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Panel CFP: "The Transforming Figure: New Histories of Metamorphosis in Animation" SCMS: Deadline Aug. 4, 2014
full name / name of organization:
Society for Cinema and Media Studies (Montreal, March 25-29, 2015)
In animation studies “metamorphosis” has been a versatile term designating a range of distinct, recurring, visual tropes, from “squash and stretch” effects that date at least to nineteenth-century phenakistoscopes to the fluid transformations of the Fleischers’ rotoscoped Koko the Clown to the “plasmaticness” Eisenstein celebrated in Disney cartoons. Recently animation scholarship has opened new, provocative lines of inquiry into the theory, history, aesthetics, and cultural implications of metamorphic motion. Among the notable propositions currently under discussion are the assertion that historically animation itself is a technique rooted not in a drawing’s capacity to come to life but in “the ability of an image to transform” (Tom Gunning); the aesthetic argument that animation tells “the story of the line’s revolt and independence from figuration” (Andrew Johnston); the theoretical premise that in metamorphosis figure and abstraction are not oppositional poles but provisional states on a representational and perceptual continuum (Robin Curtis); and the progressivist contention that metamorphic animation “proffers…a transformation that could be undergone by all—politically, socially” (Esther Leslie). This panel seeks to present new perspectives on these and related issues while gauging the significance of animation scholarship’s renewed interest in metamorphic motion for studies of animation, cinema, and visual culture more broadly.
Possible paper topics might include, but are not limited to:
Please forward inquiries and paper proposals, including title, summary (max. 2500 characters), list of 3-5 bibliographic sources, and a bio (max. 500 characters, to Nicholas Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org by August 4, 2014. Panelists will be notified by August 12, 2014.