CFP: Animation and the Cinema (grad) (1/1/07; 3/31/07)

full name / name of organization:
contact email: 

(please distribute)

Animation and the Cinema

Graduate Conference on Cinema

Conference Date: Saturday March 31, 2007, University of Chicago
Keynote Address: Nicholas Sammond, University of Toronto

Deadline for Abstracts: January 1, 2007

Animation and the Cinema will be the fourth Graduate Cinema
Conference at the University of Chicago, a one-day event that
will bring together new work being done by graduate students
on cinema history, theory, and historiography. Animation is
usually situated as a children’s genre, and while this
conference will address this historical development, it also
seeks to explore animation in its most inclusive sense of how
cinema creates and stages motion. Scholarship on animation
has focused on how writers and filmmakers as diverse as Sergei
Eisenstein, Walter Benjamin, Siegfried Kracauer, Abel Gance,
Georges Sadoul and René Clair have been fascinated by
animation’s potential to radically refigure the human body.
Additionally, animation has had a long history of engaging
with social and political issues in ways that were often not
open to conventional filmmaking. In this sense, it has often
both challenged and reinforced institutional structures:
discourses surrounding race, ethnicity, and sexuality, among
others, have often found a space in animation that would have
been silenced or censored in mainstream filmmaking.

Recently, scholars such as Tom Gunning, Lev Manovich, Esther
Leslie, Joanna Bouldin and others have used animation to
reframe arguments in classical film theory regarding cinematic
representation, as well as provide a counter-history of the
cinema that is not based in photographic indexicality. The
status of animation in film has become a fundamental site of
investigation for scholars interested in the role of the
digital in film and in digital and media theory. A
reexamination of animation in this regard can shed light on
animation’s ability to order the world depicted in film in a
different wayâ€"one which both references the real world and yet
surpasses it, presenting a world that we recognize as
simultaneously other and the same. In this spirit, the
conference will explore the changing status of animation in
Cinema and Media Studies. It will also seek to address how
theories of the digital impact the study of film, in both the
way film is conceptualized as an aesthetic form and in how it
shapes the discipline.

We invite papers on a wide range of topics pertaining to
animation. These will include, but are not limited to:

--Historical approaches to animation aesthetics, production,
exhibition and technologies
--Theories of animation (cinema as motion, ontologies of the
image, indexicality)
--“Traditional” animation (feature-length, shorts,
“children’s” cinema, drawn cel animation, stop-motion)
--Animators: Cohl, McKay, Warner Brothers, Fleischer,
Fischinger, Whitney, Harryhausen, Svankmajer, Belson, Disney,
Pixar, Miyazaki
--Scientific uses of animation (Marey, Muybridge, Flight
Simulators, Medical Imaging)
--Special effects and the role of digital and optical technologies
--Computer animation (Film, Video Games, etc.)
--Animation and live action film
--Art/avant-garde/experimental animation
--Magic cinema (shadow plays, animation of objects, the uncanny)
--Race and stereotypes in animation
--National traditions of animation
--Propaganda and censorship in animation
--Music and animation (“Mickey Mousing”, musical
accompaniment, visual music)

Keynote speaker will be Nicholas Sammond, Cinema Studies
Program, University of Toronto. Professor Sammond has
recently published the book Babes in Tomorrowland: Walt Disney
and the Making of the American Child, 1930-1960, from Duke
University Press (2005), which won the 2006 Katherine Singer
Kovacs Book Award from the Society of Cinema and Media Studies
for best book of the year in Cinema and Media Studies.
Professor Sammond has also published widely on the topics of
race, labor, and subjectivity.

The deadline for abstracts (300-400 words) is JANUARY 1, 2007.
 Please e-mail all abstracts to with
"Conference Abstract" in the subject heading.

Limited financial assistance for travel may be available for
international students.

For more information, contact Julie Turnock:; or Andrew Johnston:

              From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
                         Full Information at
         or write Jennifer Higginbotham:
Received on Fri Nov 10 2006 - 18:15:02 EST