CFP: [Film] NEMLA 2009: More than Adaptation: Asking the Big Questions about Film, Narrative, and Disciplines

full name / name of organization: 
Stephen Swanson
contact email: 

More than Adaptation: Asking the Big Questions about Film, Narrative, and

40th Anniversary Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
Feb. 26-March 1, 2009
Hyatt Regency - Boston, Massachusetts

We’ve all attended the conferences with the panels on film focused on the
famous or obscure auteur, the hottest adaptation of a children’s fantasy
novel to the big screen, or the works of various national cinemas. These
are all vital areas of study that illuminate the ways that individuals,
histories, technologies, and cultures approach stories. This panel takes a
step back and asks for us, as scholars, to consider the meaning and
importance of why we study film outside of the cinematic discipline.

Film as a narrative (both fictive and non-fictive) medium presents certain
challenges and advantages to the contemporary scholar who finds themselves
pulled towards interdisciplinarity but also held to the standards of their
individual departments. Film presents a fantastic opportunity for us to
not only deal with an immensely powerful communication tool of language and
story. It also presents an arena for us to investigate the relationships
between these ideas, and it is time that we came together to begin to
articulate why and how we do so. With a debatably increase in the visual
nature of narratives in contemporary society, we must prepare and
interrogate the role of this powerful visual medium in our studies of
language, literature, and rhetoric.

Specifically, this panel seeks to raise and address questions of the
perspectives that we as scholars of modern language can bring to the study
and teaching of film and also address the ways that leaving our discipline
open to the ideas of those in the media, film, and visual aesthetics fields
provides vibrancy and challenges that strengthen and engage us. It is not
intended as a venue for papers whose primary focus on the analysis of
specific texts or individuals. I solicit papers from scholars working to
theoretically bridge and mediate between the written, spoken, and viewed
words, languages, and narrative.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

Teaching, Studying, and Enjoying Film
Film as Politics, Pedagogy, Worship, or Identity
Film and Disciplinarity
Students and Non-traditional Approaches to Teaching with or about Film
“Visual Narrative” vs./and “Film
Beyond the Blockbuster/Indy
Film and Culture
Theories of Film as Dialogue

Please include with your abstract:

Name and Affiliation
Email address
Postal address
Telephone number
A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee)

The complete Call for Papers for the 2009 Convention will be posted in June

Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA panel;
however panelists can only present one paper. Convention participants may
present a paper at a panel or seminar and also present at a creative
session or participate in a roundtable.

Please submit your 150-250 word abstract to
Deadline: September 15, 2008

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Received on Tue Jun 03 2008 - 13:58:22 EDT