America's Love Affair with Movie Gangsters (11/1/09; 11/11-14/10)

full name / name of organization: 
Cynthia Miller/Film & History
contact email: 

Call for Papers
"America's Love Affair with Movie Gangsters"
2010 Film & History Conference: Representations of Love in Film and Television
November 11-14, 2010
Hyatt Regency Milwaukee
Second Round Deadline: November 1, 2009

AREA: "America's Love Affair with Movie Gangsters"

How does the Gangster Film deepen or disturb our understanding of a nation's identity? The United States of America, for example, prizes law and order, not least in its television programming, but the nation also loves its mobsters and gangsters. Some viewers experience a romantic flutter or toy with the lure of forbidden fruit, while others are drawn in by morbid curiosity, adrenaline-pounding fear, or patriotic pride. Is this love affair an extended national reflex after Prohibition? Or do profounder attractions guide Americans?

This area, comprising multiple panels, welcomes papers and panel proposals that examine the major appeals behind the gangster film or gangster television show. Possibilities include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

Bloody Biopics: The Romantic Gangster Anti-Hero (Little Caesar, Public Enemy, Dillinger, "American Gangster" on BET, Mobsters, Lansky)
Violence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder (Scarface, Pulp Fiction, Road to Perdition, Gangs of New York, Goodfellas, The Departed)
But He Was Always Good to his Mother (White Heat, The Public Enemy, "The Sopranos," Ma Barker's Killer Brood, Public Enemies)
Mobster Family Values: Murder, Yes; Divorce Never (Prizzi's Honor, Kingpin, Married to the Mob, "Blood Vows: The Story of a Mafia Wife")
Eye Candy: Bracelet of Diamonds or Heart of Gold? (Marked Woman, Virginia Hill: Mistress To the Mob, Connie and Carla, Bound)
Equal Opportunity Molls (Bonnie and Clyde, Lady Scarface)
For the Love of God: Religion in Gangster Movies (Angels with Dirty Faces, Once Upon a Time in America, Godfather Trilogy)

Please send your 200-word proposal by e-mail to the area chair:

Beverly M. Kelley, Area Chair
California Lutheran University
60 W. Olsen Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
Email: (email submissions preferred)

Panel proposals for up to four presenters are also welcome, but each presenter must submit his or her own paper proposal. For updates and registration information about the upcoming meeting, see the Film & History website ( )