Love, Marriage, and a Baby Carriage: Bonding and Parenthood in Film and Television (11/1/09; 11/11-14/10)

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

Call for Papers:
"Love, Marriage, and a Baby Carriage: Bonding and Parenthood in Film and Television"
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: Love, Marriage, and a Baby Carriage: Bonding and Parenthood in Film and Television

What does it mean to be bound by love? Sometimes, the bonds of love supply bliss, and sometimes they demand sacrifice. Sometimes, experiencing love saves people, and sometimes it kills them. Being bound by love often engenders moral responsibility; in other cases, it enslaves and imprisons the soul. How does bonding—the dramaturgical center of most narratives—complicate our understanding of "love"? And how do film and television represent that complication?

This area looks at nuptial and familial bonding in film and television and seeks papers that discuss how the representation of this process revises, perpetuates, or deconstructs love in marriage and parenthood. Papers treating the mythologies of bonding are also welcome, as are papers that target specific characterizations, themes, or genres in film and television. Possibilities may include, but are not limited to, the following:

• Unwanted children/unexpected children (Just Another Girl on the IRT, Knocked Up, Juno)
• Doing the "right" thing (A Summer Place, 90210)
• Parenting with illness or disability (Stepmom, My Sister's Keeper, Mask)
• Protecting children (Heroes Seasons 1 &2, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles)
• Parenting after the death of a spouse (To Gillian on her 37th Birthday, Jersey Girl, Weeds)
• Work and parenthood (Kramer vs Kramer, Mr. Mom, Baby Boom, Motherhood, In the Motherhood, The New Adventures of Old Christine)
• Race, class, and single mothers (Bush Mama, Maid in America)
• Historical changes in acceptable ideas about responsible love

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

Laura D'Amore, Area Chair
Roger Williams University
Department of History and American Studies
One Old Ferry Road
Bristol, RI 02809
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 (