Literature and the Moving Image

deadline for submissions: 
April 30, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Macquarie University
contact email: 


11-13 July 2019

The Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Literature

and Camera-Stylo III (The Sydney Literature and Cinema Network)


The moving image has undergone not one, but several technological makeovers in the new century. Streaming now supplements broadcast television; in cinemas, the DCP (Digital Cinema Package) is replacing 35mm projection; and a range of mobile devices has changed viewing practices and product availability. Blu-ray / 4K formats are also narrowing the gap between home and cinema screening technologies, as video-game aesthetics lean more and more towards the ‘filmic’, with increasingly intricate narrative pathways.

Literature has always had a complex and volatile – yet also productive – relationship with the moving image. In 1948, Alexandre Astruc coined the term camera-stylo, or ‘camera-pen’, to propose that filmmaking be seen as a form of writing, a medium for thought like the essay or the novel. In the digital age, and in light of the changes outlined above, this is more applicable than ever. Television is now largely seen as a writer’s medium, and its scripted, serial dramas often referred to as the ‘new novel’. The effects of this shift are being felt in the film world, and in other moving-image media – just as fiction writers themselves have taken heed of the new possibilities opened by long-form drama. 

The Australasian Association for Literature is uniting with the Camera-Stylo group to hold a conference that explores the various ways in which the literary and the filmic meet, interact and condition one other. To that end, we welcome proposals on topics that bring together literature and the moving image (film, television, web series, video games, art installations), whether reflecting on the effects of recent technological changes, or on more classical understandings of word and image.

These may include but are not limited to:

  • Screenplay as literary / cinematic text – poetics of screenwriting
  • HBO / AMC / Netflix and the television revolution
  • Intersections of literary and cinematic modernism
  • Documentary as literary and cinematic process
  • Early cinema and writing
  • Literary and film theory
  • The video essay (as art / criticism)
  • Genre in writing and cinema
  • Literary / cinematic poetics
  • Adaptation (in all its guises)
  • Biopic and life writing
  • Authorship and / as auteurism
  • The writer in film
  • Film montage as writing

Please send abstracts of 300 words and a brief bionote to by 30 April 2019 (NB: extended deadline). Notification will be forthcoming by early May. Individual paper presentations should be 20 minutes in length to maximise time for questions and discussion. We also invite panel submissions, workshops sessions or position papers for discussion.

All venues will be equipped with a projector and computer facilities for PowerPoint presentations and film / clips.

Keynote speakers:

Prof Andrew Gibson (Royal Holloway, University of London)

Prof Paul Giles (University of Sydney)

Dr Miriam Ross (Victoria University, Wellington)


Organising committee:

A/Prof Paul Sheehan (Macquarie University)

Dr James Mackenzie (Macquarie University)

Sabina Rahman (Macquarie University)

Blythe Worthy (University of Sydney)