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Film & Philosophy: How Films Think
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Keynote speakers: Mary Ann Doane and D.N. Rodowick
A title card in Jean-Luc Godard’s 1966 film Masculin-Féminin quotes Maurice Merleau-Ponty, stating, “le philosophe et le cinéaste ont en commun une certaine manière d’être, une certaine vue du monde qui est celle d’une generation”—“the philosopher and the director have in common a certain way of being, a certain view of the world, which is that of a generation.” This quote raises several questions: What is the place of philosophy vis-à-vis film? Does the filmmaker dictate the philosophy of a film? To what extent is philosophy made manifest in film? Does film exceed philosophy in expressing or exploring metaphysics, epistemology, and other human concerns? These have been key questions in the study of the moving image throughout the discipline’s history. In The World Viewed: Reflections on the Ontology of Film (1971), Stanley Cavell would propose a philosophy of film as a moving image of skepticism by reworking Cartesian methodological doubt. Recently, scholars have moved from the classical question “What is cinema,” posed by Bazin and Cavell, to new questions: What was cinema and how will the medium shift in the new digital landscape? How will these digital images engage in and with philosophy? Perhaps the moving image is philosophy, regardless of apparatus specificity or authorial intent.
We invite proposals for 15-20 minute presentations that contribute to the growing conversation concerning film's relationship to philosophy. Broad theoretical papers and papers on specific films or filmmakers are welcome. In addition to the questions raised above, possible topics include but are not limited to:
- (How) Does film think?
Please send 250-500 word abstracts and all other inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a brief biography or CV with your abstract. The deadline for submissions is October 1, 2010.