doc-fiction hybrid

I’ve been overdue reporting on my time at FIDMarseille this year, taking in a festival that has a dual distinct niche on the European documentary film festival circuit. First, its programming has a pan-Mediterranean orientation, including a good number of works from the Maghreb and from the Levant. Second, it gravitates toward “difficult” works, particularly slow-paced contemplative docs or rule-breaking essay film style works. However, my biggest surprise in encountering the FIDMarseille program was seeing the inclusion of fiction films amid a program of documentaries, essay films, and hybrid works, and absolutely no marking of films according to genre.

There are some disadvantages of this approach (which I’ll get to in another post), but it had the advantage of making me encounter each film on its own terms, to gauge not only its facticity but also its narrational system in the process of watching. I…