CFP: Medieval Film/TV & Documentary Tradition (8/1/06; Film & History, 11/8/06-11/12/06)

full name / name of organization:

Deadline for Proposals: 1 August 2006
The Film & History League's 2006 Film & History Conference
"The Documentary Tradition"
8-12 November 2006
Dolce Conference Center (Dallas, TX)


To many, the Middle Ages often seems a very distant part of human history,
but films and television programs set in what Kevin J. Harty has termed the
"Reel" Middle Ages make this era come alive again for viewers.
Medieval-themed film and television programming serves an especially
important role in our contemporary world, as Martha W. Driver suggests: "in
a culture that values the visual over the printed page, film keeps medieval
history and heroes alive, topical, and under discussion, sometimes heated
discussion," and the medium of film has become one of the most important
disseminators of information (right or wrong) about the medieval past.
However, because film versions of the Middle Ages are both popular and
prevalent (David John Williams goes as far to assert, "The cinematic Middle
Ages represents the way many people really think of that part of their
history"), educators are often at a disadvantage when they try to compete
with or disabuse such representations of the medieval. In effort to
highlight these qualities of medieval film, the MEDIEVAL FILMS AREA invites
proposals for papers and sessions investigating the representation of any
aspect of the Middle Ages in documentary film and educational television
programming. Proposals for round tables on any of these themes are also
welcome. (A working listing of programs and bibliography related to
medieval film and the documentary tradition will be added to the Medieval
Studies at the Movies website at <>,
while Bert Olton's The Arthurian Legends on Film and Television (McFarland,
2000) offers an overview of material devoted to the Arthurian tradition.)

Potential topics include:
Children's Educational Programming and the Middle Ages (e.g. Hysteria)
David Macaulay and the Middle Ages (e.g. Castle, Cathedral)
The Dracula Industry (Vlad Tepes versus Bram Stoker's Count Dracula)
DVD Extras on Medieval Films (do they enrich or detract from our viewing?)
Joseph Campbell and the Middle Ages (e.g. Transformations of Myth through
"Med-Evil and the Medieval" (how the presentation of the medieval in video
games has affected the representation of the Middle Ages on film)
Medieval Conspiracy Theories (e.g. the Da Vinci Code, fate of the Cathars,
Hitler and the Grail/Spear of Destiny, the Holy Grail, the Knights Templar,
Vikings in America and other pre-Columbian explorations of North America)
Medieval Docudramas
Medieval Film as Truth (e.g. King Arthur)
Medieval Films as Propaganda (e.g. A Canterbury Tale)
"Medieval Marvels" (filmic presentations of medieval technological
Medieval Mockumentaries (e.g. Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Newscasts
from the Past)
Medieval Monsters (e.g. dragons, giants)
Medieval Mysteries (e.g. fate of the Cathars, the Holy Grail, the Knights
Templar, the Shroud of Turin, the Vinland Map)
Medieval "Reality" Television (e.g. Warrior Challenge)
Medieval-Themed Material produced by Films for the Humanities and Sciences
Medieval-Themed Programming on the A&E Networks (A&E/The History Channel/The
Biography Channel)
Medieval-Themed Programming on the BBC
Medieval-Themed Programming on the Discovery Channel Networks (The Discovery
Channel/The Learning Channel/The Travel Channel)
Medieval-Themed Programming on The National Geographic Channel
Medieval-Themed Programming on Public Television
Non-Fiction Medieval Films (e.g. The Anchoress, The Sorceress)
Producing a Medieval Documentary/Non-Fiction Film
"Promoting Medieval Films" (cable documentaries and medieval feature films,
like A Knight's Tale, King Arthur, and Kingdom of Heaven)
The Pseudo-Medieval and the Documentary Tradition (e.g. Star Wars, The Lord
of the Rings, Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, etc.)
Re-Writing the Middle Ages in Historical Films
"Revenge of the Talking Heads" (reflections of contributors/participants
involved in medieval-themed documentaries)
Teaching with Medieval Film
Terry Jones and the Middle Ages (e.g. Crusades, Medieval Lives, Barbarians)
"Visualizing the Middle Ages" (what images are chosen to accompany
medieval-themed documentaries and do they represent an accurate picture of
the Middle Ages)

Please submit proposals, with abstracts of 250 to 500 words and complete
contact information, to the area chair no later than August 1, 2006.
Submissions should be addressed to the area chair at the following address:

Michael A. Torregrossa
34 Second Street
Smithfield, RI 02917-3627

Complete details about the conference can be found on the Film & History web
site at

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Received on Wed Jun 07 2006 - 10:15:07 EDT