Category Archives: Calls for Papers and Proposals

Calls for Papers and Proposals

New Directions in Feminist Media Studies

deadline for submissions: 
September 21, 2017
 
full name / name of organization: 
Keri Walsh, Fordham University
 
contact email: 
 

Red Velvet Seat: Women’s Writings on the Cinema: The First Fifty Years (2006), which brings together a rich variety of writings by authors including Maya Deren, Virginia Woolf, Colette, and Lillian Gish that might provide starting places for new feminist film histories and theories. Other recent interventions include Kirsten Pullen’s Like a Natural Woman: Spectacular Female Performance in Classical Hollywood (2014) which explores the development of naturalist film acting techniques by performers including Carmen Miranda and Lena Horne; Shelley Stamp’s Lois Weber in Early Hollywood (2015) which argues that Weber “was considered one of the era’s “three great minds” alongside D. W. Griffith and Cecil B. DeMille;”; and Jennifer Smyth’s forthcoming Nobody’s Girl Friday: The Women Who Ran Hollywood which promises to be “a new history of Hollywood that puts women at the center of production.” The momentum surrounding the re-telling of film history to include women promises to extend to all quarters of media studies. Works that already broach this broader terrain include Jennifer Christine Nash’s The Black Body in Ecstasy: Reading Race, Reading Pornography (2014) and Christine Ehrick’s Radio and the Gendered Soundscape: Women and Broadcasting in Argentina and Uruguay, 1930-1950 (2015).This seminar seeks papers that contribute to this significant new direction in media studies, and that extend to new areas of inquiry. Papers might work to answer questions such as: How does new work on women and media have the potential to alter, challenge, or transform existing canonical concepts in the study of media, such as auteurship, montage, aura, seriality, or melodrama? What new concepts might emerge as significant in light of this work? Who are, or might be, some of the key figures and foundational works for this new set of histories? How and where is the presence of women’s authorship in evidence even in works that have traditionally been attributed to men? How might we challenge and expand our methodologies so that we can see women’s contributions more clearly? How can these new media histories be constructed as inclusively as possible, so as not to replicate the logics of exclusion that have characterized media histories of the past? In what newly enabling ways might we understand issues of technology and disciplinarity in relation to women’s role in the creation and reception of media, whether as performers, writers, technicians, producers, audiences, theorists, scholars?

Submit 250-word abstracts to Keri Walsh kwalsh36@fordham.edu by September 21, 2017.

(This is an ACLA session that is not yet guaranteed).

Lit-TV: A Two-Day Symposium Exploring Contemporary US Television and “the Literary”

deadline for submissions:
December 1, 2017
full name / name of organization:
Edinburgh Napier University / Durham University

Organisers: Dr Arin Keeble (Edinburgh Napier) and Dr Sam Thomas (Durham).

Keynote: Professor Stephen Shapiro (Warwick University)

We are seeking proposals for a symposium to be hosted by the School of Arts and Creative Industries at Edinburgh Napier University (Merchiston Campus) on May 5-6, 2018.

Contemporary US television is frequently conceived of, promoted and analysed as “literary”. Following the game-changing impact of The Sopranos (1999-2007), The Wire (2002-2008) can potentially be identified as a paradigm case here: it was originally pitched to HBO as a “novel” for television; it has been famously compared to the serial works of Dickens; it has received enthusiastic endorsements from writers such as Junot Díaz and Zadie Smith; its creator David Simon has been suggested by some commentators as a worthy recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature; it has been studied and taught in university English Departments.

Beyond The Wire, there are examples from across the genre spectrum of an intriguing, multifaceted interplay between screen and page. Cult favourite Justified (2010-2015) is deeply rooted in the distinctive prose of Elmore Leonard and pays tribute to the creator of its principle characters in reverential yet playful ways. Sons of Anarchy (2007-2013) fuses extreme pulp violence and melodrama with the narrative frame of Hamlet. Shows as diverse as Breaking Bad (2008-2013), True Detective (2014-) and Orange is the New Black (2013-) feature strategic allusions to all manner of literary texts. A recent spate of productions, including The Man in the High Castle (2015-), American Gods (2017-) and The Handmaid’s Tale (2017), are based on influential novels — inspiring much discussion about the new possibilities for literary adaptation and even, in the case of the latter, acts of political protest.

Tied to profound changes in the production and reception of television, these series demonstrate a range of entrenched associations with literary culture. The relationship between television and the literary is also a crucial factor in recent debates about prestige, canonicity and contemporary value systems. With these points in mind, critics such as Greg Metcalf have gone so far as to assert that television now has the capacity “to create what we think of as literature” (The DVD Novel, 2012).

Cutting against this, however, is a wave of scholarship that focusses on how such programmes might resist and/or diverge from the literary tag, often by embellishing narrative possibilities that are unique to television. In Complex TV (2015), for instance, Jason Mittell argues that “such cross-media comparisons obscure rather than reveal the specificities of television’s storytelling form”. In ‘Breaking Bad’ and Dignity (2015), Elliot Logan claims that the celebrated series challenges the way in which the “literary” is held up as an ideal for television to aspire to.

In many respects, the analysis of contemporary US television therefore speaks to a rich cultural history that encompasses both cross-pollination and opposition, while at the same time opening up compelling questions about present and future relationships between narrative media.

Ultimately, the two-day symposium seeks to contribute to emerging scholarship on the nature and value of televisual storytelling vis-à-vis the literary.

We invite proposals for 20 minute papers addressing (but not limited to) the following areas:

  • Parallels, converges and (dis)connections between literary and televisual narrative form
  • Seriality
  • Literary sources / adaptation / allusion
  • The relationship between televisual and literary genres (crime, dystopia, the gothic, social realism, and so on)
  • The relationship between televisual and literary places / regions
  • Television and literary heritage / tradition
  • Theoretical paradigms for (re)thinking the relationship between television and the literary
  • Value / cultural capital / canonicity
  • The legitimacy of ‘literary tv’ as a concept in culture and criticism

Please send abstracts to littvconference2018@gmail.com by December 1, 2017

SCMS 2018: “I Want My New Music Television”:Emerging Field of Popular Music and Television

deadline for submissions:
August 11, 2017
full name / name of organization:
Kristen Galvin
contact email:

I Want My New Music Television: The Emerging Field of Popular Music and Television

CFP, Society for Cinema and Media Studies: Toronto, March 14-18, 2018

From Empire (2015–), to Vinyl (2016), to Lip Sync Battle (2015), to Grease Live! (2016), television in the United States seems preoccupied with remaking, reperforming and reimagining the histories and myths of popular music. This panel seeks to survey the recent landscape of popular music-centric programming on television, across network, cable, and online platforms, and outside of considerations of the music video or soundtrack. This varied field encompasses multiple genres, such as comedy, melodrama, period drama, documentary, musical, and reality singing competitions. Like intersections of film and popular music, these post-network era programs often bank on the star power of established celebrities in the music industry, big-budgets, and/or Oscar-winning directors.

This panel is particularly interested in interrogating how popular music on television is especially productive for examining representations of race, class, gender, sexuality, nationality, and industry. A secondary goal is to examine how televisual narratives negotiate and play with music genres and histories, in ways that operate as nostalgically pleasing, but conversely, may also be off-putting to their built-in audience of music fans. Collectively, this panel aims to answer how and in what ways does such programming reinforce and/or criticize the conventions and codes of the popular music genres, and the texts and tropes that they depict.

Suggested programs and specials (but not limited to):

Network Musicals (Hairspray Live!, Grease Live!, The Wiz Live!, The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again)

Remakes (Dirty Dancing)

Period drama (The Get Down, Vinyl, Sun Records)

Melodrama (Empire, Star, Nashville)

Comedies (Glee, Roadies, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll)

Reality Television (The Voice, American Idol, Lip Sync Battle)

Documentary (Defiant Ones, Hip-Hop Evolution)

Proposals must include an abstract (2500 characters/250-300 words); 3-5 bibliographic sources; and a brief biography (500 characters/50-100 words).  Please email your proposal to Kristen Galvin by August 11, 2017 (kgalvin@scad.edu). A response will be sent to all submissions by August 15, 2017. Selected submissions and contributors will also be considered for inclusion in an anthology.

“Breath: Image and Sound,” a special issue

deadline for submissions:
September 15, 2017
full name / name of organization:
New Review of Film and Television Studies
contact email:

New Review of Film and Television Studies seeks contributions for a special issue on “Breath: Image and Sound.” Contributors are encouraged to consider, among other topics, the interplay between breath and particular media; phenomenologies or phenomenalities of breath and air; and breathing in different affective modes and genres. Possible research questions include, but are not limited to:

  • What role has breath played in the development of screen technologies?
  • How have the narrative and world-building properties of breath transformed across screen cultures? And how is breath conventionalized in various genres—be it Linda Williams’ “body genres” (melodrama, pornography, and horror) or other, perhaps emerging, genres?
  • How does breath operate as a locus of viscerality in situations of intimacy, radical freedom, or violence?
  • How does breath mediate race, gender, sexual orientation, dis/ability, and citizenship?
  • How does breath render environments, from confined to expansive, from toxic to pastoral?
  • How is breath mobilized to convey (or withhold) emotion? How does breath induce mimetic or nonmimetic reactions on the part of the spectators?
  • How does breath produce continuity in or disrupt dialogue, gestures and actions, and diegetic or extradiegetic sound?

Please send a brief abstract (and direct all inquiries) to guest editor Jean-Thomas Tremblay (tremblay@uchicago.edu) by September15th, 2017. Full essays (below 9,000 words, including references), should they be commissioned, will be due on February 1st, 2018.

Rethinking Film Bodies: Beyond Gender, Genre, and Excess

deadline for submissions:
August 10, 2017
full name / name of organization:
SCMS, Toronto–March 14-18, 2018
contact email:
dewmusante@gmail.com

Over a quarter of a century ago, Linda Williams’ groundbreaking “Film Bodies: Gender, Genre, and Excess” was published in Film Quarterly. Her seminal article not only brought together distinct areas of film studies (genre criticism, spectatorial response, taste cultures, gender and sexuality, emotion and sensation in cinema) that are still highly relevant today, but also theoretical frameworks that have traditionally been kept separate. Although grounded in a psychoanalytic model for understanding structures of desire, fantasy, and identification, Williams’ essay at the same time marked a turning point towards a corpus of scholarship that is more attuned to and engaged with the embodied film-viewing experience.

We propose returning to “Film Bodies” in light of the exponentially growing scholarly thought on and through horror, pornography, and melodrama in the past twenty years, as well as a renewed interest in the problematics of materiality, perception, feeling and sensation in the wake of the affective turn. We want to explore the ways Williams’ essay still influences current theoretical debates while taking into account more recent perspectives on these—and other—body genres and advances in a number of approaches (cognitivist, phenomenological, affective, and psychoanalytic). As these schools of thought become increasingly polarized, if not antagonistic, we ask if there is a way to combine their insights into a more encompassing critical methodology to open up new avenues of inquiry for film theory.

Proposal topics could include but are not limited to:

Critical work in horror, porn, and melodrama in conversation with Williams
Or additional “body” genres that she doesn’t discuss
The problem of “grossness” or sensationalism and/as excess
In excess of what? Should we see emotion and sensation as gratuitous?
The materiality of the bodily reactions, secretions, and fluids as a basis for genre criticism
Affective and embodied viewing practices that highlight the role of our and the films’ “bodies”
Spectatorial identification and fantasy along/across/against (?) strictly gender lines
Masochistic or sadistic viewing pleasures
Moving beyond a psychoanalytic model for desire and fantasy
Feminist film theory in the wake of Williams’ insights
Should we also rethink her models of gender difference and desire as political acts?
Distinctions (or lack thereof) between high and low genres and their capacity for political action/criticism
Hybrid theoretical approaches—combining genre theory, psychoanalysis, affect studies or other methodologies

Please send abstract (ca. 300 words) plus bibliography (3–5 entries) and author bio (50–100 words) to Dewey Musante and Ella Tucan at dewmusante@gmail.com. Deadline is August 10, 2017; those chosen will hear back by August 14. Proposal forms due to panel organizers by August 21 if chosen.

Hyperreal Hillbillies and Geeks: Exploring Contemporary Cultural Identities (Roundtable)

deadline for submissions:
September 30, 2017
full name / name of organization:
Carter Soles, The College at Brockport (SUNY)
contact email:

Hyperreal Hillbillies and Geeks: Exploring Contemporary Cultural Identities (Roundtable) (ID # 16833)

The 49th Annual Northeast MLA (NeMLA) Convention, April 12-15, 2018 Pittsburgh, PA

As we argue in our essay, “Postmodern Geekdom as Simulated Ethnicity,” economically privileged geeks and their slacker foils have risen as protagonists in mainstream entertainment because they have authenticating features which mark them with ennobling melodramatic suffering while eschewing abject qualities that would alienate them from audiences. As this phenomenon has progressed, another type of protagonist, the hillbillly, has arisen alongside the geek and is often featured in media with geek and slacker foils. For example, the novel Ready Player One, the comic and television adaptation of The Walking Dead, and the recent memoir Hillbilly Elegy all feature geeks alongside rural poor characters.

Hillbilly protagonists are more complex to analyze because they have significant actual authentic suffering built into their identities based in real-world economic and cultural marginalization. However, these authenticating features, while they are based in true suffering, also serve to centralize the whiteness of hillbilly protagonists.

Jean Baudrillard defines the hyperreal as a “real” that lacks any relationship to the imaginary, a simulation that replaces and displaces the “real” thing (Simulacra and Simulation 2). For example, The Walking Dead’s Daryl Dixon functions as a “hyperreal hillbilly” whose brutal childhood implicitly enhances his survival skills while negative attributes stereotypically associated with such an upbringing (such as bigotry) are muted. The hillbillies of reality TV are also hyperreal in the sense that they are often simulations. The protagonists of Duck Dynasty were mostly beardless businessmen who wore mainstream clothing before they decided to market themselves as backwoods.

This roundtable welcomes brief, informal presentations on any aspect of media centering on geeks, slackers, and/or hillbillies–and the places and texts where they overlap. We welcome analyses that consider these hyperreal identities and their intersections with gender, sex, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, and disability.