CFP: [Film] Surveillance and Control

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

2008 Film & History Conference
"Film & Science: Fictions, Documentaries, and Beyond"
October 30-November 2, 2008
Chicago, Illinois
Third-Round Deadline: August 1, 2008

AREA: Surveillance and Control

In an increasingly mobile society, anonymity would seem to be a common
feature of public space, were it not for the ubiquitous presence of
surveillance technology, used as a means of controlling and monitoring
behavior. Documentary and fiction films take surveillance and invasion
of privacy as a major concern and as a minor motif, in films from 1984 to
2001: A Space Odyssey, to Total Recall, to Gattaca, to The Nanny
Diaries, to name a few. While many depictions of surveillance have been
generally negative, advocates for surveillance technology point to the
ability of British police to track down terrorists as a result of the
security cameras placed everywhere in public space in the U.K. One
wonders how long the torture at Abu Ghraib might have continued if
cameras had not recorded and exposed these actions.

The Surveillance and Control area will consider the ethical, legal,
historical, artistic, and aesthetic questions posed by the use of
surveillance and electronic control. For example, what rights should
people have to freedom from surveillance in public and private places?
How does public surveillance affect behavior? How have fictional filmic
accounts forecast or influenced the use of surveillance? How has the
threat of terrorism affected our tolerance for surveillance? What about
private uses, such as Nannycams? What effect has surveillance had on
criminal behavior? What role has it played in the behavior of law
enforcement, where illegal behavior on the part of officers may be
recorded? Has surveillance diminished our freedom and privacy, or has it
guaranteed safety and afforded greater freedom and security to vulnerable
Paper topics may include public surveillance, convenience store
videocameras, Abu Ghraib documentation of torture, British surveillance
cameras, anti-terrorism, representations of surveillance in both
documentaries and in fiction films featuring surveillance, from 2001: A
Space Odyssey to Gattaca and The Manchurian Candidate, etc. Youtube,
private detectives, Myspace and Facebook , twenty-four hour webcam sites,
utopian and dystopian films/TV programs, ethics of surveillance,
terrorism, surveillance and the law, government and institutions,
voyeurism, gender, ethnicity, race, class, etc.

Please note that all accepted papers will be considered for an anthology
on Surveillance in the 21st Century

Please send your 200-word proposal by August 1, 2008 to

Rebecca Bell-Metereau, Chair, Surveillance and Control
Director, Media Studies Minor
Texas State University
San Marcos, Texas 78666
United States
Phone: 512-665-2157

Panel proposals for up to four presenters are also welcome, but each
presenter must submit his or her own paper proposal. Deadline for third-
round proposals: August 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; and Sidney Perkowitz, Charles Howard Candler Professor
of Physics at Emory University and author of Hollywood Science: Movies,
Science, & the End of the World. For updates and registration
information about the upcoming meeting, see the Film & History website

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Received on Sun Jun 22 2008 - 09:32:41 EDT