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Call For Papers: Film & History special issue on The Classical Era
Film & History: An Interdisciplinary Journal invites scholars to submit
complete articles from 3000-6000 words in length for a planned Fall 2009
publication of a special issue on the The Classical Era. Abstracts can
not be peer reviewed and therefore will not be considered. This special
edition will focus on classical antiquity, an era that can be defined as
the period beginning with Homeric poetry (circa 8th century BC) and
ending with the fall of the Roman Empire (476 AD).
Films dating back to the silent-film era have sought to depict this
foundational period of civilization, immortalized by Edgar Allan Poeâ€™s
famous words â€œthe glory that was Greece, the grandeur that was Rome!â€
Major figures from antiquityâ€”Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, Achilles,
Spartacus, Alexander, Darius, Ptolemy, Phidias, Aristotle, Attila, among
othersâ€”have been given recent treatments by Hollywood either on
television or on the big screen (e.g., HBOâ€™s "Rome" and the films Troy,
300, and Alexander).
Although Hollywood often emphasizes military history (or romance), Film &
History seeks explorations of all filmic representations of antiquity,
including genres like feature films, documentaries, and television
programs and topics such as religion, economics, race, sex, food, art,
and ritual. Successful articles will break new ground and/or intervene in
the existing discourse on Hollywoodâ€™s vision (or revision) of the history
of the classical era. Possible approaches:
1. Historical accuracy vs. aesthetic form. The nature and consequences of
accurate vs. artful representation of antiquity.
2. Social commentary, including filmic representations of race, gender,
sexuality, and otherness. For example, a discussion of Spartacus as a
racial allegory of the Sixtiesâ€™ Civil Rights movement or an analysis of
films with imperialist themes that support contemporary notions of the
current military/industrial/media complex.
3. Mythological texts as reinforcing or resisting the status quo. For
example, a discussion of possible connections between Hollywoodâ€™s timing
of the release of Alexander and/or Troy and the American agenda in the
4. Religion and treatments of real and mythological saints, sinners, and
Gods. A comparison, perhaps, of the putatively authentic physical
appearance of Jesus vs. Hollywood representations in The Greatest Story
Ever Told and The Passion of the Christ.
5. Audience receptions. Analyses of the receptions of particular films,
which could include media reviews and/or comparisons of box-office
successes (or failures) with scholarly and mainstream critiques.
6. Cinematic revisionism, such as discussions of aesthetical similarities
and differences between silent-era films and their contemporary remakes,
i.e., the two Cleopatras and or the two Ben-Hurs.
The list above is only a starting point to stimulate thoughtful
contemplations. F&H welcomes collaborative efforts between scholars in
classics and film to write in partnership about themes of mutual
Contributors to Film & History have submitted work from around the U.S.
and the world, and we expect the readership of this particular issue to
command international interest.
Deadline for submissions is 5 pm September 1, 2008. This deadline cannot
be extended for any reason. Please submit your work electronically in MLA
format to the feature editor at his email address:
Rob Prince, Feature Editor: The Classical Era
Questions about the CFP may also be addressed to the above.
Film & History is published by the Center for the Study of Film and
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Received on Sun Jun 22 2008 - 09:54:09 EDT