Call for Papers: Cinematic Bodies

deadline for submissions: 
October 11, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Cinephile (The University of British Columbia's Film Journal)
contact email: 

The body on the screen and the body of the screen have always formed a compelling and productive pairing. From apparatus theory to production and exhibition histories, these two conceptualizations of cinematic bodies remain valuable avenues for reflecting on the use of images, their visibility, materiality, and presentation. As cinema continues to fracture and expand across our cell phones and living spaces, the screen is increasingly tangible, mobile, and ubiquitous. Like the mobile toys and popular illusions preceding modern cinema, these forms of new media present particular bodies on particular screens. The unifying darkness of the movie theatre is being replaced by a brighter multiplicity of global media objects, at once scattered and reconciled through social media, streaming platforms, and the internet in general. Even as borders and nations are re-entrenched, international connections are being forged. Though research on the body of the screen (in exhibition histories, affect theory, and tactility) and on the body on the screen (in critical theory on the making of race and gender) has proliferated in recent years, bringing the two together will produce a more nuanced consideration of how and who we are watching today.

In Cinephile 15.1, our goal is to bring these two types of bodies into conversation with one another and with ongoing discussions around each conceptualization of cinematic bodies. Our hope is to develop insights as to how bodies are being shown relative to screen technologies. As such, we invite scholarship on cinema’s multiple bodies. This includes papers on screen bodies (sites of exhibition and media histories) as well as bodies on screen (representations of race, gender, sexuality, disability) and especially research joining the two. Special preference will be given to papers discussing visual media.  

Possible topics can include (but are not limited to) any of the following: 

  • Media history and archaeology 
  • Representation of bodies on screen in terms and at the intersection of gender, race, disability, sexuality 
  • Materiality of film and the digital, in terms of the image or exhibition technology
  • Movement of bodies on screen in dance, pornography, fight sequences, mannerisms 
  • Encounters between film technology and form
  • Representation in Hollywood of celebrity, beauty, norms
  • Cross-cultural and international examinations of the body on screen
  • Alternative exhibition practices and histories
  • Relationship between body and screen, offering sensuality and/or violence 

We encourage submissions from graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and established scholars. Papers should be between 2,000-3,500 words, follow MLA guidelines, and include a detailed works cited page, as well as a short biography of the author. Submissions should be directed toward SUBMISSIONS@CINEPHILE.CA and general inquiries toward INFO@CINEPHILE.CA.

Submissions are due by October 11, 2020.

Cinephile is the University of British Columbia’s film journal, published with the continued support of the Centre for Cinema Studies. Previous issues have featured original essays by such noted scholars as Lee Edelman, Slavoj Žižek, Paul Wells, Murray Pomerance, Ivone Marguiles, Matt Hills, Barry Keith Grant, K.J. Donnelly, and Sarah Kozloff. Since 2009, the journal has adopted a blind review process and has moved to annual publication. It is available both online and in print via subscription and selected retailers.

Incoming editors: Harrison Wade and Kate Wise