UPDATE: Hollywood and the Culture Wars (UK) (11/13/06; 3/1/07)

full name / name of organization: 
James Russell
contact email: 

Deadline extended:

Hollywood and the Culture Wars: A Study Day
1 March 2007, De Montfort University, UK.=20
Call For Papers.

Under the leadership of George W. Bush, public opinion in America seems =
more polarised than it has been in decades. Divisions between liberals =
and conservatives, secular humanists and religious fundamentalists, red =
states and blue states, have widened to the point where many Americans =
now seem to hold fundamentally opposed views of the nation=92s purpose =
and identity. This cultural division is by no means new, but it has =
become a far more visible feature of American life since the =
inauguration of Bush Jnr, and the terrorist attacks of 9/11. In =
particular, the political, spiritual and social disputes which make up =
these so-called =91Culture Wars=92 have been focused on the media. For =
those on the right, Hollywood productions invariably exhibit an =
offensive, even damaging, liberal bias (despite frequent academic claims =
that Hollywood is innately conservative). Alternatively, liberals have =
voiced concern about the rise of highly partisan conservative =
alternatives to the Hollywood mainstream. Again, these debates about the =
influence and moral purpose of the media have deep roots, but they have =
become burning issues for many Americans in the last six years.=20

=91Hollywood and the Culture Wars=92 looks specifically at the =
relationship between the political and spiritual polarisation of popular =
opinion in American, and the media itself. For secular European scholars =
the increased power and visibility of the Christian right in America can =
provoke bafflement and dismay. However, this event seeks to move beyond =
simplistic assumptions about American exceptionalism, and will take =
shifts in American attitudes seriously. We believe that the =
international research community can offer a valuable perspective on =
questions of American identity. Therefore, we invite papers from both =
established scholars and research students on any aspect of American =
attitudes and the media, but topics that we are particularly interested =
in include:=20

? The representation of politics and religion in mainstream Hollywood =
? The emergence of movies and television shows aimed specifically at =
Christian audiences.
? The influence of lobbying groups on the media.=20
? Liberal and conservative political activism in Hollywood.
? The rise of right leaning media institutions, such as Fox News and =
Walden Media.
? Popular and institutional responses to controversial texts (such as =
The Passion of the Christ, or Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas).=20
? The ways that disputes over gender, sexuality and identity more =
generally are incorporated into media texts.
? Uses of the media by audience groups.
? The question of bias in the media.
? European or other international responses to the Culture Wars.=20
? Cultural division and Hollywood history.

If you wish to take part in the study day, please submit a 300 word =
abstract of your paper by email attachment to JRussell_at_dmu.ac.uk. The =
deadline for submissions is 13 November 2006. We will also accept papers =
via mail, which should be sent to the address below.

Dr James Russell
Faculty of Humanities
De Montfort University
The Gateway
Leicester LE1 9BH

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Received on Fri Nov 10 2006 - 18:14:14 EST