DEADLINE EXTENDED “Where is Cinema?”: A Film & Media Graduate Conference (February 28, 2019)

deadline for submissions: 
December 15, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Organizing Committee of Columbia Film & Media Graduate Conference

“Where is Cinema?”: A Film & Media Graduate Conference

February 28, 2019, Columbia University

Keynote Speaker: Brian Larkin, Professor of Anthropology, Barnard College, Columbia University


The ubiquity of moving images in contemporary culture makes the question of cinema’s location more paradoxical than ever before. Despite post-mortem discourses stressing the “end” or “death” of the medium, we find cinema today actively participating in spaces beyond the morgue and mausoleum. Meanwhile, media industries currently invest less capital in physical locations than in their digital/virtual counterparts. Box office is down, subscriptions are up. In the current landscape, a new film from a dead filmmaker going “live” on the Internet is no longer science fiction; scores of people opt to sacrifice privacy in favor of seemingly “free” streaming; programs chameleon between film and television at award ceremonies depending on the auteur status of their directors. This contemporary splintering or migration of cinema does not preclude, however, an investigation into the practices that have come to be known as customary.


“Where is Cinema?”: A Film & Media Graduate Conference aims to problematize the current status of the exhibitive and conceptual “cinema” and all that follows. The question “Where is Cinema” challenges the scholarly pursuit of film ontology in order to examine the medium’s location within changing fields of theory and practice. We would like to invite wide-range research projects pondering over the place, locality, spatiality and/or geopolitics of cinema, as well as its critical theories concerning transitional periods of film and media history. Specifically, the conference approaches topics that seek answers to the questions: Where do “cinematic” events today take place? What are the implications of film’s migration across geographical borders, cultural boundaries, and/or social margins? How does cinema situate itself in dialogue with other emergent media forms? Where should we posit “cinema” in the world and environment? And ultimately, where will we find “cinema” in the near future? Anywhere or nowhere?


We welcome proposals, but by no means exclusively, exploring the following topics:

  • Cinema in media cross-overs (i.e. cinema’s position within media environment encompassing photography, radio, television, animation, and emerging media forms)
  • Cinema in/outside cinema (i.e. spectatorship in the domestic setting, museum, classroom, festival, and open-air screening; films featuring screenings in unconventional exhibition venues)
  • Cinema across multiple temporalities (i.e. historiography of “lost cinema”; found footage in new media; contemporary screenings of silent cinema)
  • Cinema across borders (i.e. global influence of French New Wave; cross-cultural remake of Hollywood cinema; transnationality of Chinese national cinema)
  • Cinema at the margins (i.e. marginalized film theories versus grand narratives of film conception)
  • Cinema in body/mind (i.e. the way cinema reaches and reconfigures itself in the spectator’s body/mind; cinema’s location in psychoanalytic, phenomenological, and cognitive theories)


Please submit an abstract (250-300 words) and a short biographical statement (no more than 100 words) to by December 15, 2018. If you are submitting a creative work (film, art work, performance, among others), please include a relevant link or documentation (image, video, etc.) along with the abstract. Proposals for pre-constituted panels (3-4 panelists only) should include abstracts and contact information for all the individual presenters. Participants will be notified by late December.