The Cinema of Jim Jarmusch

full name / name of organization: 
Université d'Artois, Arras, FRANCE

Call for papers

International conference in French & English

The Cinema of Jim Jarmusch

8-9 April 2015, University of Artois, Arras (Pas-de-Calais), France

Organizer : Esther Heboyan

Scientific committee :
Sylvie Blum-Reid (University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, U.S.A.), Esther Heboyan (University of Artois, Arras, France) & Céline Murillo (University Paris 13 – Sorbonne Paris City, France)

From Stranger Than Paradise (1984) to Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) Jim Jarmusch's experimental work occupies a unique place in American and international postmodern cinema.
On a permanent quest for « things that are firing [his] imagination », Jarmusch's filmography includes the documentary Year of the Horse (1997) on Neil Young and Crazy Horse, a second documentary on Iggy Pop and the Stooges (post-production 2014), one series of shorts compiled into the minimalistic Coffee and Cigarettes (2004), other shorts integrated into collective projects, as well as ten features viewed as road movies, westerns, thrillers, comedies, gangster, samurai or vampire movies but not strictly categorized as such.
Stylistically influenced by European, Japanese and North-American film directors, meticulously and enthusiastically drawing on literature, philosophy, the visual arts, cartoons, songs and music, fascinated by foreign languages and accents, cultures and landscapes, Jarmusch seeks the « blurring together of seemingly disparate elements » to yield beauty and poetry. He also subverts conventional codes and genres as in Dead Man (1995), pushing the experiment to the fringes of exhaustion as in The Limits of Control (2009).
For three decades now Jarmusch has imposed his worldview according to which anything is possible in the most mundane situations and everything or everyone is somehow a variation on sameness. Oblique comedy, contemplative narration, episodic structure, intertextuality, and cross-cultural referencing depict the human condition with restrained disenchantment or detached celebration.
The conference will provide an opportunity to highlight new insights into Jim Jarmusch's aesthetics and ethics.

Possible topics for contributions :

genres, anti-genres
plot and (un)dramatic action
story rhythm
storyline and fragmentation
storyline and repetition
storyline and visual vocabulary
incipits and closures
transitional devices
collages and dramatic tension
enigmas and ellipses
characterization, casting, performance
representation of space
representation of time
diegetic and acousmatic music
sounds and silences
dialogue, solipsism
scheme of colors, black and white
symbolism of objects
levels of abstraction
film as poem
influences, tributes
innovations and originality
humor, irony
melancholy, nostalgia
(im)moral adventures
languages and cultures
ideologies and philosophies
chance and coincidences
mystery, magic, strangeness
journeying and destination
interaction, intimacy, interconnectedness

Please submit abstracts of 200 words and short bios to Esther Heboyan by 1 September 2014. Contributors will be contacted by 30 September 2014. The international conference will result in publications through Artois Presses Université / « Cinémas » series. Papers will be peer-reviewed. The deadline for submitting the papers will be 31 May 2015.

Esther Heboyan
Associate Professor of American Literature & Cinema
Research Lab 4028 Texts and Cultures : Transcultural Studies
Université d'Artois
UFR langues, littératures et civilisations étrangères
9, rue du Temple
62030 ARRAS