Citizen Love: Flag Wavers, Flag Burners (3/1/10; 11/10-14/10)

full name / name of organization: 
Cynthia J. Miller/Film & History
contact email: 

Call for Papers
"Citizen Love: Flag Wavers, Flag Burners"
2010 Film & History Conference: Representations of Love in Film and Television
November 11-14, 2010
Hyatt Regency Milwaukee
Second Round Deadline: March 1, 2010

AREA: Citizen Love: Flag Wavers, Flag Burners

An administration repeatedly characterizes opposition to its wars as aiding and comforting the enemy." A bestseller characterizes dissent as "treason." A cable network presents a decontextualized Sixties footnote as a symbol of the radical pedigree of a presidential candidate. A vice-presidential candidate reassures her audience that they, not an unnamed, nefarious "Other," constitute the "real America." The same candidate, the election over, advises her audience to remember that loving one's country means never having to say you're sorry, or even to believe such apologies might ever be appropriate.

As these examples demonstrate, one only has to hear the pundits, listen to the sound bites, and scroll through the message boards to see that nationalism continues to structure political discourse. Notions of national identity shape individual and collective perceptions of political reality. These notions and how the various vectors of mass media mediate them tell us a great deal about the contours of popular discourse. What is culturally and political legible? What is allowable? What gets coded as "serious?" What is branded as "folly?" What is classified as "legitimate?" What is shunned as "transgressive?" What is hailed as "patriotic?" What is denounced as "treasonous?"

This area, comprising multiple panels, welcomes papers and panel proposals that examine the ways in which cinema has imagined and negotiated the idea of the nation and its relationship to and claims on the citizen. Possibilities include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

• Political activism (Steal This Movie, Running on Empty)

• The West and American identity (The Searchers, Little Big Man, Soldier Blue, Dances with Wolves)

• World War II and Conceptions of National Self (The Dirty Dozen, Saving Private Ryan)

• Cold War Cinema (My Son John, The Manchurian Candidate, Red Dawn)

• Vietnam War and/or opposition to the war (Coming Home, Born on the Fourth of July)

• Patriotism and dissent in post-9/11 films (Rendition, Team America: World Police, 300, Good Night and Good Luck)

• Nationalism and dissent in science fiction (The Day the Earth Stood Still, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Starship Troopers)

Please send your 200-word proposal by e-mail to the area chair:

Christopher Stone, Area Chair
University of Wisconsin-Manitowoc
705 Viebahn Street
Manitowoc, WI 54220
Email: (email submissions preferred)

Panel proposals for up to four presenters are also welcome, but each presenter must submit his or her own paper proposal. For updates and registration information about the upcoming meeting, see the Film & History website (