CFP: The Migrant Archive: Studies on Migration through Film Archives

deadline for submissions: 
December 10, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
L'Atalante. Journal of Film Studies
contact email: 

We are pleased to announce the call for papers of issue 34 of /L’Atalante. Revista de Estudios Cinematográficos/ which, under the title of “*The Migrant Archive: Studies on Migration through Film Archives*”, is open to contributions. Executive Issue Editors: Josetxo Cerdán and Miguel Fernández Labayen (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid). You can find detailed information at: The period open for full article submissions between 5,000 and 7,000 words goes from November 1st to December 10th 2021. The issue will be published in July 2022 and there are no article processing costs charged to authors.We sincerely hope that this information may be of your interest. Please feel free to share this call among your contacts. Thank you in advance.
/L’Atalante. Revista de estudios cinematográficos/ <> *THE MIGRANT ARCHIVE: STUDIES ON MIGRATION THROUGH FILM ARCHIVES* **Acceptance of articles for the “Notebook” section: * November 1st to
December 10th 2021*

Historically, cinema has been associated with migration phenomena since its earliest days, when it became the first form of audiovisual entertainment to transcend boundaries and language barriers and be established as an essentially mobile medium, in terms of both production (from the first Lumière camera operators to the large waves of immigrants working in Hollywood, for example) and consumption (with large numbers of displaced peoples and exiles being among the first regular film-goers around the world, as a form of socialisation through a public event) (Allen, Gomery, 1995). In general, apart from some attention to specific cases (e.g. the massive emigration of German directors and cinematographers to Hollywood during the interwar period), it would not be until the 1990s that film studies would begin focusing on phenomena of human mobility as an essential component for understanding the history of cinema. Research in this area would be associated specifically with multiculturalism and post-colonialism, with particular importance given to studies centred on exile, diaspora and migrant experiences (Shohat, Stam, 1994, 2003; Naficy, 1999, 2001). It was no coincidence that studies like these should begin to appear around the same time as the rise to prominence of work by professional filmmakers creating filmic discourses related to their experience as migrants (or that of their families) in countries with consolidated film industries like the United Kingdom, France, Germany and the United States. Collectively these filmmakers have developed a set of concepts that are fundamental to the idea of “cinema of mobility” as a political movement, both in terms of access to representations of migrants and at the level of the potential development of alternative modes of production and distribution that can destabilise the hegemony of Hollywood and the big media corporations (Iordanova, Martin-Jones, Vidal, 2010).

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this new field of research lies in the step forward made by researchers in connecting and transferring knowledge to the social sphere. In other words, driven by the eminently social focus of the research on migrant, exile and refugee processes, at a certain point film studies dealing with cinema of mobility began advocating a critical intervention in the public space. This intervention is underpinned by the creation of a “living archive” out of sounds and images of mobility (Grossman, O’Brien, 2007) and responds to the need to compile, analyse and render visible the migration practices mediated by the cinema, understood as a socio-cultural institution and as a way of life (Biletereyst, Maltby, Meers, 2019).

In this context, the intersection between human migrations and film and audiovisual archives becomes a key element for analysing the ways in which cinema and audiovisual media have mediated the construction of identities, political conflicts and historiographic readings of different phenomena associated with human displacement and film cultures. With this in mind, recent (and not so recent) research on found footage, cinema of appropriation and “archivology” (Bonet, 1993; Baron, 2014; Russell, 2018) as historiographic, creative and narrative ways of examining migration flows constitutes one of the pivotal points for this issue of L’Atalante. Revista de estudios cinematográficos. At the same time, these aesthetic readings will be complemented in this issue by perspectives that expand and reassess the use of film archives as a cultural heritage, in terms of both exhibition and access. In the case of archives on migration, these perspectives expand on concepts and values related to the role of film libraries beyond their traditional national boundaries (Fossati, 2009; García Casado, Alberich Pascual, 2014; Andersson, Sundholm, 2019) and constitute the other main focus that this issue seeks to explore. In short, the issue will consider how different archives frame, organise and give meaning to international migrations and how we can intervene in these processes as communication researchers and scholars.

Submissions dealing with the following areas are welcome:

1. Case studies of film archives and collections related to migration.

2. Aesthetic questions and issues related to the use of archives on migration in films and creative works.

3. Methods for examining and organising the archive as a repository or database of films and materials that deal with migration, including processes of digitalisation, geolocation, or datafication of migrant archives.

4. Archives as a trigger for migrant history and memory, both through their creative use in found footage films as well as through the writing of critical historiographies that question the different national and local histories.

5. Self-archiving among migrant populations.

6. Experiences of dissemination, presentation, education, programming and curating of archives on migration.

7. De-colonial, post-colonial, racial, queer, feminist and/or ecocritical perspectives on film archives related to migration.

8. Analysis of tropes, motifs and narratives in migrant archives.

9. Studies of migrant archives as part of broader film cultures, including distribution and reception processes of those archives.

10. Research on the affects, subjectivities and institutional dynamics of migrant archives.

One aim of this issue is to open migrant archives to all kinds of transnational connections, critical historiographies and political practices that reflect and act on processes of creation, consolidation, preservation and dissemination of migration cinema. In this sense, the migrant archive is understood as a “research laboratory” (Fossati, Van Den Oever, 2016), inviting academics, creators, archivists and cultural managers to share their experiences of film collections and migration.



Allen, R. C., Gomery, D. (1995). Teoría y Práctica de la Historia del Cine. Barcelona: Paidós.

Andersson, L. G., Sundholm, J. (2019). The Cultural Practice of Immigrant Filmmaking. Minor Immigrant Cinemas in Sweden 1950-1990. Bristol, Chicago: Intellect.

Baron, J. (2014). The Archive Effect. Found Footage and the Audiovisual Experience of History. Londres, Nueva York: Routledge.

Biltereyst, D., Maltby, R., Meers, P. (eds.) (2018). The Routledge Companion to New Cinema History: Approaches and case studies. Nueva York: Routledge.

Bonet, E. (ed.) (1993). Desmontaje: Film, Vídeo / Apropiación, Reciclaje. Valencia: IVAM; MNCARS; Arteleku; Kijkhius. World Wide Video Festival & CGAI.

Fossati, G. (2009). From grain to pixel. The archival life of film in transition. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

Fossati, G., Van Den Oever, A. (eds.) (2016). Exposing the Film Apparatus. The Film Archive as a Research Laboratory. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

García-Casado, P., Alberich-Pascual, J. (2014). Origen y desarrollo de la actividad filmotecaria en España. Implementación y singularidad del mapa filmotecario español ante el nuevo contexto digital (1954-2012). Historia y Comunicación Social, 19, 279-289.

Grossman, A., O’Brien, Á. (eds.) (2007). Projecting Migration: Transcultural Documentary Practice. Londres: Wallflower.

Iordanova, D., Martin-Jones,D., Vidal, B. (2010). Cinema at the Periphery. Detroit: Wayne State University Press.

Naficy, H. (ed.) (1999). Home, Exile, Homeland. Film, Media, and the Politics of Place. Nueva York, Londres: Routledge.

Naficy, H. (2001). An accented cinema: exilic and diasporic filmmaking. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.

Rusell, C. (2018). Archiveology. Walter Benjamin and Archival Film Practices. Durham, Londres: Duke University Press.

Shohat, E., Stam, R. (1994). Unthinking Eurocentrism: Multiculturalism and the Media. Nueva York: Routledge.

Shohat, E., Stam, R.  (eds.) (2003). Multiculturalism, Postcolonialism, and Transnational Media. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

/L'Atalante. Revista de estudios cinematográficos/ accepts submissions
of unpublished essays on topics related to film theory and/or praxis
that stand out for their innovative nature. Articles should focus on
approaches to the cinematographic fact made preferably from the
perspectives of historiography or audiovisual analysis. Those texts that
approach novel objects of study with rigorous and well-evidenced
methodologies will be appreciated. Articles that take as their main
reference the processes of signification through the analysis of the
audiovisual form and/or the narratological elements specific to our
field, focusing on methodologies specifically related to the treatment
of the image will be favoured in the selection process. Although we
accept works with other methodologies that approach the filmic fact from
transversal perspectives (Cultural Studies, philological approaches,
etc.) we consider that the main interest of the journal is located on
the studies that take the specifically cinematographic expressive tools
as the main elements of discourse. Likewise, texts that are not limited
to describing, enumerating or summarizing details of the plot, but that
rigorously apply a specific and well-evidenced analysis methodology,
reaching particular and novel results, will be given priority.

Below are a few aspects to keep in mind:
·Submissions must be original and must conform to the submission
guidelines of the journal and to the standards and scientific rigour
expected of an academic publication
·Submissions will be evaluated for the originality of the topic
explored, especially if it relates to an issue not previously addressed
in the publication. Submissions dealing with topics previously addressed
in the journal may be rejected. The content of the issues published to
date can be consulted on the journal's website.
·All submissions will undergo an external peer review process that will
respect the anonymity of both authors and reviewers (double blind peer
review) in an effort to prevent any possibility of bias. In the event of
a very high number of submissions, the Editorial Board will make a prior
selection of the articles to be peer reviewed, choosing the articles
deemed the most appropriate for the issue.
·Articles (which should be between 5,000 and 7,000 words including all
sections) must be submitted via the website of the journal as .rtf, .odt
or .docx files, using the template provided for this purpose. Files
containing the author's statement (.pdf) and any images (.psd, .png,
.jpg, .tiff) must be uploaded to the website as complementary files. A
detailed version of the submission guidelines can be found at the
following link:
·The selected articles will be published in a bilingual edition (Spanish
and English).
·/L'Atalante/ does not offer any compensation for published articles.
For more information: