CALL FOR PAPERS:
CHILDHOOD AND NATION IN WORLD CINEMAS: BORDERS AND ENCOUNTERS SINCE 1980
CONFERENCE OF THE LEVERHULME FUNDED INTERNATIONAL NETWORK:
17th – 20th APRIL 2016, ROYAL HOLLOWAY, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON
Figuring filmic representations of the child is an important recent trend in cinema studies. Adult cultural investments in the child are acknowledged whilst the most exciting work simultaneously pushes at the boundaries of film theory to create a new cinematic politics of childhood in filmic portrayals of the child’s experience.
This conference aims to take forward children’s perceptions of, and involvement in, screen representation. At the same time, it acknowledges the importance of the child in figuring ideas of nationhood in adult cultural and social consciousness, as it is explored through film. Given the current debates over national film studies, and serious concerns over the status of the nation as a meaningful cultural unit, our aim is not to assume some pre-social geopolitical empathy of child and political entity. Rather, we wish to observe how, why and indeed whether the cinematic child is aligned to concepts of modern nationhood, to concerns of the state, and to geo-political organizational themes and precepts. World cinema is understood not as a commercial label but as a discursive site for the mapping and remapping of local, national and transnational understandings of both child and nation and for the exploration of themes of belonging, encounter and experience as well as agency and representation. Cinema may include home video, participatory video and found footage as well as commercial cinema whatever its distribution strategy. Scholars may examine the structures of national feeling in places of production and distribution, and the manner in which the child is deployed to maintain, reflect or interrogate these structures. The category of childhood is itself in slippage across classes, ethnicities and regions whilst the complex relations between national borders, language and political cultures are likely to produce conflicted representations of the national subject, all of which require politically and culturally informed and nuanced readings of the filmic text.
We seek submissions on childhood, nation and cinema for our international conference in April 2016. The conference aims to bring together scholars from around the world to explore the child and nation on screen. We seek proposals that address some of the key issues in relation to childhood and nation on screen in post-1980 cinema.
Confirmed keynote speakers:
Professor Vicky Lebeau (Sussex)
Professor Karen Lury (Glasgow)
Professor David Martin-Jones (Glasgow)
Topics may include (but are not limited to):
the child’s POV and new cinema aesthetics in national or transnational cinemas
participatory video or child-led cinema
the child as gendered or sexual subject on screen
the liminality of childhood and its relation to questions of nationhood on screen
children’s rights to benefits such as health, education, housing and security across borders and nations
emerging nations, strong nations and childhood as national avatar
national belonging, intra-national encounter and the child
trauma or memory and the child
Abstracts of 250 words should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by 1st September 2015. All submissions should be accompanied by brief bio. Postgraduate students may prefer to submit a proposal for a poster paper, which we would also welcome.
Dr Sarah Wright (Principal Investigator, RHUL), Professor Stephi Hemelryk-Donald (UNSW and Liverpool), Professor Emma Wilson (Cambridge) and Dr Zitong Qiu (Ningbo Institute of Technology, Zhejiang University).