L'Amour Noir: Fear and Danger in Romance, 1920=1960 (11/1/09; 11/11-14/10

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

Call for Papers
L'Amour Noir: Fear and Danger in Romance, 1920-1960
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: "L'Amour Noir: Fear and Danger in Romance, 1920-1960"

The femme fatale long precedes hardboiled-detective fiction and its filmic offspring, yet was love ever so thoroughly defined by the tension between attraction and danger as in the period between World War I and the 1950s? What is the range of dangerous women presented in these films? Why did the linking of fear with desire appeal to audiences so strongly? Is there a comparable homme fatale figure? Can the historical moment convincingly explain the representation of love as so destabilizing? Beyond film noir, how does the paradigm play out in melodrama, horror films, and other genres? Was masculinity significantly redefined during this period? How does society's fear, represented by censorship and the Production Code, relate to the dangers in the "noir" representation of love? What variations of it do we find over longer periods of time and across national boundaries?

This area, comprising multiple panels, welcomes papers and panel proposals that examine the anxiety of dangerous love in films from 1920-1960. The topics below suggest just a few of the directions panelists might take, including topics that account for more current versions of the mid-20-century noir movement:

• Locating the Evil (Double Indemnity; Chinatown)
• From Asia with Love (Realm of the Senses; Ju Dou)
• Questions of Identity (L.A. Confidential; Blade Runner)
• The Changing Times of Noir and Neo-Noir (The Postman Always Rings Twice; Mildred Pierce; Body Heat; The Last Seduction)
• From Europe with Love (The Blue Angel; Breathless)
• Dangerous Women and Queer Villains (Laura; Gilda; The Maltese Falcon)
• The Perfect Man (The Stranger; Letter from an Unknown Woman; Les Bonne Femmes;)
• Aftershocks (Fatal Attraction; Basic Instinct; Breaking the Waves)

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

Bill Mooney, Area Chair
Fashion Institute of Technology
Seventh Avenue at 27th Street
New York, NY 10001-5992
Email: william_mooney@fitnyc.edu (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 (www.uwosh.edu/filmandhistory).