UPDATE: World War II: England (9/15/06; Film & History, 11/8/06-11/12/06)

full name / name of organization: 
Tobias Hochscherf

Call for Papers

Area: World War II: England

2006 Film & History Conference
"The Documentary Tradition"
8-12 November, 2006
Dolce Conference Center - Dallas, TX

Although British cinemas were initially closed in at the beginning of war,
Whitehall soon discovered the vital role of films in modern warfare and set
up the Ministry of Information (MoI) Films Division in order to coordinate
and supervise the use of wartime film propaganda. However, the institution,
which was rather hastily set up, was flawed and anything but a great
success. Owing to its many difficulties ranging from organizational problems
to individual incompetence, it was repeatedly criticized and even dubbed the
"Ministry of Dis-Information" and "Ministry of Muddle". Later, when it
overcame these preliminary obstacles it developed into one of Britains most
powerful tools in the war: besides newsreels and short films its
documentaries were useful for direct and immediate short-term information
and instruction. A pivotal achievement of the Films Division was, among
other things, its successful campaign against American neutrality by
influencing American view on a war they principally knew through British
eyes, as historian Nicholas John Cull argues. Moreover, British wartime
documentary filmmakers were important for spreading the concept of 'the
people's war.'

This Area, comprising multiple panels, is a part of the Film and History
League's "The Documentary Tradition" conference. It will take place at Dolce
Conference Center - Dallas, TX from 8-12 November 2006. Further details can
be found at www.filmandhistory.org. It has received queries concerning such
topics as the use of black propaganda by the MoI; enemy aliens and the
production of wartime documentaries; the use of combat footage for and
newsreel material for propaganda films; and Humphrey Jennings' A Diary for
Timothy (1945).

Additional event at the conference include, for example, a special session
of film journal editors to talk with participants about publication
opportunities and goals chaired by James Welsh, Editor (Emeritus) of the
Literature/Film Quarterly. Moreover, a plenary session will be conducted by
Betsy McLane, co-author of "A New History of Documentary Film," a major work
in the field of the genre.

Proposals, not exceeding 500 words, along with a brief biographical note
should be sent by 15 September 2006 to either Christoph Laucht, Area Chair,
University of Liverpool, School of Modern Languages (German), Modern
Languages Building, Chatham Street, Liverpool, L69 7ZR, UK. Email
Tobias Hochscherf, Area Chair, Northumbria University, Media and
Communication, School of Arts and Social Sciences, Lipman Building,
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8ST, UK. Email: tobias.hochscherf_at_unn.ac.uk.

              From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
                         Full Information at
         or write Jennifer Higginbotham: higginbj_at_english.upenn.edu
Received on Wed Aug 23 2006 - 18:06:26 EDT