CFP: The Memory Factory: Hollywood’s Influence on Historical Memory
Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association
PAMLA 116th Annual Conference November 11-13, 2016
Panel Chair: Vanessa Osborne
Affiliation: University of Southern California
Session Title: “The Memory Factory: Hollywood's Influence on Historical Memory"
Site: PAMLA 2016 at the Westin Hotel, Pasadena, CA.
Submit Proposal to http://www.pamla.org/2016/topic-areas
Deadline: June 10, 2016
Popular Hollywood films frequently mine the historical archive for stories to beguile and enthrall their audiences. But what effect does the conflation of Hollywood entertainment conventions and history have on the populace’s conception of historical memory? From the very first feature-length silent film, The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906) to recent acclaimed films like The Revenant or The Big Short, films based on historical events or claiming historical fact have shaped culture’s understanding of what history looks like—what happened in the past, who contributed to major historical events of and why these events occurred.
This panel invites inquiries into Hollywood’s influence on the public’s understanding of historical events, living conditions and significant figures. We welcome papers focusing on individual historical films or those interrogating such how the material conditions of filmmaking—funding concerns, genre conventions, the structure of filmic narrative, length limitations, the need for bankable stars and more—affect the depiction of history and the shaping of historical memory.