Totalitarianism in Literature and Film

deadline for submissions: 
May 30, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
University of Economics and Humanities, Bielsko-Biala, Poland

Totalitarianism & other radical ideologies as social phenomena have always been a scourge of societies big and small. The present time demands from academics and intellectuals to engage in a detailed analysis of what happens in the rhetoric of radical approaches, and in the deconstruction of its influence on the content and form in which it is delivered.

 On the other side of the spectrum of films embracing totalitarian ideologies, anti-totalitarian films involve thematic and aesthetic negotiation on many levels. Due to many forms of censorship imposed on both content and form, film authors have engaged in a play of alternative languages, the language of fairy tales, grotesque, Aesopian allusions, and many other formal elaborations. We invite film scholars, sociologists, philosophers, and scholars of other disciplines to participate in an open debate on representations of historical phenomena in totalitarian films, and the way they are expressed in literary texts and films big and small.

The conference takes place between 1-3 October, 2022 in Bielsko-Biala, Poland, in a hybrid format. We will conduct it both at the University of Economics and Humanities in Bielsko-Biala and online.

Please submit your conference proposal in maximum 300 words to:

Prof. Janina Falkowska,

by MAY 30, 2022.


Keynote speakers are to be announced. The website will be posted soon.

If the weather and pandemic permit it, we warmly invite you to a beautiful town of Bielsko-Biala in Beskidy mountains. This town of long history, with gorgeous mountain views, is situated only eighty kilometres from Krakow, the famous salt mines in Wieliczka and other fabulous sightseeing wonders. For those of you who are interested in important areas of modern history, the infamous Auschwitz camp nearby is a must.

These are some suggested topics, but we invite any creative contribution on the subject:

A.         General

1.         History and theory of totalitarianism

2.         Freedom movements that tend to become totalitarian

3.         Totalitarian practices presented as ‘revolutionary’ ideas

4.         Contemporary forms of social censorships

5.         Uses/place of technology in censorship by totalitarian regimes


B.         Totalitarianism in literature and film

 1.        Totalitarian film in history

2.         Comedy in totalitarianism

3.         Universal features of a totalitarian film

4.         Film propaganda in totalitarianism


C.         Anti-totalitarian practices in literature and film

 5.         Texts and contexts

6.         Content and its intricacies

7.         Complex anti-aesthetics

8.         Allusion and grotesque


Any other academic presentations related to the main subject are also invited.