Sights and Sites: Topographical Approaches to British Cinema - A Post-Graduate Study Day, 2nd April 2011, Queen Mary University

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Queen Mary, University of London

In the last two decades the notions of 'space' and 'place' have become a paramount topic within film studies, often encouraging interdisciplinary work with subjects as far-ranging as geography, anthropology and post-colonial studies. With no sign of the topographical approach losing momentum, this post-graduate study day intends to use the topic of space, in all its myriad forms, to encourage innovative discussions on British Cinema. The deliberate choice of a broad area of film studies as an entry point to consider British Cinema is intended to attract postgraduate students from a variety of specialisms, ensuring a day of intellectually vibrant and diverse presentations and dialogues. The day will be structured around four workshop sessions, with coffees, a buffet lunch and a closing wine reception.

To maximise the day's discussions participants are required to submit their papers (max 2500 words) shortly in advance of the event, in order that they can be circulated. Participants will then make a brief presentation on the day outlining their main arguments (5-10 mins). Participants are expected to prepare at least one question for each paper circulated.

Abstracts are welcomed on, but not restricted to, the following themes:

Narrative Space: filmic constructions of utopias, dystopias and heterotopias; the use of interiors and exteriors; mediating the urban and rural; journey narratives; spaces of fantasy; space and genre.

Spatialising Identity: the body in space and questions of phenomenology; gendered spaces; queer spaces; colonial and post-colonial spaces; exilic spaces; place and the notion of community and/ or belonging.

The Aesthetics of Space: the construction and use of on and off-screen space; the use of sound in creating space; questions of frames, borders and boundaries; the impact of digital technology on spatial aesthetics.

Sites of Productions and Exhibition: location shoots and the notion of a tourist gaze; situating the cinema of the so-called 'Celtic fringe' within a British Cinema context; exploring the north-south divide; the impact of new media on sites of exhibition/reception; situating British Cinema within a global context; questioning local versus world-wide appeal; audience receptions; British film festivals; British Cinema as a national/trans-national/global industry.