Film: Indebted Reflections (deadline: June 1, 2012)

full name / name of organization: 
Todd Comer and Isaac Vayo (Midwest Modern Language Association)
contact email: 

Lars von Trier's movies constantly thematize debt, but never so memorably as in Dancer in the Dark which links hospitality to insanity and blindness, and, yet, such giving, such indebtedness, is also framed by an excessive, formal exuberance as Selma (played by Björk) dances and sings her way to the gallows.

Our panel will consider the following non-exclusive list of questions: How is giving thematized and formally represented in film? How do directors (in general, not just in the case of von Trier) communicate their debt to actors, the film crew, previous directors, the audience, the world? How is a "restricted" as opposed to a "general" economy represented in film? Papers informed by Bataille, Derrida, Levinas, Marion, Kristeva, Mauss, Nancy, Kierkegaard are welcome.

Please send 250 word abstracts to Todd Comer ( or Isaac Vayo (, Defiance College, by June 1, 2012.

Midwest Modern Language Association Annual Conference will be held in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza from November 8-11, 2012.