Call for Papers - Graduate Conference on Cinema

From: Daniel Morgan (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Nov 01 2006 - 07:33:00 PST

(please distribute widely)

Animation and the Cinema

Graduate Conference on Cinema

Conference Date: Saturday March 31, 2007, University of Chicago
Keynote Address: Nicholas Sammond, University of Toronto

Deadline for Abstracts: January 1, 2007

Animation and the Cinema will be the fourth
Graduate Cinema Conference at the University of
Chicago, a one-day event that will bring together
new work being done by graduate students on
cinema history, theory, and historiography.
Animation is usually situated as a children's
genre, and while this conference will address
this historical development, it also seeks to
explore animation in its most inclusive sense of
how cinema creates and stages motion.
Scholarship on animation has focused on how
writers and filmmakers as diverse as Sergei
Eisenstein, Walter Benjamin, Siegfried Kracauer,
Abel Gance, Georges Sadoul and René Clair have
been fascinated by animation's potential to
radically refigure the human body. Additionally,
animation has had a long history of engaging with
social and political issues in ways that were
often not open to conventional filmmaking. In
this sense, it has often both challenged and
reinforced institutional structures: discourses
surrounding race, ethnicity, and sexuality, among
others, have often found a space in animation
that would have been silenced or censored in
mainstream filmmaking.

Recently, scholars such as Tom Gunning, Lev
Manovich, Esther Leslie, Joanna Bouldin and
others have used animation to reframe arguments
in classical film theory regarding cinematic
representation, as well as provide a
counter-history of the cinema that is not based
in photographic indexicality. The status of
animation in film has become a fundamental site
of investigation for scholars interested in the
role of the digital in film and in digital and
media theory. A reexamination of animation in
this regard can shed light on animation's ability
to order the world depicted in film in a
different way-one which both references the real
world and yet surpasses it, presenting a world
that we recognize as simultaneously other and the
same. In this spirit, the conference will
explore the changing status of animation in
Cinema and Media Studies. It will also seek to
address how theories of the digital impact the
study of film, in both the way film is
conceptualized as an aesthetic form and in how it
shapes the discipline.

We invite papers on a wide range of topics
pertaining to animation. These will include, but
are not limited to:

--Historical approaches to animation aesthetics,
production, exhibition and technologies
--Theories of animation (cinema as motion,
ontologies of the image, indexicality)
--"Traditional" animation (feature-length,
shorts, "children's" cinema, drawn cel animation,
--Animators: Cohl, McKay, Warner Brothers,
Fleischer, Fischinger, Whitney, Harryhausen,
Svankmajer, Belson, Disney, Pixar, Miyazaki
--Scientific uses of animation (Marey, Muybridge,
Flight Simulators, Medical Imaging)
--Special effects and the role of digital and optical technologies
--Computer animation (Film, Video Games, etc.)
--Animation and live action film
--Art/avant-garde/experimental animation
--Magic cinema (shadow plays, animation of objects, the uncanny)
--Race and stereotypes in animation
--National traditions of animation
--Propaganda and censorship in animation
--Music and animation ("Mickey Mousing", musical accompaniment, visual music)

Keynote speaker will be Nicholas Sammond, Cinema
Studies Program, University of Toronto.
Professor Sammond has recently published the book
Babes in Tomorrowland: Walt Disney and the Making
of the American Child, 1930-1960, from Duke
University Press (2005), which won the 2006
Katherine Singer Kovacs Book Award from the
Society of Cinema and Media Studies for best book
of the year in Cinema and Media Studies.
Professor Sammond has also published widely on
the topics of race, labor, and subjectivity.

The deadline for abstracts (300-400 words) is JANUARY 1, 2007.
Please e-mail all abstracts to
<email suppressed> with "Conference
Abstract" in the subject heading.

Limited financial assistance for travel may be
available for international students.

For more information, contact Julie Turnock:
<email suppressed<; or Andrew Johnston:
<email suppressed>.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.