[UPDATE] Expanded Horizons: New Approaches to CinemaScope Aesthetics (SCMS 2016 Atlanta, Submit by 8/15

full name / name of organization: 
Anthony Coman, University of Florida; Sam Roggen, University of Antwerp
contact email: 


We invite your papers exploring the production history, aesthetics, and legacy of CinemaScope films. The anamorphic technology, seized upon by Twentieth Century-Fox in an effort to revitalize studio finances, presented technical and formal challenges to Hollywood's established methods of filmmaking and spurred the creativity of many filmmakers. The early CinemaScope years therefore offer a prime case for studying how a phase of technological change might have influenced the work of classical studio directors.

While CinemaScope films were popular with moviegoers, their critical reception was a mixed bag of praise and lament for the future of filmmaking. Similarly, subsequent attempts to account for the relationship between technology and aesthetics in the CinemaScope period have produced varied and at times conflicting assessments. The ongoing dialogue stretches from contemporaneous disagreements between Sight & Sound and Cahiers' critics, or between Movie's mise-en-scène criticism and the Wisconsin formalists, to the more recent reassessment of the historical and stylistic study of early American widescreen cinema, exemplified by such works as Widescreen Worldwide (edited by Sheldon Hall, Steve Neale & John Belton, 2010), Letterboxed: The Evolution of Widescreen Cinema (Harper Cossar, 2010) and Cinematic Appeals: The Experience of New Movie Technologies (edited by Ariel Rogers, 2013). To contribute to this dialogue, we invite your papers giving close consideration to CinemaScope films and filmmakers.

Topics for papers may include, but are not limited to:

  • Style analysis of specific CinemaScope films
  • Critical debates on style and meaning in CinemaScope films
  • Genre films across the shift from Academy ratio to CinemaScope widescreen
  • Influences of other aesthetic movements on CinemaScope films
  • CinemaScope's aesthetic influence on other movements in the visual arts
  • Production or studio histories related to the adoption of anamorphic widescreen technology
  • Industry reception of the CinemaScope format (e.g. professional responses from cinematographers, writers, directors, editors, executives, etc.)
  • Comparative study of the affective address and formal adaptations related to other technological innovations (sound, color, 3-D, digital, IMAX, etc.)

Please send abstracts of 250 words, along with 3-5 potential resources and a brief bio, to awcoman@ufl.edu no later than Wednesday, July 29. You can expect a reply to your submission in the first week of August.