100 Years of D.W. Griffith's Intolerance

full name / name of organization: 
Northeast Modern Language Association
contact email: 

D.W. Griffith released his epic film Intolerance in 1916 within a contemporary context of social reform, increasing immigration, perceived challenges to religious liberty, and concerns over the corruptive influence of motion pictures. Also (and especially following Birth of a Nation in 1915), Griffith's film may be read as a response to the controversies surrounding the art of the motion picture (as his essays "The Rise and Fall of Free Speech in America" and "A Plea for the Art of the Motion Picture" attest). This panel seeks to reassess Intolerance on the occasion of its centennial and consider its relevance in today's cultural / political / social climate. Topics might include (but are not limited to) the following:

Intolerance and the Social Reform Movement
Intolerance and Political / Social Engagement
Griffith's Defense of Cinema
Intolerance in the Context of Griffith's Epic Cinema
Intolerance and Griffith's Aesthetic Innovations
Griffith and Eisenstein
Griffith and Whitman
Reception and Critical Reputation
Exhibition and Censorship
Intolerance and Griffith's Religious Sentiment
Intolerance Today

The NeMLA 2016 Annual Conference will be help from March 17-20 in Hartford, CT. Abstract of 300 words are due by September 1, 2015, and should be sent to bscalia@stmarys.edu.