Beyond Boundaries: Screenwriting Across Media - Brussels, 8-9-10 Sept. 2011

full name / name of organization: 
Fourth Screenwriting Research Network International Conference
contact email: 

The Screenwriting Research Network is a research group that began in late 2006 within the Louis Le Prince Research Centre, at the Institute of Communication Studies (ICS), University of Leeds. The group grew into a real international network when it became clear that interested scholars tended to come from across the world, but were isolated. We have held conferences in Leeds (2008), in Helsinki (2009) and in Copenhagen (2010). The fourth conference will take place in Brussels (2011).
Screenwriting, the generation of ideas for screenworks and the process of development of the screen idea before production are complex collaborative creative activities. They raise questions about existing and future industrial practice, structures, and power; about cultural variation and influence (particularly from the USA); and about individual taste, judgement and habitus.
There is, however, very little research of substance into the conceptualisation of screenworks for production purposes. Research work is isolated, and has tended to be dominated by Aristotelian dramaturgy. Practice has rarely been mapped outside 'how-to' manuals; its work and its values are often assumed to be 'natural' rather than critically understood.
The international Screenwriting Research Network now consists of researchers (academics as well as practioners) interested in screenplay research. The SNR also resulted in the creation of a peer-reviewed journal, The Journal of Screenwriting and is building a meeting place and forum for researchers, and everybody interested in scenario.


Belgium's bilingual capital Brussels is historically situated on the crossroads where Germanic and Romance cultures meet. Today it has become an intercultural city and besides being the administrative capital of the European Union and hosting Nato headquarters, Brussels houses some 170 nationalities. It also has a vibrant (inter)cultural and artistic scene. We thought Brussels to be the perfect place to discuss the crossing of boundaries in cultural, metaphorical and physical senses. It encompasses trans-mediality; and the real or imagined differences between scriptwriting practitioners and theoreticians.

Confirmed keynote speakers:
• David Bordwell (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
• Steven Price (Bangor University)
• Marida di Crosta (Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3)

To be confirmed:
• Jean-Claude Carrière (scénariste)

We would like to invite submissions on (but not limited to) these topics :
• Screenwriting history research (and archiving);
• Theorizing screenwriting and the screenplay;
• Rethinking screenwriting in intercultural perspective;
• New approaches to developing the screen idea:
o Scriptwriting for interactive narratives (as games);
o Non-linguistic screenplays (video-art, comics, etc.);
o Writing for television: tv-series nowadays seem to be the avant-garde of narrative experimentation;
o Transmedial scriptwriting: coping with medium-specific features;
o Screenwriting for animation; how it differs from traditional screenwriting;
• Pedagogics of screenwriting: can it be taught? And how? Also: practice as research and how to teach screenwriting theory and practice within an academic or practice based context;
• How theory and practice of screenwriting can collaborate for better screenwriting: panel (meeting/discussion) between theoreticians and practitioners;

[Conference languages are English and French. Please indicate which language you prefer. Simultaneous translation is not provided but, abstracts, presentations and papers will be translated into the other language, depending on availability.]

Proposals for individual papers
Please provide the title and a 300-word abstract of the paper you are proposing; your name, institutional affiliation, and email address; and a brief statement (no more than 100 words) about your work and your publications.

Proposals for panels
We would like to promote panel presentations! Please provide a 700-word (maximum) description of the topic of the panel and of each panelist's contribution; the title of the panel and the titles of the individual papers; and for each participant the name, institutional affiliation, email address, and a brief statement (no more than 100 words) about the person's work and publications.

Abstracts should be sent via email to Ronald Geerts
before 14 February 2011

Conference fee: 75 Euro (coffee breaks, lunches and translations)

Conference venue: The Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) was founded in 1834, four years after the birth of Belgium. Since its creation, the ULB has kept the flame of freedom burning, has always been independent and has always defended the major issues of democracy, individual freedoms and the respect for human rights. As a wide-ranging university which is extremely active at European level, it has eight faculties, several institutes and hospitals, as well as industrial and experimental centres set up on several sites and campuses in Brussels and in Wallonia.

Conference co-ordinators: Ronald Geerts, Hugo Vercauteren and Muriel Andrin

This conference is organised by:
Université Libre de Bruxelles, Arts du spectacle, in collaboration with
Universitaire Associatie Brussel (Vrije Universiteit Brussel / Rits-Erasmushogeschool Brussel)
Associatie KULeuven (MAD-Faculty / Sint Lukas Brussel)