Re-Living Disaster: Film-History-Identity

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London Consortium

The London Consortium Presents
Re-Living Disaster: Film – History – Identity

April 29-30 2010

University of London, Birkbeck
London, United Kingdom

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Laszlo Strauss, Teaching Fellow in Film Studies, UCL Centre for Intercultural Studies

Film Screening: Anonyma-Eine Frau in Berlin

Abstracts are invited for papers exploring the following issues from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives.

This conference explores the interplay between film, identity and history in the context of crisis and catastrophe. We approach the topic through analysis of particular films as well as through a theoretical consideration of the work of film as medium. It is not so much the crisis or the catastrophe itself, but the cultural function of its filmic representation in engaging collective memory, history and identity that draws our attention. Crisis and catastrophes serve as a narrative strategy and mode of representation in order to make history accessible. As films reconstruct the past according to present readings of historic events, the reworking of catastrophes and crisis in audiovisual media oftentimes serves to legitimate current collectives. This generates questions about the exclusion of certain visions of the past and about the possibility to interrogate dominating historical narratives through audiovisual media, and particularly through film. Indeed, interrogating the filmic affinity for catastrophes and crisis requires attention to the audiovisual media as such, articulating the correlation between the logic of collective identity building and the inherent logic of media and genre, the relation between transnational media distribution and local reception, and the possibilities of medial resistance.

Papers are invited to consider these issues, but also other possible approaches, encouraging submissions from a range of disciplines in the fine arts, humanities, and social sciences. Speakers should be prepared for a 20-minute presentation followed by 10 minutes of questions.

Deadline for submissions: February 28 2010
Please send a 250-word abstract, as well as a brief biography (100 words) to Proposals should list paper title, name, contact details, institutional affiliation and any necessary audiovisual requirements.
Successful applicants will be notified by March 10, 2010.
Please note there is a conference registration fee of £30.00, which will be due by March 25 2010. We regret that travel funding for conference participants is not available at this time.

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