CFP: Global Innovations in Post-World War II Cinema (MSA 13; Oct 6-9, 2011)

full name / name of organization: 
Will Scheibel / Modernist Studies Association
contact email: 

Prospective Conference Panel

Modernist Studies Association 13: Structures of Innovation, Buffalo, NY

Deadline for submissions: April 1, 2011

As the field of "new modernist studies" continues grappling with its geohistorical expansions, and also its containment within definitional and disciplinary boundaries, Susan Stanford Friedman proposes a transformative model of "planetary modernist studies" in the September issue of MODERNISM/MODERNITY. This approach holds fruitful possibilities for histories and theories of modernist film aesthetics, an area that has yet to be fully investigated through these recent methodological developments. Friedman explains that modernist studies should avoid the familiar polarization of aesthetics and politics, and rather "be open to different kinds of aesthetic innovation linked to different modernities around the world and through time." "In this regard," she argues, "the aesthetic is always imbricated in the political, the historical. And vice versa" (488).

Moving beyond traditional formalist and auteurist theoretical paradigms, as well as Euro-centric conceptions of film history and periodicity, this panel seeks to explore the heterogeneous ways in which post-World War II art cinema articulates the modern and breaks from the classical. Further, it aims to situate the aesthetic innovations of different cinematic modernisms in a global context to understand their roles within different political and cultural modernities. How do the visual, media, and national cultures of the postwar era encompass a range of ideological and stylistic contradictions through cinema as much as—or maybe more than—a coherent set of underlying modernist principles?

Potential topics may include, but are not limited to the following:

- New readings of canonical films or new perspectives on key figures and movements (BLOW-UP, Jean-Luc Godard, film noir, etc.)
- The relationships between late modern art cinema of the 1950s/60s and the early modern avant-garde of the 1920s/30s
- The intersections of modernist cinema with literature, architecture, fashion, photography, music, or visual art and design
- Transnational influences: modernism and/in Hollywood
- Non-Western modernisms
- Sounds of modernism
- Experiencing modernism onscreen: affect and phenomenology
- Film performance and celebrity culture
- Film production and distribution
- Film exhibition and reception
- Archiving modernism and the circulation of cinema
- New media and technologies
- Identity politics of modernism
- Linguistic and cultural translation

Send 300 word abstract with 5 item bibliography and full academic CV (as separate e-mail attachments) to: Will Scheibel ( Please visit the MSA website for more details about the 2011 conference: