CFP Time, Memory & Identity in the Images of the New Millennium (Italy)

CINEMA & HISTORY: Time, memory and identity in the images of the new millennium
26-27 November 2015

Conference convenors
Christian Uva and Vito Zagarrio

Institutional partners
University of Leeds Centre for World Cinemas (UK)
Victoria University of Wellington (NZ)
SISSCO (Società Italiana per lo Studio della Storia Contemporanea)
CPA (Centro Produzione Audiovisivi) – Università degli Studi Roma Tre
Cinema e Storia. Rivista di studi interdisciplinari (Rubbettino Editore)

Call for Papers
The 21st annual international conference of the Dipartimento Filosofia, Comunicazione e Spettacolo (formerly Dipartimento Comunicazione e Spettacolo) of Università Roma Tre will consider the relationship between cinema and history, identifying new directions and contemporary approaches in the field. This conference reprises a theme central to discussion in the 1980s, when a number of important symposia and publications in Italy responded to the translation of key French scholarship. Returning to the question of cinema and history after three decades implies the consideration of aspects and forms of knowledge absent from those earlier debates. Bringing the discussion right up to date, the aim of this conference is to employ a plurality of discourses to explore in greater depth the theme of cinema and history and to clarify a crucial relationship that has been essential to cinema since its inception.

Taking as its premise the fact that in our digital era the relationship between cinema and history is played out over a broad and complex terrain, the conference seeks to consider cinema in /hybrid /and /expanded /terms. This may require analysing cinema’s relationship with history within a broader mediatic context, taking into account – for instance – adjacent and tangential media such as television, videoart, internet and videogames. The convenors therefore warmly invite contributions that aim to problematize the relationship between cinema and history in ways not limited to the following:
• the use of cinema and history as a /method/ or lens through which to read a range of film categories beyond any historical film ‘genre’: films that, while setting their action in the present, suggest a dialectical and critical attitude towards the past, especially in order to address conceptions and perceptions of national, cultural, gender and political identity; films that are capable of addressing and affecting contemporary imaginaries and mentalities, thus becoming historical /agents/ in their own right; films that become valuable primary sources for scholars, by embodying the customs and material habits of their time; films which, though set in the present, allow us to reflect on material and everyday “microhistories” in which the story “dissolves” time and erupts into the present (Baudrillard);
• the rethinking and transcending of traditional film histories by seeing cinema and history in the light of a hybrid and global iconographic system that forces us to wonder whether we should thinking in terms distinct from the “longue durée” and allows us to avoid “textbook” slogans and stereotypes;
• history as critique, between ‘the end of history’ (Fukuyama) and its traumatic return following 9/11;
• history as /imaginary /(Ferro) and as /myth /(Rosen), but also as /atmosphere/;
• counter-factual history (“What if?”);
• history as /anti-history/: a form of projection into the past of scepticism and disillusion with present and future;
• history as /anachronistic/ configuration — for Georges Didi-Huberman a ‘heretical’ approach to image and history: while it confirms the necessity to conceive of cinema and history as part of visual culture, Didi-Huberman’s perspective stresses the intimate ‘exuberance’, ‘complexity’ and ‘overdetermination’ (/Überdeterminierung/) of images, forcing a rethinking of the cinema-history relationship within the context of the /construction of memory/;
• from ‘historical facts’ to ‘memory facts’ (Ricoeur): cinema as site of memory (both individual and/or collective); cinema as an ideal space in which to activate not the ‘time of dates’ (Bloch) but instead a dimension — often framed negatively as nostalgia (Boym) — that humanizes history and constantly reconfigures it;
• the digital imaginary between memory and history (Burgoyne);
• theoretical and practical reconsiderations of cinema through a feminist and gendered lens:  analysing the dynamics of production and reception; the interaction between Foucauldian genealogical thought and feminist theories;
• from /‘official’ history/ to /‘popular’ history/, from /engagé /to escapist cinema: the cinema-history relationship as an opportunity to reframe works that have traditionally been excluded from the analysis of cinema and history, not least because of the enduring legacy and role of /engagement /in representing the past (Landy);
• the study of the experience and reception of the historical film, in all its possible variations;
• history in audio-visual contexts: from television to videoart; history in videogames; history and photography;
• the employment and potential of digital technology and quantitative methods to serve an expanded understanding of cinema and history.

We will consider every proposal (300-500 words), with 5 keywords, 3-5 bibliographic references, and a brief biography of the proponent, sent before September 7th, 2015, by email. The selection results will be announced before September 30th. Official languages of the Conference: English, French, Italian.

Conference fees
Until 15 October 2015: 50 € (Faculty member), 30 € (Student)
From 15 October 2015 (late payment): 70 € (Faculty member), 50 € (Student)
(details of the conference website and of methods of payment will be provided in due course)

Author: Center for Intercultural Dialogue

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, the Director of the Center for Intercultural Dialogue, manages this website.

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