DRF News, Uncategorized

CFP: Rethinking Disability on Screen: A One-Day Interdisciplinary Symposium (May, 2014)

Rethinking Disability on Screen: A One-Day Interdisciplinary Symposium

Date: Thursday 14th May, 2015, 

Venue: Humanities Research Centre, University of York

Website: rethinkingdisabilityonscreen.com

Twitter: @rdos2015

*** Deadline for abstracts: 16th January 2015 ***

 Keynote speakers: Stuart Murray, Professor of Contemporary Literatures and Film and Director of the Leeds Centre for Medical Humanities and Justin Edgar, Filmmaker and Founder and Creative Director of 104 Films (www.104films.com)

Cinema’s visual interest in disability registered almost from the moment of its invention. The historical tendencies of fiction film to show disabled subjects as objects of pity or comedy, as ‘monstrous’, as ‘resentful’ or as segregated from mainstream society have been critically documented from the 1980s onwards, but more recently, a number of international films featuring disability – Les Intouchables, AmourRust and BoneThe Sessions – have enjoyed both critical and commercial success.

Alongside TV coverage of the London-hosted 2012 Paralympics on Channel 4, UK terrestrial programming has addressed disability across a range of genres, from drama (Best of Men, BBC2) through comedy-sitcom (Derek, Channel 4) and social documentary (The UndateablesBodyshock, Channel 4), to mixed receptions. Such developments call for a re-examination of representations of disability on screen and their contribution to ongoing cultural, social, economic and political debates surrounding disability. This one-day interdisciplinary symposium at the University of York aims to unite postgraduates, early career researchers, established scholars and industry practitioners working across a range of fields and disciplines – including film studies, history, literature, cultural studies, gender studies, sociology and health sciences – to explore the ways in which cinema and television have reflected, and shaped, subjective and objective experiences of impairment and disability throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

We invite contributions in the form of 20-minute papers on a range of topics and genres, encompassing both fiction and non-fiction materials, as well as analyses of disability in production and reception contexts. The event will be underpinned by a number of key critical questions:

 

 – How visible is disability throughout the history of cinema and television? In what screen contexts is disability present? When has it been occluded, marginalised or suppressed?

 – What specific forms of disability has cinema embraced? Which has it neglected or rejected?

 – To what extent have cinema and television engaged with the emotional, physical and social implications of impairment and disability?

 – What forms of spectatorship do screen representations of disability construct/ presume?

 – How have representations of disability on screen changed over time? How much progress has been made, and what further directions should this take?

 

Our aims are to facilitate constructive, interdisciplinary conversations on existing scholarship, to discuss new avenues of enquiry and to promote interest and growth in this important but relatively under-studied area.

Presentation topics could include, but are not restricted to:

– disability, sexuality and romance

– disability and exceptionality

– isolation and integration

– dependence, independence, interdependence

– disability and genre (comedy, satire, romance, melodrama, thriller, documentary  soap, reality, children’s film and TV, animation, science-fiction, period drama, medical film)

– disability and film-making (able-bodied and disabled actors, directors and producers, disability activism in the entertainment industry)

– commercials, advertising and promotional material

– spectatorship and reception

– discursive exchanges between the fields of disability studies and film studies, past, present and future.

 

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be emailed to rethinkingdisabilityonscreen@gmail.com by Friday 16th January, together with a brief biographical note (100-150 words).

 

A number of travel bursaries, primarily for postgraduate students and ECRs from the White Rose Consortium and the Northern Network for Medical Humanities (nnmh.org.uk), may be available. Details of how to apply will be announced in due course.

DRF News

CFP: “Horror (as/is) Humor, Humor (as/is) Horror: sLaughter in Popular Cinema” (edited collection)

In his review of Tavernier’s Coup de torchon, David Kehr wrote in When Movies Mattered: Reviews from a Transformative Decade,

Death, violence, and moral corruption aren’t just slapstick props … but agonizingly real presences, and their comedy isn’t a release from horror, but a confrontation with it.… [H]umor and horror exist side by side,  they play on the very thin line that separates a laugh from a scream, touching the hysteria common to both.… The best black humor makes us feel the horror. (p.186)

Scholarly collections in Humor and Horror Studies have largely conceived of them as separate genres and fields. Yet popular culture has increasingly seen a rise in the emotional and visceral confluence of humor and horror—from black comedies, dark fantasy and a renewed interest in fairy tale adaptations, to freshliterary works, graphic novels, and politics and satire.

Scholarly essays are sought for a potential collection on the nexus of humor and horror—sLaughter—in popular culture texts with a primary focus on film. Topics may include, but are clearly not limited to: Genre (e.g., parody, science / speculative fiction, thriller, dark fantasy, cyberpunk / splatterpunk, “classical” comedy / drama, post-humanism, terror/ism, apocalyptica and TEOTWAWKI); Creator / Auteur (e.g., Joss Whedon, Stephen King, Chuck Palahniuk, Mary Harron, Matt Groening, Seth McFarlane, the Soska sisters, the Coen brothers, Bret Easton Ellis, Charles Bukowski, Amy Lynn Best, David Cronenberg, Tim Burton, John Carpenter); or Theory / Theorist (e.g., structuralism, grotesquerie / freakery, transgressionism, attraction=repulsion, bodily mutilation / ablation, postmodernism, biomechanics / cyborg interfaces).

We are NOT interested in Abbot and Costello, “camp,” or anything else offering the audience a chance to be “psychologically distanced” from mortal terror—beyond the fact that they are viewing images on a screen.  Though we are interested in zombies, lycanthropy, vampirism, and that lot, we envision a much broader and more scholarly collection than the fanzone tends to produce—much scarier than Twilight, etc.—that addresses the intersection of humor/horror.  We want you to make us FEEL it, and tell us why it’s important.

If you are interested, please submit a 250 word abstract and one-page CV to both Johnson Cheu (cheu@msu.edu) and John A Dowell (jdowell@msu.edu) by 15th September 2012.