Call for Area Proposals: Film & History (3/31/19; 11/13-17/19)

deadline for submissions: 
March 31, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Film & History


Designing Culture and Character: Technology in Film, Television, and New Media

2019 Film & History Conference

November 13-17

Madison Concourse Hotel and Governor’s Club

Madison, WI (USA)

IT got us to the Moon, IT killed millions in World War II. On screen, “technology” is simply information. What have filmmakers done with it? What stories have we told ourselves through our tech? How have those stories changed, even as the technology on and off screen has changed? When does a gun or a computer or a hand-stitched suit define a hero or a villain? How are plotlines or directorial styles affected not just instrumentally by period technologies but by the ideologies that underwrite them? Is the history of film essentially the history of technology?

The 2019 Film & History Conference, to be held November 13-17, at The Madison Concourse Hotel (Madison, WI, USA), invites proposals for areas (multiple panels) that examine the role of technology on and off the screen. Please send your one-page area proposal to the Director of Communications, Cindy Miller, at by March 31.

Possible Areas:

Art vs. Technology in Film, TV, and New Media

History as Technology Periodization

Artificial Intelligence: Theorizing the Self 

Geeks as Heroes, Icons, and Hi-Tech Villains

Gadgets and Gidgets: Women with Tech

Alternative Cultures: Strange Technology

Technology and the Representation of Race

Machines and Men: Re-examining Masculinity

Science vs. Technology in Film, TV, and New Media

Classy Tech: Social Stratification

Sell Phones: Individualism and Mass Markets

Pyramids and Catapults: Representing Ancient Cultures

Luddites and other Anti-Technology Cultures in Film, TV, and New Media

The Eagle Has Landed: Film and Television Before and After Armstrong

Utopian and Dystopian Tech

Machines as Monsters

Representations of Medical Technology in Film, TV, and New Media

The Technology of Character: Costume and Makeup

Queer Gear: Tech and Sexuality in Film, TV, and New Media

Toy Stories: Children and (Non-)Technological Cultures

Area Chairs are welcome to propose their own topics within the general theme. Please confer with Cindy Miller.

Our Keynote Speaker will be DEBORAH NADOOLMAN LANDIS, Founding Director and Chair of the David C. Copley Center for Costume Design, UCLA. Nominated for an Academy Award for Coming to America (1988), Professor Landis also served as Costume Designer for Michael Jackson’s landmark video Thriller (1983), for John Landis’s An American Werewolf in London (1981) and Animal House (1978), and for Steven Spielberg’sRaiders of the Lost Ark (1981),

From 2001-2007, Landis served as two-term president of the Costume Designers Guild, Local 892. She is the author of six books, including Dressed: A Century of Hollywood Costume Design (2007), FilmCraft: Costume Design (2012), Hollywood Sketchbook: A Century of Costume Illustration (2012), and the catalogue for her landmark exhibition, Hollywood Costume, which she curated at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. She is the editor-in-chief of the upcoming Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Film and Television Costume Design (2019) and is presently curating an exhibition on science and science fiction opening in 2019 at the Science Museum, London. Landis sits on the Board of the National Film Preservation Foundation and is a past Governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.