TERROR AND THE (POST)CINEMATIC SUBLIME (April 15, 2011)
Jean-Francois Lyotard writes, "We have paid a high enough price for the nostalgia of the whole [...] let us be witnesses to the unpresentable; let us activate the differences and save the honor of the name." How are "nostalgia" and the "whole" linked to terror and the (post)cinematic form? Is terror synonymous with the unpresentable? Or is the unpresentable that which exposes terror to its finitude? How do cinematic and post-cinematic media—or do they—communicate that which is unpresentable? How do (post)cinematic media confront the "unpresentable"? Can the aural yield successful representation where the visual proves inadequate? And what are the ethical considerations in this confrontation? What sort of sublime arises from and/or elicits the (post)cinematic representation of terror? Is it the postmodern sublime of Lyotard, the foundational sublime of Kant, or something else entirely? How, if at all, can the sublime be used to understand the movement from cinema to post-cinematic media?
We are calling for essays which address the relationship between "terror" (broadly understood) and the sublime within recent film and media across all genres, including (but not limited to) documentaries, music videos, various forms of mobile and locative media, YouTube creations, news reports, and dramatic film. The goal of the collection is to create a textual snapshot of the numerous ways in which the sublime is being used (or constructed for particular uses) in media scholarship. Much, of course, has been written on the sublime in literature, in the context of 9/11, and in terms of globalization, among other areas. No one text, however, has attempted to survey the many and varied ways in which terror is represented alongside the sublime in (post)cinematic media, or has analyzed the differences in the representation of the sublime in cinematic and post-cinematic media, despite the predominantly visual nature of the concept.
To date, two publishers have expressed interest in this collection, and we are confident that a strong selection of contributors will make the volume even more timely and appealing.
While Lyotard might provide our charge, essays may be framed by any number of theorists (Nancy, Kant, Kristeva, Lyotard, Derrida, Badiou, Jameson, Bataille). Work addressing all periods of the (post)cinematic sublime is welcome, though special consideration will be given to essays focusing on objects from the twenty-first century in light of recent media "revolutions" (the rise of CGI, 3D, and locative and mobile media). Essays should address the distinctive medial elements of film and video and might address the sublime in one of the following areas:
-domesticity (suburban or urban)
-9/11 (and the nation-state)
Please e-mail any queries; abstracts of 300 words with contact information included (MS Word or rich text formats) should be e-mailed to Drs. Todd Comer and Isaac Vayo by April 15, 2011, for earliest consideration. Unpublished full or partial articles, if available, may also be included with your abstract. The final deadline for full articles will be July 15, 2011. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org