A Film Like No Other: Political Cinema After Cinema

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
NeMLA: Northeast Modern Language Association
contact email: 

NeMLA: Northeast Modern Language Association

52nd Annual Convention, March 11-14, 2021, Philadelphia, PA

Theme: Tradition and Innovation, Changing Worlds though the Humanities


In 1968, Jean-Luc Godard broke with the auteur cinema tradition, co-founding with Jean-Pierre Gorin the filmmaking collective Groupe Dziga Vertov and declaring his intention to no longer “make political films, but to make films politically.” With confrontational works like Le Vent d’estLuttes en Italie, and Vladimir et Rosa, these filmmakers gestured toward an egalitarian cinema that would abjure conventional notions of authorial mastery, destroy the seductive pleasures of narrative, and redefine the image at its most basic level of signification. Yet today, even after the thorough dismantling of the twentieth-century cinematic apparatus (with new means of production, distribution, and reception), so-called “political cinema” is still commonly defined as that against which Godard rebelled: thematically coherent, linear narrative drama. This panel explores the many ways in which twenty-first-century post-film technologies, means of distribution, and viewing habits have created new ways of conceiving and consuming political cinema. It will focus on works that redefine the concept altogether through novel approaches to form and authorship, as well as on new critical approaches to cinema’s political dimension. The ultimate goal here is an informed, wide-ranging examination of what cinema is or might be at this very moment in our shared political history. 


Please submit an abstract (200-500 words) for a 15-20-minute paper presentation, using NeMLA"s submission portal (https://cfplist.com/nemla/Home/login) no later than September 30, 2020 for consideration. Please indicate any A/V needs. Also remember that panelists may only present on one session of each type, according to NeMLA’s presenter policies.