SCMS Conference 2019 Panel/Workshop Bulletin Board
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Sound, Sense, and Sea: Mediating Aquatic Environments Locked Topic 0 L. Han   Please email paper proposals to Lisa Han ( by August 6, 2018. Proposals must include (1) a title, (2) an abstract no longer than 2500 characters (including spaces), (3) 3-5 bibliographic sources, and (4) a bio no longer than 500 characters. Panelists will be informed of decisions by August 14, 2018. This panel examines aquatic media, considering contemporary assemblages of technology, water, and culture. The past decade has initiated shifts from landed to aquatic contexts in many fields of study, including anthropology (Helmreich 2009), literature (Blum 2010, Cohen 2010, Shewry 2015), film and media studies (Jue 2014), archaeology, history of science (Rozwadowski & van Keuren 2004), and geography (Lehman 2013, Steinberg 2001). This renewed interest in the history and cultures of the seas has alternately been called the “blue humanities” (Mentz 2015) and the “oceanic turn” (Deloughrey 2017). This work considers the political and social stakes of repurposing aquatic landscapes for communication, transportation, and resource extraction. Moreover, in the present geological epoch known as the Anthropocene (Crutzen and Stoermer 2000), the ocean has become an important index for tracking sea level rise, rising temperatures, the carbon cycle, and other climate change-related research. In this panel, we will consider both how water mediates human society and how it, in turn, is mediated by technology. How do film and media texts represent oceans, rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water? How do they take into account abyssal darkness, high pressures, turbidity, circulation, and the “slow violence” (Nixon 2011) wrought by ocean warming and acidification? How do we visualize the changing composition of seawater and its effects on marine life in ways that might excite action? How might theoretical frameworks such as those stemming from Indigenous perspectives, environmental justice, feminist science studies, multispecies ethnography, and materialism inform or guide our thinking about watery relations? We welcome examinations that include but are not limited to the following themes: -marine ecosystems -elemental media -media ecologies -ocean documentary and fiction -seafloor exploration -deep sea imaging -ocean sensing and sampling -Mediation of rivers and streams -sound/sonic media -environmental justice -global fluid flows (heat, chemical, and mineral circulations) -underwater vehicles -fishing and fisheries -shipping and maritime logistics -ports and coastal communities -seafloor geology and media -offshore resource extraction -mapping and bathymetry
by L. Han
Monday, July 16, 2018
New Approaches to Film Aesthetics Locked Topic 0 T. Berliner This panel showcases new work on the aesthetics of film. It will feature a variety of approaches in order to highlight some of the diverse ways in which film scholars and aesthetic theorists approach the topic. The panel will offer new practical techniques for studying film aesthetics, criticisms of existing approaches, and new theories.   Each paper will address a different question in film aesthetics. What follows is a sampling, but topics will depend on the interests and expertise of panelists.How does economics affect the aesthetic design of movies? How do filmmakers appeal to different “aesthetic markets” based on race, gender, class, ethnicity, culture, or audience size? How has an individual filmmaker expanded the aesthetic possibilities of cinema? How does the experience of individual films change within different historical contexts? How have filmmakers developed particular aesthetic devices? How have developing cinema technologies changed aesthetic experience?   The papers should be designed to illustrate new fertile approaches to aesthetics being developed by film scholars today and help demonstrate the amount of work in this area that remains to be accomplished.   Interested participants should submit a completed paper proposal to co-chairs Todd Berliner ( and Malcolm Turvey ( by August 6, 2018. Proposals must include (1) a title, (2) an abstract no longer than 2500 characters (including spaces), (3) 3-5 bibliographic sources, and (4) a bio no longer than 500 characters. Decisions will be communicated by August 14, 2018. 
by T. Berliner
Sunday, July 15, 2018
History Forgets Itself: Women’s Film Production Outside the Studio System Locked Topic 0 L. Czach The struggles women have faced in attempting to work within the Hollywood studio system have been the focus of recent scholarship (Erin Hill, for example) and activism (#metoo). These efforts shed light on the pervasive and longstanding exclusion of women, which has kept them from key creative positions in Hollywood. The financially high-stakes world of commercial media production has long been male dominated, so it should perhaps come as no surprise that women have had more opportunities to participate in filmmaking outside of the studio system. However, until fairly recently the lives and work of women who made movies outside of Hollywood has been subject to neglect.  A new wave of scholars, archivists and preservationists has begun to productively excavate women’s home movie and amateur filmmaking efforts drawing attention to women who pursued their own filmmaking interests. However, this panel looks specifically at women’s professional filmmaking outside of the studio system to further enhance our understanding of women’s labor in media production. These filmmaking efforts often unsettle the binaries of professional/amateur and theatrical/non-theatrical that have characterized scholarship to date.             Given the limited opportunities for women within the studio system, particularly after the so-called ‘Golden Age’ of women’s participation in the teens and 20s, we must look beyond Hollywood to uncover the careers of women who worked professionally in the film industry. There were many women who made a living working as camera operators, editors, writers, producers, directors, etc., almost all of whose careers were met with a discourse of exceptionalism that positioned each woman as unique and a novelty. This discourse obscures the innumerable other women who worked professionally on industrial and sponsored films, travelogues and travel lectures, expedition films, adventure and nature films, church films, government and educational films, documentaries as well as narrative fictions. We welcome papers on any aspect of women’s participation in film production outside the studio system that redefines not only what we understand as the film industry, but that work to disrupt received notions of what constitutes a professional filmmaking career.     Please forward inquiries and paper proposals (200-300 words) and a short bio by August 3rd to: Liz Czach, University of Alberta, Marsha Gordon, North Carolina State University, Panelists will be notified by Tuesday August 14, 2018.  
by L. Czach
Sunday, July 15, 2018
Saving Whiteness: Spectacles & Mythologies of Gender and/as Sexual Violence Locked Topic 0 J. Pinkowitz With the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement; critiques of police brutality and mass incarceration; the MeToo movement and exposures of systemic gender discrimination and sexual abuse; the election of President Trump and right wing populist leaders in several European countries; Brexit; and international migration crises, the current global landscape has become increasingly defined by conservative white (male) reactionist trends along with mainstream expressions of racism, sexism, nativism, and a rising tide of white supremacy masked as populist sentiment. Yet within these larger currents, the particular emergence of Men’s Rights groups, incel movements, ISIS ideology and caliphates; debates around “rape culture,” sexual assault on college campuses, and toxic masculinity; neo-conservative and alt-right attacks on women's reproductive rights and health; and Trump’s description of all Mexicans as rapists reveals the intertwined racial and gender dynamics at play in such emerging cultural trends.   Of course, such contemporary developments have longstanding historical precedents and intersect with entrenched cultural narratives that both justified and continue to uphold histories of colonialism, slavery, global capitalism, white supremacy, and particular political movements or agendas.  Indeed, though such historical and cultural processes have manifested in various ways and in different national contexts, they share many of the same tactics, tropes, and assumptions. For instance, various white savior narratives perpetually position women - both white and women of color - as essentially vulnerable and (would-be) victims, in need of saving from themselves and from (racialized) sexual predators.  In orchestrating sexual threats, political and popular narratives and representations turn women’s bodies, sexuality, and the (sexual) violence against them into metaphors, often equating them with the identities of nation-states, struggles over borders and immigration, and the “reproduction” of nationality and/as race. Additionally, spectacles of enacted, performed, and mediated gendered (and racialized) violence have been mobilized in the service of maintaining racial, gender, and class hierarchies and identities (the lynching of African American men; public stonings of women as witches; mass rape in times of war; “rape trees” along the U.S.-Mexico border; etc.). Though these mythologies and tropes regarding sexual violence have deep historical roots, traces of them continue to manifest -- in different, often more subtle (and insidious) ways -- in popular culture and media, shaping our perceptions of gender, racial, and cultural difference while also naturalizing and enforcing dominant social relations and hierarchies. Thus, we seek papers that examine how these narratives, cultural myths, and tropes of representation emerge(d) in particular sociocultural contexts, how they persist over time, and the dynamics of and continuities between past and present constructions of gender and sexual violence under white patriarchy. This panel will interrogate the different ways in which white supremacist and patriarchal systems and ideologies are maintained, exploring the cultural narratives and representations which naturalize them and justify their perpetuation.  In so doing, we seek to examine how the co-construction of gender and violence works to mitigate various threats to the dominant order and to contain gender, racial, class, sex, and national anxieties, in international and cross-historical contexts.  When the dominance of whiteness and masculinity is challenged in specific historical moments, how do these challenges -- and various responses to them -- manifest across popular culture? We are looking to include a broad range of historical, methodological, and national-cultural perspectives, and we encourage proposals for panels engaging topics including, but not limited to: The rhetoric and gendered politics of sexual violence and rape narratives in popular media; long duree of images of rape and Euro-American patriarchy The intersections between narratives of sexual violence and colonialism, conquest and imperialism Savior mythologies, narratives, and tropes The “war on women” and conservative attacks on reproductive rights, policing of women’s health/bodies, and the restriction of access to abortions Violence, trauma and the body, and (mediated) spectacles of violence Migration, Immigration, and global flows of people/bodies - Anti-immigrant movements and moments: ex: the 1920s “yellow peril”; the current “border crisis”; etc. Gendered (and racialized, classed) fears about terrorism and national threats Social and digital media and/or activist responses to representations or experiences of gendered violence Gender, Violence, and Genre: ex: horror, war films, thrillers, fantasy, true crime and/or crime procedurals, and news/political media frames Ideologies of (white) racial purity and the policing of interracial sex/racial mixing Historical character types and stereotypes as racial/sexual others and predators: for example, the Sheik, the black Rapist, the bandido, etc. Violent and/or sexually powerful women that need to be controlled/policed - “whipped” or “beaten” into submission Ex: Femme fatales; “spider women”;  man-traps; vagina dentata; true crime and the killer woman; the New Woman/flapper; female serial killers Industrial and professional spaces of violence and harassment against women Ex: the “casting couch”; Harvey Weinstein; Gamergate; comic conventions and stores; fandoms, etc. Misogyny, auteurism, and discourses of quality Representational violence against women; Directorial abuse of female stars; the New Hollywood and 1970s cinema; rape in the era of “peak TV” Violence, pornography and exploitation film - ex: snuff films, “roughies,” gang bang pornography, BDSM and bondage, etc. Gender, exclusion, dominance, threat, and the politics of space/place Please submit a proposal, including a title (120 characters), an abstract (2500 characters), a bio (500 characters), and 3-5 bibliographical sources, to Jackie Pinkowitz at by Monday August 6. Responses will be sent out by August 10.
by J. Pinkowitz
Sunday, July 15, 2018
Color TV Aesthetics Locked Topic 0 K. Dootson While scholars once lamented the lack of critical attention paid to color in film, in recent years a number of publications have reversed this trend, making color a lively and dynamic field of enquiry for film scholars. Color television has yet to benefit from this new wave of chromophilia however, and has not received the close scrutiny afforded to film.  Question of color aesthetics have been almost entirely absent from discussions of color broadcasting. Histories of the post-war period tend to focus exclusively on the international diplomatic wrangling over which color system each country would adopt (PAL, SECAM, or NTSC) amidst a cold-war climate where content-sharing was freighted with geo-political importance.    This panel will examine the aesthetics of televisual color in post-war visual culture, with a particular focus on early color broadcasting from the mid-1950s to the early 1970s.We are particularly interested in receiving proposals dealing with the arrival of color to broadcasting networks outside of North America and Britain. Papers might like to consider:   - How did the arrival of color affect programming choices - which subjects were selected to showcase or demonstrate color? - How did the technological limitations of broadcasting systems (PAL/SECAM/NTSC) impact color design? - How did televisual color operate in relation with other color media (painting, cinema, fashion)? - How did the gendered connections between color, femininity and domesticity impact color television aesthetics?  - Did nations positions themselves in opposition to, or in dialogue with political ideologies through color aesthetics?  - How did early adopters of color television (Japan and North America) impact the aesthetic choices made during subsequent conversions to color globally? - How did the ability to broadcast in color impact racial representation on television? - How did the arrival of color affect costuming, set-design and make-up?    Please email a paper proposals, including a title (120 characters), abstract (2500 characters), 3-5 bibliographic sources, and a bio (500 characters) by August 6th to Kirsty Sinclair Dootson ( and Professor Susan Murray ( 
by K. Dootson
Friday, July 13, 2018
Camp TV of the 1960s Locked Topic 0 I. Pinedo   In an article published in the March 2018 Journal of Popular Television(6.1), “Gilligan and Captain Kirk Have More in Common than You Think: 1960s Camp TV as an Alternative Genealogy for Cult TV,” we identified a number of 1960s American primetime programs that seemed to not just allow, but encourage viewing practices that transcended the infantilized conceptualization of that era’s television audiences. We argued that such programs constitute a significant and previously un–historicized set of predecessors to Cult television. The “Camp TV” programs of the 1960s we considered share a loose set of textual and narrative characteristics generally associated with camp strategies; examples include the satire of Get Smart (1965–70), the exaggerated clichés of Batman (1966–69), the surreal humor of Green Acres (1965–71), and the anarchic character of The Monkees (1966–68). In addition, and arguably more importantly, these programs possess a political edge that facilitated and encouraged audience interpretive and participatory activities. Such aspects appealed specifically to a youth audience (separate from the juvenile audience these programs targeted) and lent themselves to multiple readings and viewing practices. We are looking to expand the scope of that study and the scholarship on Camp TV in a panel at this year’s SCMS conference in Seattle. Specifically, we are wanting to include other critically overlooked or underestimated 1960s American primetime programs, such as Rocky and His Friends/The Bullwinkle Show, F Troop, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Addams Family, The Beverly Hillbillies, and The Munsters. In addition, novel readings of The Monkees, Batman, Gilligan’s Island (etc.) in relation to a developing genre of Camp TV are also welcome. Please submit a title (120 characters max), abstract (2500 characters), 3­–5 bibliographic sources, and a short bio (1500 characters), to AND, by August 1. Decisions will be sent by August 14.
by I. Pinedo
Thursday, July 12, 2018
The French New Wave Turns 60: New Critical and Historical Perspectives Locked Topic 0 R. Neupert The French New Wave Turns 60: New Critical and Historical Perspectives     The 1959 Cannes Film Festival famously launched la nouvelle vague with the premieres of The 400 Blows, Hiroshima mon Amour, and Black Orpheus, plus intense press coverage of the films and brash personalities behind the ongoing, youthful renewal of French cinema. But, what should we think of the New Wave 60 years later?     This panel will present innovative perspectives on the French New Wave, including pertinent ways to revisit how the nouvelle vague is historicized and taught. Panelists may want to confront the era’s historical, critical, aesthetic, and/or economic contexts, including the “cinema of quality,” rethink its canonical members, evaluate gender relations on and off screen, investigate test cases of pertinent soundtracks, performances, and technology, and/or analyze nouvelle vague storytelling via narrative and cognitive theory approaches.       Please send 200-word abstracts and a short bio-blurb to Richard Neupert,, by Friday, August 10th.
by R. Neupert
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Tribe, Fossil, Arche: Genealogies of 'The Primitive' in Modern Media Theory Locked Topic 0 T. Morgenstern SCMS 2019 Preliminary Panel Proposal Convenor: Tyler Morgenstern (PhD Candidate, UCSB Film & Media Studies) Contact:    Please email paper proposals, including a title (120 characters), abstract (2500 characters), 3-5 bibliographic sources, and a bio (1500 characters) to Tyler Morgenstern at by August 3rd, 2018. Decisions will be made by August 17th   Panel Description: Seeking to describe the peculiar perceptual environments then consolidating around an emerging ensemble electronic media and communication technologies, Marshall McLuhan in 1968 famously hypothesized that such technologies—television in particular—would, by restoring a condition of “sensory balance,” herald what he calls the retribalization of man. Immersed in the weirdly scaled “acoustic space” of televisual perception, the epistemic privilege historically accorded to those forms of sight keyed to the printed page would be brought to heel. Man, his sense capacities newly arranged and differently extended into the world, would be restored to a pre-modern, even primitive, state of sensate holism. Strangely, however, this restoration unfolds firmly within the ambit of the modern, capacitated as it is by the methods, objects and precepts of post-War technoscience. Retribalization, that is, takes place absent the threat of any actual civilizational regression. The tribe instead becomes a model for an assumptively shared technological, perceptual, and social future.    Far from an isolated maneuver, McLuhan’s tribal turn is symptomatic of a broader tendency in mid-Century Anglophone media and communication theory. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, figurations of ‘the primitive’ proliferated in the work of those straining to make sense of an emerging world of electronic mediation. Yet as McLuhan and his contemporaries promulgated their respective riffs on the retribalization theme, the tribe as a lived social formation came under aggressive political assault across the very continent that had made him a singularly unlikely superstar. In the United States, for instance, the post-War years witness the emergence of a coordinated ensemble of tribal termination and relocation policies designed to extinguish what remained of specifically Indigenous land tenure regimes, social orders, and economic models. In Canada, similar maneuvers were afoot, with successive federal governments attempting to either substantially reform or altogether scrap the Indian Act and establish in its place a legislative framework that substituted urban migration, capitalist assimilation, and a decidedly liberal variety of cultural recognition for tribal sovereignty and self-determination.    This panel attempts to think this convergence as more than banal historical coincidence, considering instead how important shifts in the cultural and political codification of ‘the primitive’—variously figured as the Indian, the tribe, the savage, and so on—may in fact have capacitated a particular set of conceptual maneuvers within media and communication theory. How did mid-Century media theory adopt, adapt, refract, and/or redeploy figures of primitivity, to what particular ends or for what purposes, and to what extent did these recitations draw on the broader itineraries of primitivity—as concept, as marker of racial difference, as visual and textual trope—within the settler colony? How is one to think the relation between the mid-Century proliferation of primitives in media theory and the contemporaneous refashioning of settler state power vis-a-vis the Indigenous? And moreover, how do 20th-century struggles for Indigenous sovereignty, self-determination, and varying forms of state recognition differently frame media-theoretical constructs like ‘retribalization?’ By thinking (through) the primitive, might we reflexively theorize the settler-colonial formation of modern media theory?    Though historical in orientation, such questions engage a number of trends in contemporary media theory. How, for instance, does a reconsideration of the mid-Century moment, informed by the insights of Native American and Indigenous Studies, Settler Colonial Studies, and Postcolonial Studies, resituate such contemporary media figures as the fossil (see Parikka, 2015), which as Kyla Schuller (2016) has observed, first emerges as a media concept (at least in the US context) within the mire of mass Indigenous dispossession in the latter half of the 19th Century? Does a critique of settler colonialism differently inflect archaeology as a theory and analytic of media-historical change? Following the recent work of anthropologist Elizabeth Povinelli (2016), to what degree does the current concern with media as a lively, life-like, or even life process (see Kember & Zylinska, 2012) extend or sustain a “late liberal geontopower” that variously constrains and exhausts Indigenous modes of existence? What form(s) of life, exactly, might our media theory be sponsoring, and more important, which may it be helping to extinguish?    Note: Currently attached to participate is Dr. Kara Thompson, Assistant Professor, English and American Studies, William & Mary University; author of Blanket, forthcoming on Bloomsbury’s Object Lessons series, and Settler Contingencies, Native Futures, currently under contract with Duke University Press.    References Arindam Dutta (ed.), A Second Modernism: MIT, Architecture, and the ‘Techno-social’  Moment (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2013).   Sarah Kember & Joanna Zylinska, Life After New Media: Mediation as a Vital Process  (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2012).   Gyorgy Kepes, The New Landscape in Art and Science (Chicago: Paul Theobald and  Company, 1956).    Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, Revised Edition  (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1994).    Jussi Parikka, A Geology of Media (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2015).    Elizabeth Povinelli, Geontologies: A Requiem to Late Liberalism (Durham and London:  Duke University Press, 2016).   Kyla Schuller, “The Fossil and the Photograph: Red Cloud, Prehistoric Media, and  Dispossession in Perpetuity,” Configurations 24, 2 (2016), pp. 229-61.   Fred Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, The Whole Earth  Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press,  2006).
by T. Morgenstern
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Acting and Mise-en-Scène Locked Topic 0 K. Kinney Acting and actors have long been understood as elements of mise-en-scène in film studies.  In various ways, this assumption encouraged a neglect of acting in formalist and theoretical approaches alike. Many scholars have sought to redress this neglect in recent years, focusing on the particularity of film acting, for example, or, the legibility of a variety of acting styles, while often challenging classical notions of realism in narrative cinema. The time seems ripe to reconsider the nature of the relationship between acting and mise-en-scène. Any approach is welcome. Please send a 200-300 word proposal and short bio to Katherine Kinney at by August 10, 2018. 
by K. Kinney
Monday, July 9, 2018
Representing Discrimination Locked Topic 0 E. Jochum This panel addresses the engagement of the mass media with past and present forms of bigotry, intolerance, and inequity. Social acceptance and political institutionalisation of discriminatory practices are on the rise in countries around the globe. We see this, for instance, in the U.S. in the era of Trump and in European states that experience the largest refugee crisis since World War II – a crisis that has fuelled the resurgence of populist and right-wing parties across the European continent. In the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the media have been powerful tools for spreading and “normalising” prejudice but also for problematising it. The media themselves have frequently turned into targets of discriminatory laws and campaigns. This panel will explore the groups, spaces, and practices of discrimination across the cinema, television, radio, and social media. This perspective integrates social and political as well as formal and informal discrimination. An emphasis will be on discussions of race, ethnicity, gender, class, religion, and minority groups in society. If you want to contribute to this panel, please send (1) a title, (2) an abstract of no more than 2500 characters, (3) a bio of no more than 500 characters, and (4) 3-5 bibliographical sources, to, by 31 July. Replies will be sent out by 15 August.  
by E. Jochum
Monday, July 9, 2018
CFP: Is That All There Is?: Rethinking Coming Out in Millennial Media Locked Topic 0 A. Owens As we approach the second decade of the new millennium, and as global politics (particularly in the United States) shifts increasingly to the right, identity politics has once again taken center stage across both fictional and non-fictional genres and platforms of global media. Indeed, few communities have been both galvanized and haunted by this imperative to the extent that gender and sexual minorities have. Yet given that the mainstream media visibility of coming out in its various iterations has been with us for nearly a half-century, are such stories still socioculturally and/or politically useful? If not, what other kinds of stories might begin to emerge? This panel thus seeks to reconsider the centrality of the coming out narrative to global LGBTQ+ media and is primarily concerned with the two questions posed above. Possible approaches/topics might include, but are certainly not limited to: Mainstream vs. independent media representations of coming out on film and/or television. Revisionist approaches to coming out on screen (e.g. NBC's revival of Will & Grace). Whether and how digital media platforms (e.g. Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.) have made coming out more accessible/viable to a wider range of both users and consumers. The evolving intersectional implications of mediated coming out stories, especially regarding race, ethnicity, class, religion, and gender presentation. Are differing LGBTQ+ communities better served by specific media platforms than others? Is coming out as the "big reveal" across global LGBTQ+ media still all there is and, if not, what could and should emerge in its stead?    Please email paper proposals, including a title, abstract (200-300 words), 3-5 bibliographic sources, and a short bio to Andrew Owens ( by Friday, August 10. Acceptances/declines will be sent out by Tuesday, August 14.
by A. Owens
Friday, July 6, 2018
Ideas as Opiates: Love and Ideology on “The Americans” Locked Topic 0 W. Overby FX’s The Americans (2013-2018) follows the story of two Russian spies living in the DC suburbs during the late Cold War. Philip and Elizabeth Jennings, the said spies, navigate the Reagan era, parenthood, friendship, and marriage while attempting to either hold onto or accept the loss of the Communist beliefs that brought them to America in the first place. The narrative arcs of both of these characters and others on the show (especially their daughter Paige, their FBI agent neighbor Stan, and Philip’s informant Martha) demonstrate the ways in which the desire for, the pursuit of, and the dwelling within loving relationships can bolster, conflict with, and complicate one’s political ideologies. Is love an ideology or does love trump ideology on The Americans? Moreover, on The Americans, what is the nature of political ideology and how does it both create and destroy loving relationships? How does the late Cold War depicted on this show relate to present day tensions between love and ideology and what lessons may be taken from this show in our fraught political climate? This panel seeks to question and complicate the show’s central tension between love and ideology and to suggest that The Americans not only speaks to Cold War history and to America in 2018 but also theorizes the transformative power of ideas in altering both personal and broader political histories. Topics may include but are not limited to the following: The illusion of normalcy in the DC suburbs and the concealment of fraying nuclear families behind white picket fences Cold War politics and ideologies as embodied and enacted by leaders, KGB and FBI agents, and citizens Relationships between the Cold War and contemporary global politics The nature of trusting in love and its many different outcomes The ways in which various characters’ ideological beliefs and actions mediate and affect their abilities and/or desires to love Feminist theories and histories of love, desire, care, embodiment, and action as enacted by, namely, Elizabeth, Paige, and Martha: attention could be paid to 1980s feminist theories and their historical importance or more recent theories and histories The use of American and Russian popular culture (especially film and music) to construct identities and forge emotional and ideological connections between characters as well as between audiences, characters, and narratives The use of sustained close ups in wordless scenes and following scenes of intense dialogue The ability to make loving, emotional connections with someone who holds an opposing ideological viewpoint The relationship between secrecy and intimacy The Americanization of Philip and Elizabeth Jennings The nature and definition of a hero The limits as well as the benefits of ideology critique Please submit a (1) title, (2) a 2500 character or less abstract, (3) a 3-5 work bibliography, (4) a 150 word author biography, and (5) a current CV to by August 3, 2018 to be considered for this panel. Participants will be notified of selection on August 20, 2018.
by W. Overby
Thursday, July 5, 2018
Experimental Television CFP Locked Topic 0 L. Herold Television viewers, critics, and scholars often critique broadcast and commercial programming for reproducing hegemonic social norms and repeatedly recycling narrative formats. However, television has evolved over time through a long series of experiments, often in local and noncommercial contexts. Some of these experiments in form and content have been incorporated into contemporary televisual norms while others didn’t quite take. From formal innovation, such as the use of computer graphics and video processing, to shifts in production and representation, such as the increasingly prominent presence of diversity in terms of sexuality, race, ethnicity, gender, ability, and nationality in front of and behind the camera, television has grown and evolved through a series of innovations, of explorations, of experiments. This panel will theorize the influence of experimental content and aesthetics in the historical development of television production, distribution, and reception. We will ask questions like: In what ways has noncommercial television informed, challenged, and/or provided alternatives to commercial broadcast television? What happens when independent producers incorporate avant-garde aesthetics into television content? How have artists and activists used television as a medium to amplify their messages? How does experimental television expand our notion of what “television” can be? Topics might include, but are not limited to: Video art Noncommercial television production Web series Cable access television Public television Television activism Community/local television Avant-garde aesthetics in television Early television history Digital/streaming television Please email paper proposals, including a title (120 characters), abstract (2500 characters), 3-5 bibliographic sources, and a bio (1500 characters) to Jason Nebergall and Lauren Herold at by August 3rd, 2018. Decisions will be made by August 17th.
by L. Herold
Thursday, July 5, 2018
CFP - SCMS Panel: Essayistic Sounds Locked Topic 0 S. Charbonneau CFP: Essayistic Sounds This panel will focus on the central role played by sound in essayistic media, including nonfiction films and videos as well as digital documentaries, audio documentaries, works of videographic criticism, etc. Whether one reflects on the role of the voice as the registration of a subject’s experience of change; or the aural presence of an immersive environment or nonhuman object or objects encountered in essayistic media; or even the evacuation of sound completely in a moment or series of moments, the use of sound is a useful lens for exploring the essayistic in cinematic and post-cinematic forms. In many ways, the slippery nature of sound fits well with the essayistic as a form of expression in which the self encounters a public experience with uncertain outcomes (following Corrigan's conception). This panel can accommodate a wide range of papers on the use of sound and the essayistic, whether the focus is on essay films from the past or on their legacy in digital media. Topics may include, but are not limited to: • A consideration of the politics of the essay through the lens of the voice and narration, both in terms of how otherwise repressed life experiences can be heard as well as how a multitude of voices can demonstrate the political limits of the essay; • An assessment of videographic criticism through the lens of sound, whether one looks at how sound is analyzed in this format or perhaps even the various uses of the scholarly voice;  • An analysis of the essayistic characteristics of audio documentaries, including podcasting; • A critical look at “found sound,” or how the essay film incorporates and appropriates archival sounds; • The intersection between the Latin American tradition of the testimonio and cinematic or digital essay, and how the adaptation of this oral tradition in new technological forms compromises, secures, or unsettles its central qualities; • Sound as a facilitator of participation in interactive documentary forms (or i-Docs), perhaps as a reference to an expansive world beyond the boundaries of the image. Please submit a 250-word abstract, 5 Bibliographic sources and a short professional biography to Stephen Charbonneau,, by August 1, 2018.
by S. Charbonneau
Thursday, July 5, 2018
Neural Media: On Neural Networks and New Data Practices Locked Topic 0 R. Dhaliwal Neural Media: On Neural Networks and New Data Practices A Proposed Panel for the 2019 conference of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (March 13–17, 2019, Seattle) After decades at the fringes of computer science, neural networks are now recognized as one of the most effective architectures for digital systems to develop generalized representations of the data that are given to them. These networks ‘learn’ by establishing probabilistically weighted connections among specialized ‘neural’ units that mirror the key statistical dependencies that can be identified in training datasets. From Google Home and Amazon Alexa to self-driving cars and search engines, neural networks are today ascendant in most, if not all, machine learning frameworks and ‘artificially intelligent’ systems. On the one hand, then, neural networks enable some of the defining functions of contemporary digital infrastructures, directly informing how the institutions using these techniques perceive, classify, and operate upon the objects and subjects they engage with - concerns that have been central to the recent work of media scholars such as Wendy Chun, Orit Halpern, and Adrian Mackenzie. On the other hand, neural networks are also key components of the popular cultural imaginaries around AI and inspire many aesthetic explorations in the field of media art, as recently discussed by the likes of Blaise Aguera y Arcas and Matteo Pasquinelli. This panel welcomes scholars working at the intersection of media studies, science and technology studies, history of science, art and visual studies, algorithm studies, and/or critical data studies to kickstart a discussion around the epistemic conditions entangled in the development, design, training, and/or implementation of neural networks and, more broadly, contemporary machine learning or AI techniques. What type of epistemic assumptions were necessary in the fields of cognitive science, mathematics, and computer science for neural networks to become the convenient analogy for cognition and perception that it is today? What kind of schemes of knowledge and expectations are embedded in such visions of the world? How can neural networks’ key applications (computer vision, predictive analytics, generative modelling, etc.) illuminate the type of representations these media technologies acquire? What does the prevalence of such technical forms mean for today’s visual culture, which increasingly borrows from these technological implementations (e.g., Google Deep Dream, Dota 2’s first professional AI team OpenAI Five, the work of media artists such as Trevor Paglen, Constant Dullaart, and Terence Broad)? How are data captured as objects of knowledge by contemporary media technologies? How do neural networks transform and alter the broader models of surveillance, capture, and control (biometrics, data collection, predictive modelling, etc.) in which they operate? How can art practices and resistance tactics, such as adversarial attacks, uncover counter-narratives and -histories about neural networks? If you are interested, please send a 150-300 word abstract along with a short bio to Ranjodh Singh Dhaliwal and Théo Lepage-Richer (, by August 10th, 2018.
by R. Dhaliwal
Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Where AR we: experimenting with Augmented and Mixed Reality Locked Topic 0 L. Efrat “All reality is mixed reality”, Mark B.N. Hansen declares in the opening of his book Bodies in Code.[1] Although this statement might encompass endless meanings, Hansen’s interpretation is very specific: reality is formed via the mixing of bodies with existing technologies. As a result, Hansen explains, our situation is configured by available technologies, their applications, and the ways we employ both. Endorsing Hansen’s perspective that, ultimately, technologies plus bodies equals reality, this panel will be looking to explore how augmented and mixed reality technologies (re)mediate and influence cultural realities and social practices. Relevant topics include, but are not limited to: -        AR\MR and memory -        AR\MR and cultural heritage, preservation, and practices of the archive -        AR\MR and the experience of urban space -        AR\MR as public art -        AR\MR as performance \ event -        AR\MR as a tool for activism -        AR\MR applications as social platforms -        AR\MR and affective theory -        AR\MR as a locative media \ cartographic practice -        AR\MR and GPS\VR technologies If you are working in any of these directions, or in any closely related field, I will be very happy to hear from you. Also, feel free to let me know if you have any ideas about other possible directions for this panel, I will gladly collaborate with other AR\MR enthusiasts!  If interested, please submit: (1) a 250 words abstract, (2) a short bio (150 words max.), and (3) a short bibliographic list (3-5 items). To: Deadline: August 1st. [1] Mark B.N. Hansen, Bodies in Code: Interfaces with Digital Media, (New York: Routledge, 2006), 1.
by L. Efrat
Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Hybrid Sound Worlds Locked Topic 0 M. Ward Please submit paper abstracts and/or ideas for a panel on Hybrid Sound in media! Do you have an idea of how sound is used in a way that seems to be BETWEEN media: either film and video games, film and radio, television and podcasts, or film and popular music? We are interested in hybrid uses of sound that seem to invoke the sound traditions of more than one form of sound media.    Papers already assigned to this panel include Meredith Ward's paper on Dolby Atmos as both a cinema sound system and a DJ/music plugin, and Daniel Schwartz's work on the "city symphony" as both a symphonic and a live event. Please feel free to submit ideas to Meredith Ward at! Thank you!
by M. Ward
Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Theorizing Race in US Horror Locked Topic 0 R. Meeuf As US culture struggles with the resurgence of white nationalism and racial resentment in the wake of the 2016 presidential election, horror stories are quickly becoming the “signature genre of the present moment,” according to LA Times critic Justin Chang. From the critical and commercial success of Get Out to the political commentary of American Horror Story: Cult, horror storytelling appears poised for a new era of political critique centered on issues of race, diversity, and power in America. And yet, mainstream horror in the US has always been more than willing to propagate the very fears that helped propel Trump to office in 2016, especially by focusing on stories of the white family under siege by evil outsiders, a staple of the genre.   This panel will explore the historical role of race and power in US horror media, asking how popular stories of death and terror have reimagined the inherent violence of US race relations. Can horror stories expose the racial violence at the heart of the American Dream? What role does white guilt play in horror’s vision of pastness and trauma? Can horror media truly address the real horror of America’s history? If you are interested, please submit (1) a title, (2) a summary no longer than 2500 characters, (3) 3-5 bibliographic sources, and (4) a bio no longer than 500 characters.  Submit materials to by August 6, 2019. Decisions will be communicated by August 20, 2019.
by R. Meeuf
Saturday, June 30, 2018
Audiovisual Appropriation, Cultural Appropriation, Ethics Locked Topic 0 J. Baron The intense controversies surrounding Dominic Gagnon’s film of the north (2015), for which Gagnon appropriated selective and often negative images of Inuit people posted on YouTube, and Dana Schutz’s painting Open Casket (2017), based on the famous photograph of the mutilated body of the 14-year-old African American child Emmett Till lying in his casket, point to the ways in which instances of cultural appropriation intersect with those of audiovisual appropriation. In both these cases, white artists appropriated images that were offensive to (in Gagnon’s case) or meaningful to (in Schutz’s case) communities of color; both works were deemed racist by many viewers – particularly viewers from those very communities. This panel will seek to address some of the following questions: What are the ethics of audiovisual appropriation when someone else’s cultural identity may also be appropriated in the process? When is it ethically acceptable to reuse an image or sound recording of another person, particularly when the recorded person belongs to a community that has been – and continues to be – exploited? Are there different kinds or degrees of cultural appropriation with corresponding ethical implications? Can audiovisual works that appropriate elements of another culture ever be ethical and, if so, under what circumstances? We seek papers that address any instances in which audiovisual appropriation intersects with cultural appropriation, whether in a potentially productive way, a denigrating way, or both.  Please forward inquiries and paper proposals, including title, summary (max. 2500 characters), list of 3-5 bibliographic sources, and a bio (max. 500 characters), with contact information to by August 1. Panelists will be notified by August 14, 2015.
by J. Baron
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
The Legacy and Influence of Marilyn Monroe Locked Topic 0 A. Konkle Marilyn Monroe certainly has a lasting legacy—new material on her life and career has been published every year since her death over 55 years ago. In light of this fact, our panel seeks to explore the range and variety of Monroe’s impact on sundry areas of film and television including, but not limited to: -       Hair, makeup, or fashion (especially within the film or television industry) -       Performances and acting styles of other actors or actresses -       The emergence of independent production and free-agent stars -       The definitions of feminism and female sexuality -       The nature of gossip reporting -       Genre films (musicals, comedies, biopics) -       Method acting -       Cinematic evocations of social and political themes -       Studio politics and practices -       Retro styles and representations of the 1950s. Please submit an abstract of approximately 200 words, along with a short professional biography, to Amanda Konkle at, by August 1.
by A. Konkle
Monday, June 11, 2018

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