UPDATE: [Film] American Independent Cinema

full name / name of organization: 
Claire Molloy
contact email: 

American Independent Cinema: Past, Present and Future.

An international conference co-organised by Claire Molloy (Liverpool John
Moores University) and Yannis Tzioumakis (University of Liverpool).

May 8th- 10th 2009
Liverpool, UK.

This is an updated call for papers. We are delighted to announce that the
confirmed keynote speakers at this conference will be:
Warren Buckland (Oxford Brookes University), Geoff King (Brunel
University), Peter Kramer (University of East Anglia), Steve Neale
(University of Exeter) Janet Staiger (University of Texas at Austin).

In recent years the field of American independent cinema has enjoyed
particular critical attention. The publication of a number of studies on
the subject and the development of courses that examine American
independent cinema as a separate object of study from mainstream
Hollywood cinema has demonstrated that American independent cinema is a
distinct discursive category and therefore deserves to be explored in

Despite the recent critical activity, however, there is still very little
actual research undertaken in the field. To this day, most of the work on
American independent cinema has focused on the period ranging from the
1960s to contemporary times while the lion’s share of the critics’
attention has gone to a relatively small number of canonical independent
filmmakers or to certain paradigmatic independent films. Although the
establishment of canons and paradigms in independent cinema has been
extremely useful, especially because it identified the field as worthy of
scholarly attention, it also delimited the field substantially.
This conference wants to rethink American cinema through the concept
of ‘independence’ and the range of definitions that such a term
encompasses. As such, this conference hopes to attract research in the
field that extends far beyond conventional critical approaches that tend
to focus on key filmmakers, often starting from Cassavetes and moving to
more recent examples, and instead look at American cinema in general with
a view of questioning particular practices while also offering a number
of case studies from various historical moments. Topics might include but
are certainly not limited to:
• cinema at Poverty Row
• independent filmmaking within the “confines” of the studio system
• exploitation filmmaking
• ethnic filmmaking
• independent producers/distributors
• classics divisions vs contemporary independents
• the impact of technological change on independent filmmaking
• independent film financing, marketing, advertising and publicity
• institutionalising independence
Whilst we will consider papers that deal with any aspect of independence,
we particularly welcome papers that seek to revise existing histories of
American cinema, especially by re-opening cases of films, filmmakers and
companies that hitherto have been considered as part of an increasingly
loosely defined mainstream Hollywood. One of the key aims of this
conference is to chart the past, present and future modes of film
practice in the independent sector and to account for the plurality of
forms and guises in which independent filmmaking has manifested in the
United States. In this respect we hope the conference will facilitate a
much needed re-evaluation of American cinema under the rubric of
Please send proposals of up to 300 words to both C.Molloy_at_ljmu.ac.uk and
Deadline for submission of proposals is Friday 12 December 2008.

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Received on Thu Nov 13 2008 - 08:39:15 EST