CFP: [Film] Bioethics Area (5/1/08; 10/30-11/2/08)

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: Bioethics
Bioethics got its start in the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s. In that time
period, the U.S. Public Health Service Syphilis Study (1932-‘72) raised
concerns about human experimentation, eugenics, and false dichotomies in
discussions of race and gender. Also receiving ethical scrutiny were the
implications of abortion laws, nuclear proliferation and experiments, and
the Geneva Accords as a response to information gleaned on the “Nazi
doctors” during the Holocaust. These events led historians and
philosophers to realize that research, as well as practice, had emerged
as an ethical crisis in medicine, nursing, allied health, animal and
veterinary sciences, pharmaceuticals, and public health. Later, with the
development of biotechnology and the rise of global capitalism, basic
ethical concepts have been interrogated, such as personhood, traditional
virtues, health education, and the collective responsibility for health
and creative growth. The cinema of the same historical era, the latter
twentieth century, has accompanied the development of new philosophical
questions about the health sciences. Yet perhaps more importantly, even
the films of the “pre-bioethics” half of the century can be perceived as
the foundation of contemporary bioethics. Old movies have stimulated
collective emotional responses to images of desire and agency among
bodies whose health or illness is depicted. Thus, the entire century was
a dawning of thought as a relation between cinema and bioethics. In this
context, bioethics is no longer medical ethics; a current definition
entails cinematic qualities. Perhaps this would suffice: bioethics is the
collectively self-aware evolution of bodies.

The area is about the rich and pluralistic historical relation between
film and bioethics. Film, television, and/or new/digital media are
appropriate considerations. Topics might include: depiction of
physicians/practitioners, and/or researchers, in features, documentaries,
TV Series, “art” films, or genres; changes or trends in bioethical
considerations, appearing in genres over time; philosophical and/or
geopolitical aspects of bioethics and cinema, e.g. Bergsonian, Deleuzian,
neo-Kantian, phenomenological concerns; hegemonic promotion by films of
race and/or racism in practice or research; gender and sexuality as
medical(-ized) cinematic categories; poverty and wealth//health and
capital as moving images; bioethics as an intrinsically cinematic

Send a 300-word proposal by May 1, 2008, to

Dr. Connie C. Price, Chair of the Bioethics Area
Departments of Philosophy and Bioethics
44-314 Bioethics Building
Tuskegee University
Tuskegee. AL 36088 USA
Phone 334 727 8279

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

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Received on Sun Dec 09 2007 - 08:11:11 EST

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