UPDATE: The Documentary Tradition (8/15/06; Film & History, 11/8/06-11/12/06)

full name / name of organization: 
Loren Baybrook
contact email: 


Call for Papers
2006 Film & History Conference
"The Documentary Tradition"
8-12 November, 2006
Dolce Conference Center – Dallas, TX
Deadline: August 15, 2006

AREA: Art of the Real

Because the documentary lies somewhere between "art" and "record," its success or failure indicates the aesthetic and topical choices a culture values. When and why do we say that one documentary--a war film, a reality TV program, a cinematic exposé on drug dealers in City Hall--is aesthetically superior to another documentary? Ever since Aristotle, literary critics have done more than determine a text's scandal quotient or political orientation. What formal, rhetorical, cinematic, or thematic choices make a documentary artful, not just true or false? On the other hand, how much "reality"--and what kinds--must a documentary program contain to resist classification as a "fiction"? If the documentary is a unique art form, like the lyric poem or the tragic drama, then its generic parameters can be defined--and violated. How can a documentary film succeed or fail as "documentary"? And have the generic standards changed over time, requiring different aesthetic criteria?

Formal analyses of fictional documentaries or historical fictions
Meta-narrative film treatments of history
Genre and aesthetics theory

Send your proposal (200-400 words) to Dr. Loren PQ Baybrook, Area Chair, Department of English, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Oshkosh, WI 54901. Phone: 920-424-2253. E-mail: baybrook_at_uwosh.edu. Panel proposals, for up to four presenters, are also welcome, but each presenter must submit his or her own paper proposal. Deadline: August 15, 2006

This Area, comprising multiple panels, is a part of the Film and History League's "The Documentary Tradition" conference for 2006. See the Film & History web site (www.filmandhistory.org) for details about the upcoming meetings and about other areas of scholarship.

Loren PQ Baybrook, Ph.D.
Department of English
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Oshkosh, WI 54901

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Received on Tue Jan 24 2006 - 18:18:05 EST