Italian Horror Cinema: an International Film Conference

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Austin Fisher, University of Bedfordshire
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The University of Bedfordshire, Luton, Friday 9th – Saturday 10th May 2014

In association with the second annual 'Spaghetti Cinema' Film Festival @spaghetticinema

Keynote speaker: Professor Peter Hutchings (Northumbria University).

Italian Film Studies increasingly situates its subject matter within discourses that complicate merely 'national' orientations, as is evident in scholarship surrounding the country's wide array of horror films from the 1950s onwards. It has become common practice to examine in these films and their various cycles a tension between a culturally specific register pertaining to 'Italian' outlooks on the one hand, and cosmopolitan, transnational or 'translocal' flows of influence on the other. Spanning a period of traumatic socio-political upheaval, an ever-increasing importation of American fashions and styles, and lucrative international co-production models, Italian cinema's various vampires, witches, zombies, cannibals and serial killers document the complexities of cultural moments finely perched between the local and the global.

This conference will offer delegates the opportunity to bring together diverse perspectives on the historical and political coordinates of Italian horror cinema. Encompassing the broad and porous cycles of gothic horror, gialli, zombie and cannibal films (among many others), the event will reconsider the heterogeneous strands of influence that feed into and out of these films, to examine negotiated, transitional and mobile Italian identities. Likely topics include:
• Cinematic / literary antecedents to Italian horror films.
• Studies of Italian horror cinema's political / historical contexts.
• Transnational / transcultural routes of influence and cultural significance.
• Industrial histories (eg co-production funding structures, key production companies).
• Studies of domestic or international distribution patterns / reception.
• Considerations of individual films / trends.
• Translation studies / cultural translation.
• Italian horror auteurs / directors.
• The on-going global legacies of Italian horror.
• Italian horror cinema today.

We seek proposals for 20-minute papers, or for pre-constituted panels of three or four papers, that engage with any aspects of the above topic. Abstracts of no more than 300 words, along with a short biographical note, should be submitted for peer-review to by Friday January 17th 2014.


The Department of Media Arts and Production, University of Bedfordshire, Park Square, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU1 3JU, UK.