CFP for SCMS 2018: Consent Puzzles: Narratives and Media Debates on Sexual Consent

deadline for submissions: 
August 5, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Society of Cinema and Media Studies
contact email: 

In many ways, consent is considered a prerequisite to ethical interactions. A nonconsensual act is viewed as an affront, a violation, an oppression. As David Archard in Sexual Consent notes, the distinction between sexual consent and nonconsent marks “the difference between the permissibility and impermissibility of some practice or activity.”

Yet the notion of consent resists both simplistic definition and straightforward interpretation. “Consent is a contractual notion,” Michel Foucault states in an interview in Politics, Philosophy, Culture, and, thus, he purposefully pinpoints a core problem with consent: individuals in everyday interactions regularly obtain and give consent without explicit written or verbal contracts.

This panel at SCMS 2018 seeks to explore narrative representations of sexual consent in film and media to unravel the complexities beyond “no means no” and “yes means yes.” Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Film or media representations of sexual consent across age, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual identity, and sexual preference
  • Representations of sexual consent in films from both contemporary and past eras
  • Ambiguous representations of sexual consent
  • Censorship, controversies, and film ratings in relation to sexual consent or age of consent
  • Narratives of rape, sexual abuse, and sex trafficking
  • Media coverage or film representations of campus rapes and assaults
  • Media technologies and sexual consent
  • Depictions of sexual consent within specific genre films such as romantic comedies, children’s media, or horror
  • Issues of consent related to pornographic films and technologies
  • Depictions of sexual consent in films across cultures and regions
  • ..and so on.

Please submit a title and 250-word abstract, 3-5 bibliographic entries, and a brief biography to Michele Meek at by August 5, 2017.