[UPDATE] 3rd International Berkeley Conference on Film & Media: Serialities 1915/2015 DEADLINE APPROACHING

full name / name of organization: 
Department of Film & Media at University of California, Berkeley

We are pleased to announce that the official website for the 3rd International Berkeley Conference on Film & Media "Serialities 1915/2015" has just gone live! From now on, you may get further information about the conference at http://www.berkeleyfilmconference.com.

The conference will feature a keynote presentation by Sean O'Sullivan, Associate Professor of English at Ohio State University and scholar of the poetics of serial television. Matthew Buckley, Associate Professor of English at Rutgers, will give another keynote on the historical relationship of seriality to melodrama, and the transcultural reach of serial formats. Finally, our own Mark Sandberg, Professor of Film & Media and Scandinavian at UC Berkeley, will speak on trauma time and serial knowledge. Titles of these talks and bios are available on the website. Related screenings at the Pacific Film Archive and in our Department of Film & Media will be announced soon.

Please note that the Call for Papers will close on October 31. Proposals should include a title, an abstract of no more than 300 words, a 100 word bio and any A/V needs. Please send submissions to theconference@berkeley.edu. Notification will follow within a month.

The Call for Papers once more:

On February 26-28, the Department of Film & Media at the University of California Berkeley will host the
3rd International Berkeley Conference on Film & Media:
Serialities 1915/2015

Building on the success of the two previous silent-film conferences held at Berkeley in 2011 and 2013, the Department of Film & Media has decided to widen the scope of our biennial conference to include comparative historical inquiry.

How do we explain the emergence of film serials in silent cinema and their revival in very different forms at present? The conference will provide opportunities to reflect on the emergence of serial cultures from various angles: then and now, nationally and transnationally, across old and new media platforms. We understand seriality as any kind of repetition in difference, as when a plot continues for a much longer time than Aristotle would have permitted. Why does it flourish at particular moments? What does seriality afford? What are its causes and consequences? What are its economic foundations and stylistic forms? Are serial plots automatically also melodramas? What does serial structure do to our understanding of the totality of a work?

The dates, 1915 and 2015, are not meant as strict boundaries, but simply to signal two important "moments" when multiple forms of seriality have seemed to mark an era--one before film lengths were standardized, the other after television serials have challenged that very standard. We welcome papers that compare these eras or that explore serial production and consumption in its broadest sense in any applicable time period. Types of seriality could be non-narrative, as in the case of panoramas and serial motion studies, or narrative as in the case of the industrialization of literature in the roman-feuilletons, the adaptation of these feuilletons into film serials of the teens and twenties, radio serials, television serials, and new streaming platforms, videogames and online media. We encourage participation from a variety of disciplines, including philosophy, music, architecture, literature, art history, theater, dance and performance studies, as well as perspectives that are international and comparative.

This international, interdisciplinary conference will include plenary speeches, roundtables, concurrent panels, and a series of screenings at the Pacific Film Archive.