CFP: [Film] Different Bodies: Disability, Impairment, & Illness (5/1/08; 10/30-11/02/08)

full name / name of organization: 
Cynthia Miller
contact email: 

Call for Papers
2008 Film & History Conference
“Film & Science: Fictions, Documentaries, and Beyond”
October 30-November 2, 2008
Chicago, Illinois
Second-Round Deadline: May 1, 2008

AREA: Different Bodies

The rise of the disability rights movement over the last forty years, the
emergence of disability studies in the humanities, and critical works in
the field of film and television, such as Martin F. Norden’s The Cinema
of Isolation: A History of Physical Disabilities in the Movies and
Charles A. Riley II’s Disability and the Media, suggest that body
differencesâ€"through disability, impairment, and illnessâ€"lie at the heart
of our media heritage: they appear in some of the most popular films of
early cinema, in the rhetoric of wartime propaganda, and in contemporary
narratives about our culture’s most closely held values: individualism,
self-determination, and community membership. How have different bodies
been represented in film from its earliest era? How have these
representations worked to construct American or other national or
cultural identities? How have they been used to mediate historical events
or shape civic opinion? How has the dominance of science and medicine in
American culture intersected with the representation of disability,
impairment, or illness?

This area welcomes presentations on disability, impairment, and/or
illness in film, television, or video from any era, including silent
films (The Light That Came, Orphans of the Storm), post-WWII injury
narratives (The Best Years of Our Lives, Pride of the Marines), biopics
and docudramas (The Miracle Worker, My Left Foot), public-service
television and videos (Muscular Dystrophy Telethons), public-health
initiatives and instructional films, newsreels and broadcast media,
documentaries (Nazi Medicine, Murderball), blockbuster dramas (The Three
Faces of Eve, Elephant Man), comedies (Pumpkin, Monk), fantasized
impaired or disabled bodies (Frankenstein, Edward Scissorhands),
actualities and direct cinema, international film, and disability or
impairment readings of science fiction or medical films (The Thing,

Presentations may focus on analyses of individual works, explorations of
particular oeuvres, discussions of the material or cultural circumstances
of production, or investigations of disability, impairment, or illness
history or culture in relation to film. Papers that address the
representation of science or medicine in the portrayal of different
bodies are particularly encouraged, as are those that consider films in
their historical context.

Paper topics might include cultural and historical notions of disease,
health, independence, adulthood, and citizenship, class, race, gender,
the psycho-social dynamics of charity, idealized bodies, medicalized
bodies, illness or impairment metaphors, economic and physical access to
means of production, the impact of genre expectations, the dynamics of
translation (ASL to written subtitles), wartime media and propaganda, the
promotion of science, American mythology, national identity, or other
body-related issues in film and television.

Please send your 200-word proposal by May 1, 2008, to the area chair:

Marja Mogk, Chair of Different Bodies
Department of English
California Lutheran University
60 West Olsen Road #3900
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

Panel proposals for up to four presenters are also welcome, but each
presenter must submit his or her own paper proposal. Deadline for second-
round proposals: May 1, 2008

This area, comprising multiple panels, is a part of the 2008 biennial
Film & History Conference, sponsored by The Center for the Study of Film
and History. Speakers will include founder John O’Connor and editor Peter
C. Rollins (in a ceremony to celebrate the transfer to the University of
Wisconsin Oshkosh); Wheeler Winston Dixon, author of Visions of the
Apocalypse, Disaster and Memory, and Lost in the Fifties: Recovering
Phantom Hollywood; Sidney Perkowitz, Charles Howard Candler Professor of
Physics at Emory University and author of Hollywood Science: Movies,
Science, & the End of the World; and special-effects legend Stan Winston,
our Keynote Speaker. For updates and registration information about the
upcoming meeting, see the Film & History website

 From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
             more information at
Received on Wed Oct 17 2007 - 21:14:29 EDT