Call for Papers: ‘Researching Political Cinemas: A State of the Art’

deadline for submissions: 
February 16, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
International Journal of Media & Cultural Politics
contact email: 


Call for Papers: International Journal of Media & Cultural Politics


Special Issue: ‘Researching Political Cinemas: A State of the Art’


View the full call here>>




Abstract submission deadline: 16 February 2024


Notification of acceptance: 31 March 2024


Article submission deadline: 30 June 2024


Guest Editors:


Xose Prieto Souto


UC3M-Tecmerin, Spain


Jean-Paul Aubert


Université Côte d’Azur-Lirces, France


The International Journal of Media & Cultural Politics (MCP) would like to invite submissions for a special issue dedicated to a state of the art in political cinema.


The volume, edited by Guy Hennebelle and published in the journal Cinéma d'aujourd'hui (‘Cinéma militant: histoire, structures, méthodes, idéologie et esthétiques’, 5&6: March–April, 1976), marked an important stage in research about the phenomenon of political cinemas, at a time when it was still benefiting from the momentum of May 1968. This was followed by a period of relative academic disaffection with these film practices, which coincided, particularly in the western world at the end of the twentieth century, with a certain decrease in political intervention cinema and a questioning of militant practices themselves. However, interest in this field of investigation has grown considerably over the last twenty years, with a growing number of articles, doctoral theses and important books.




This development in academic research on political cinema now presents the opportunity to rethink the subfield from methodological, epistemological and historiographical perspectives, with the aim of drawing up an initial state of the art, as a necessary steppingstone that will pave the way for new research including comparative approaches and a possible mapping of political cinema on an international scale.




The term ‘political’ used in this call is intended to be broad enough to reflect a heterodoxy of practices and interests. Often referred to as militant, activist, marginal, alternative or even underground and experimental, the cinema discussed here must be considered as a tool for intervention whose existence cannot be dissociated from its political and social contexts, and which is part of collective political action. However, semantic debate and reflection on categories have their place in this issue, which will welcome with interest conceptual considerations on film practices that are related to political cinema or are close to it.


Possible article topics include:


  • The evolution of historical research in political cinemas, from modes of production to exhibition practices, with special attention to the film collectives, audience analysis and the different traditions and research trends;

  • The methodological and conceptual aspects involved in analysing film practices framed by militant practices, where the dynamic process is as important as the result itself;

  • The contemplation of enunciative and narrative strategies as elements of aesthetic tactics for films whose aims are different forms of social praxis;

  • The roles and functions of transnational networks and international solidarity in the production and distribution of political cinemas;

  • The question of the circulation of images and of the recovery and reinterpretation of political films from a diachronic perspective;

  • The links and connections between filmmakers, film practices, political

  • structures (trade unions, political parties, etc.) and movements (such as feminism, anti-colonialism, environmentalism, workers and gender struggles, among others);

  • The analysis of political cinemas in the context of a wider media landscape;

  • Technologies and formats of political cinema;

  • The challenge of access to documentary evidence (public archives, private collections, etc.) and the preservation of the films.

Submissions will be considered in a two-step fashion: first, interested authors should submit an abstract by 16 February 2024. Those authors whose abstracts are deemed appropriate for the Special Issue will be notified by 31 March 2024 and will be invited to submit a full paper by 30 June 2024. The titles and abstracts of the proposed papers may be sent to, and should include title, author(s) institutional affiliation(s) and a 300-word summary. Please state ‘Political Cinemas Special Issue’ in the subject of your email.