CFP: Cinema is Dead, Long Live Cinema?: An Inquest into the Death of Cinema (SCMS conference panel, Seattle, March 19-23, 2014)

full name / name of organization: 
Andrew Utterson
contact email: 

Cinema is Dead, Long Live Cinema?: An Inquest into the Death of Cinema

In recent years, in an era of proliferating screens, big and small, and the technologies and cultures associated with them, countless filmmakers, theorists, and critics have proclaimed the very death of cinema. This panel will explore these apocalyptic claims and consider the fundamental questions of whether cinema is indeed dead or dying, and the changing materialities, aesthetics, and experiences associated with a transition from cinema to the post-cinematic.

If cinema is dead, when and how did it die? Who or what killed it? Has cinema died before (the coming of sound, for example), and how does this latest existential trauma compare with previous deaths? If cinema is yet to die, what is its prognosis? What, concerning the future (or otherwise) of the medium, might we learn from the discourses associated with specific filmmakers and their own prognoses? And from the textual markers of individual films that are acutely aware of cinema's passing?

Possible paper topics include, but are not limited to:
• What was cinema? Re-defining a medium in memoriam
• Post-cinema and the post-cinematic experience
• Media archeology, theories of technological change, and audio-visuality as super-cinematic meme
• Lessons from the coming of sound and other previous deaths of cinema
• Individual films that reflect thematically, aesthetically, etc. on the history of cinema and its (potential) passing
• Individual filmmakers who have contributed to contemporary or other discourses concerning the death (or deaths) of cinema

Please send an abstract of 2500 characters max. (to meet SCMS guidelines) and a one-paragraph bio to Andrew Utterson ( by Friday July 26, 2013.

Panelists will be notified of provisional acceptance no later than Thursday August 15, 2013.

Note: Provisional acceptance as a panelist does not guarantee that the panel as a whole will be accepted by the SCMS programming committee, who will notify of acceptance or otherwise typically by the fall. If the panel is accepted, all panelists will require annual SCMS membership to present at the conference, which will be held from Wednesday, March 19, 2014 to Sunday, March 23, 2014 at the Sheraton Hotel, Seattle, Washington.)