Industry Trends: Genre and the Movie Business - Peer-reviewed Journal Special Edition - CFP Deadline 30 June 2011

full name / name of organization: 
Richard Nowell, Iluminace, Guest Editor
contact email: 
richard_nowell@hotmail.com

Call for Papers
Iluminace vol. 3 (2012) – Special English-Language Edition
Industrial Trends: Genre and the Movie Business

Conceptions of film categories have served as a longstanding cornerstone of industry practice, one which preconditions the rationalization of production decisions, the mobilization of content and themes, the tailoring of distribution strategies, the formulation of marketing campaigns, and the nature of exhibition and delivery. Yet, despite calls for scholars to centralize consideration of industry logic and activity (Williams; Neale 1990), little is known about the precise and complex ways in which, what could loosely be called, “genres” have actually shaped, and continue to shape, the global movie business. The industrial dimensions of film genre remain sketchily theorized and poorly understood to such an extent that genre’s contributions to relations between industrial operations, to the trans-media and transnational dynamics of global cinema, and to the industrial appropriation of extra-industrial discourses, remain something of an undiscovered archipelago obscured by canonicity and epoch-governed historiography. Nevertheless, an invaluable opportunity to reconsider how genre influences industry conduct has been provided by three key contributions to genre studies: recognition of the ever-changing and continuously contested discursive character of film groupings (Altman; Mittell; Naremore; Neale 1993); appreciation of the logic and results of calculatedly “hybrid” approaches to the content of motion pictures and their marketing campaigns (Altman; Balio; Klinger; Staiger); and deeper understandings of the opportunistic short-to-medium-term economic logic that ensures the generation of passing fads, cycles, and trends (Moretti; Nowell; Romao; Stanfield). Subjecting the industrial character of film genre to new and sustained scholarly interrogation is therefore both timely and essential given genre’s status as a governing principle of industry activity, the impact of which is felt both vertically and horizontally, cutting, as it does, across the various branches and sectors of a given industry, as well as across media, across national borders, and across reception cultures. It is with these points very much in mind that Iluminace, the Czech Republic’s leading film studies journal, is preparing a special English-language edition which will focus on how concepts of genre have shaped industrial logic, strategy, and conduct, in different locations, and at different historical junctures. Possible topics for essays which will be considered for inclusion in the special edition therefore include but are not restricted to:

• theorizing genres industrially
• the logic underwriting hybrid production and promotion strategies
• genres and high-end media properties
• genre in relation to sequels, adaptations, remakes, and “re-boots”
• largely ignored but industrially important product lines, film-types, and fads
• genre filmmaking and its relationships to topicality and “the newsworthy”
• intersections of public-sphere discourse and industry practice
• the functions and dimensions of genre categories in art and boutique cinema
• exploitation cinemas and their genres
• cross-media influences on industrial decision-making
• the transnational configurations of film fads, cycles, and trends
• genre’s roles in distribution patterns and strategies
• invoking genres and generic discourse to promote and publicize movies
• genres of extra-filmic epiphenomena: posters, trailers, websites etc ...
• genres and questions of exhibition practice
• packaging and repackaging genre films for home consumption

Please send by 30 June 2011 your 250 word abstract and a short academic biography to richard_nowell@hotmail.com. All notifications of acceptance will be emailed no later than 14 July 2011. If an abstract is accepted, essays are to be 36,000–72,000 signs, which equates roughly to 5,500–9,000 words (including footnotes and a 100–200 word abstract). This special edition of Iluminace will be published in hardcopy in 2012 and will be accessible online through the EBSCO database.

Dr. Richard Nowell, Guest Editor, Iluminace.

Richard Nowell, currently lecturing in Prague for the University of Miami, is the author of Blood Money a History of the First Teen Slasher Film Cycle and has articles published or forthcoming in Cinema Journal, Journal of Film and Video, Post Script, and The New Review of Film and Television Studies.

Works Cited

Altman, Rick. Film/Genre. London: BFI, 1999.

Balio, Tino. Grand Design: Hollywood as a Modern Business Enterprise, 1930–1939 (History of the American Cinema, Volume 5). London: Simon & Schuster Macmillan, 1993.

Klinger, Barbara. “Digressions at the Cinema: Reception and Mass Culture.” Cinema Journal 28.4 (1989): 3–19.

Mittell, Jason. “A Cultural Approach to Television Genre Theory”, Cinema Journal, 40.1 (2001): 3–24.

Moretti, Franco. Graphs, Maps, Trees: Abstract Models for Literary History. London: Verso, 2005.

Neale Steve,. “Melo talk: on the meaning of use of the term ‘melodrama’ in the American
trade press”, The Velvet Light Trap, 32 (1993): 66–89.

Neale, Steve. “Questions of Genre”, Screen, 31.1 (1990): 45–66.

Nowell, Richard. Blood Money: A History of the First Teen Slasher Film. New York: Continuum, 2011.

Romao, Tico. “Engines of Transformation: An Analytical History of the 1970s Car Chase Cycle”, New Review of Film and Television Studies, 1.1 (2003): 31–54.

Staiger, Janet. “Hybrid or Inbred: The Purity Hypothesis and Hollywood Genre History.” Film Criticism 22.1 (1997): 5–20.

Stanfield, Peter. “Crossover: Sam Katzman’s Switchblade Calypso Bop Reefer Madness Swamp Girl or ‘Bad Jazz’, Calypso, Beatniks and Rock ’n’ Roll in 1950s Teenpix”, Journal of Popular Music 29:3 (2010): 437–455.

Williams, Alan, “Is a Radical Genre Criticism Possible?”, Quarterly Review of Film Studies, 9.2: 121–125.

cfp categories: 
american
film_and_television
journals_and_collections_of_essays
popular_culture
twentieth_century_and_beyond