CFP: Cinema and Social Change in Germany and Austria (9/15/07; 5/1/08-5/3/08)

full name / name of organization: 
James M. Skidmore


[An International Conference sponsored by the Waterloo Centre for German
Studies (University of Waterloo) in conjunction with the Canadian Centre for
German and European Studies (York University)]

During the last decade, a revitalized film industry in Germany and Austria
has put domestic film production back into a more prominent position within
the cultural discourse. At the same time, German cinema in particular has
received new impulses from revived realist traditions. Corresponding to
trends in other European cinemas and as part of a diversified cinematic
landscape, a number of film directors have rediscovered the social as a
narrative focus and, with their films, respond to and comment on fundamental
social changes, on contradictions and dilemmas of modern society.

The conference Cinema and Social Change in Germany and Austria will
investigate contemporary cinema's interaction with modern societal change.
We invite proposals for any papers that focus on social change in
German-speaking Europe and that address the following questions or issues
related to this context:

How does contemporary film mediate societal change and represent or respond
to the perceived disintegration of key concepts such as family, marriage,
nation, nation-state, community? What are the tensions that dominate these
film narratives? What visions for the future development of society are
projected? What are the shifts in the representation of identity formation?
How does contemporary German and Austrian film contribute to or contradict
the ideas and debates on social change circulating in the public discourse?
How do changed consumer habits affect the production, distribution,
reception and marketing of the filmic product?

Prof. Paul Cooke from the University of Leeds will be the keynote speaker,
and we hope to invite a filmmaker to speak as well. A festival of
contemporary German-language film will be held in conjunction with the

The conference will take place May 1st-3rd, 2008 at the University of
Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada (located about an hour's drive
southwest of Toronto). The conference website (
contains a longer version of this call for papers and will be updated
regularly. Proposals (300-500 words) for 30-minute presentations will be
assessed on an anonymous basis by an adjudication committee, therefore the
author's name should not appear on the proposal itself. Include a separate
page giving your name, affiliation, postal address, e-mail address,
telephone and fax numbers, and the title of your presentation. Proposals
can be submitted by letter, fax, or e-mail attachment (.rtf or .doc files to, the latter being the preferred method.

Important Information

Expressions of interest: June 15th, 2007 (a short paragraph expressing your
interest and possible paper topic would be appreciated by this date to help
us in our planning and in applying for grants to support the conference.
Please be assured that if you miss this deadline and yet still wish to
submit a proposal by the date below, that would be most welcome. Please
send expressions of interest to

Deadline for submission of proposals: September 15th, 2007 (300-500 words,
with your name, paper title, and contact information on a page separate from
the actual proposal. Preferred submission format is an .rtf or .doc file
sent as an e-mail attachment to

Notification of acceptance: November 1st, 2007

Deadline for accepting invitation to present: February 1st, 2008

Date of conference: May 1st - 3rd, 2008

Conference website:

Organizing Committee: Susan Ingram (York University), Gabriele Mueller (York
University), Markus Reisenleitner (York University), James M. Skidmore
(University of Waterloo)


Gabriele Mueller
Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics
York University
4700 Keele Street
Toronto,ON M3J 1P3 CANADA
Tel: 416.736.2100, x20078
Fax: 416.736.5483
Email: or

James M. Skidmore
Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, ON N2J 1T9 CANADA
Tel: 519.888.4567, x33687
Fax: 519.746.5243
Email: or

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Received on Thu Apr 26 2007 - 18:06:14 EDT