CFP: [Film] The Intrusion of Technology (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: The Gods Must Be Crazy â€" The Intrusion of Technology

While some film and television genres, like spy movies and thrillers,
seem ready-made to incorporate science and technology, a whole host of
others do not evoke automatic connections with science or technology. In
fact, some genres even have a certain anti-technology aspect to them.
Westerns, for example, hark back to an apparently simpler time. Any
advance in technology still seems more analog than digital in scope: the
repeating rifle, the steel plow, the Iron Horse, and barbed wire. Pirate
movies, too, through generic necessity, ignore modern innovations. Who
needs technology in a buddy movie or a chick flick?

And yet technology is often interpolated into non- or anti-technological
genres. The romance film The Shop Around the Corner (1940) is remade as
You’ve Got Mail (1998), with snail-mail replaced by email. High Noon
(1952) jumps to Jupiter in the Sean Connery remake Outland (1981). What
happens to these genres when advanced technology is introduced? How do
the new-fangled gadgets or alien settings or revolutionary paradigms
change an otherwise anti-technological genre? Conversely, in what ways
does an anti-technological genre affect how technology is used, either in
the film or in our culture?

This area investigates the interpolation or intrusion of technology into
those film genres not usually associated with gizmos, automation, robots,
or anything else “state of the art.” Presentations may focus on
individual films and/or TV programs. Genres to consider include (but are
not limited to) comedy, musicals, westerns, pirate movies, chick flicks,
romances, prison movies, and art films.

Paper topics might explore why a certain genre is not usually associated
with science and technology, how the technology pushes at the edges or
the very nature of the genre (either supporting or thwarting our
expectations), which genres seem able to incorporate technology (and
why), or other discussions focusing on the intersection (or collision) of
technology with non-technologically oriented genres.

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

Brett Westbrook, Chair of The Gods Must Be Crazy â€" The Intrusion of
Technology Area
St. Edward’s University
3001 S. Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78704

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 Sat Dec 15 2007 - 22:33:05 EST