The Neutral Graduate Journal - INHERITANCE

deadline for submissions: 
July 19, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
The Neutral: Graduate Journal of Cinema and Media Studies

The Neutral is a peer-reviewed media studies journal based out of the Cinema Studies Institute at the University of Toronto. The Neutral is committed to a diversity of disciplinary approaches and media objects of study. It is published online at:
 For its fourth issue, The Neutral is soliciting contributions for ‘Inheritance‘. “writing philosophy is for me finding a language in which I understand philosophy to be inherited, which means telling my autobiography in such a way as to find the conditions of that language.”Stanley Cavell, A Pitch of Philosophy “But as for me, who am I (following)?”Jacques Derrida, The Animal That I Therefore Am Inheritance is always a live concern in our work: in who and what we choose to inherit, or feel we cannot but inherit, or feel we must struggle to disinherit despite their proximity to us, or not realize we have inherited because of that proximity.Jacques Derrida put this problem at its most foundational, asking “But as for me, who am I (following)?”, tying our very sense of ourselves to those who we come after. Christina Sharpe, in her configuration of The Wake, highlights the insistence of “the past that is not past” as it “reappears, always, to rupture the present.” We live in the long afterlife of slavery and the continued re-entrenchments of colonialism, misogyny, homophobia, anti-blackness, and transphobia, which force inheritances on us while also highlighting the essential inheritances we do not have access to by way of genocide, epidemic, and crisis.  For this issue of The Neutral, we invite contributors to take up the theme of inheritance in all its myriad configurations. In doing so, participants are encouraged to consider and confront the ways that we rely on who and what came before us, and how we live out those inheritances in our work through citation, inspiration, or focus.  For inspiration in cinema studies, we may look to the work of Jane Gaines and Monica Dall’asta, which demonstrates how evoking the image of women in early cinema requires inheriting the signs and traces they left through their labour. Or we could look to Tom Gunning, who, in inheriting cinema’s “forgotten futures,” finds possibilities for imagining new futures for cinema today. Stanley Cavell configured his theory of genre precisely as a problem of inheritance, “the members of a genre share the inheritance of certain conditions, procedures and subjects and goals of composition… something I think of as bearing the responsibility of the inheritance.”  In light of this, we seek submissions that investigate both the historicity of the media we study as well as our own historical position and what it means to bear responsibility for our inheritances. What keeps us returning to and drawing from certain thinkers, certain traditions, certain films? How do we take up the inheritances of those we are indebted to? What is at stake when we make our inheritances explicit and thus bring ourselves into our work? What does it mean to be indebted to that which we want to disavow, but feel we cannot? In the simplest terms, for this issue we seek work that takes every citation seriously. How does the act of looking backward help us to look forward? Please submit completed essays between 5000-7000 words in length, including endnotes and citations as a Word document in Chicago style to with the subject line “Inheritance Submission” and with your name and affiliation included in the body of the email by July 19, 2024.