Film and Media Studies Association of Canada (FMSAC) Graduate Colloquium
Carleton University Film Studies Friday March 10 – Saturday March 11, 2023 (In-Person)
Call for papers: “FAMILIAR STRANGER”
Submission Deadline: February 10th, 2023
Event Date: Friday, March 9th, and Saturday, March 10th, 2023
Format: In-person at Carleton University
Presentation Length: 15-20 minutes
Contact Email: email@example.com
“You could say I have lived, metaphorically speaking, on the hinge between the colonial and post-colonial worlds; because of radically changing locations, I have belonged, in different ways, to both at different times of my life, without ever being fully of either”
(Stuart Hall, Familiar Stranger: A Life Between Two Islands, p.11)
From the ongoing injustices related to race, gender and sexuality, continued colonial violence and renewed and reinvigorated gestures towards sovereignty to the fundamental changes brought on by an increasingly digital and remote post-pandemic state of the world and mind, recent years have felt like both becoming a stranger in a familiar place with the familiar itself becoming strange. These new times we find ourselves in have indeed impacted the ways in which we gather, research, make, consume and conserve art, affecting how we see the world and ourselves in it. The state of in-betweens, or the simultaneous existence between the familiar and the strange, seems to resonate as a frame for contemplating the conditions of our milieu, which continue to affect cinema and media and their study.
The colloquium’s thematic throughline is fueled by the legacy of Stuart Hall, an undeniable force, a multi-decade-spanning, discipline-defining, and defying cultural theorist, sociologist, and political activist. Critiques of discourses of race and racism are among his most important work and remain essential tools with which to probe the resurgence of nationalist and nativist divides. His memoir, Familiar Stranger: A Life Between Two Islands, reflects on being “the last colonial subject” and offers the provoking observation of always existing in the in-betweens. One of the key dimensions of Hall’s work was his uncanny ability to put his finger on the pulse of the times, even theorizing the concept of “new times.” Hall and his contemporaries, including Raymond Williams, formed the practice of cultural studies through their attention to transience and shaping spatial and temporal reconfigurations of the now: this conference asks, how does Hall’s (and Williams’) work help us to think and rethink our times? Could in-between-ness itself be the new structure of feeling in a “proto post-pandemic era”? Objects of inquiry impacted by their work and invited for discussion in this conference include film, media, formulations of identity, migration and diaspora studies, sociology, post-structuralism, semiotics, critical race theory, feminism, Marxism, postcolonialism, gender and other interdisciplinary nodes.
Hall’s famous proposition that cultural identity is in an infinite state of production inspires cultural perspectives on the object of film. How is the in-between-ness of culture negotiated in filmic representation? How might film itself be in a state of in-betweenness? How has the production, exhibition, circulation, reception, and archiving of film and media objects struggled with in-betweens of where film can be made, seen, experienced and preserved? This conference also asks participants to consider the following questions: in what ways are we strangers in familiar places, or re-familiarizing ourselves in spaces that have become strange? How is the experience of in-betweenness rendered in filmic practices? How is cinema, too, a state of in-between-ness?
Presentations that engage with the legacies of Stuart Hall and other theorists of the Birmingham School directly are welcomed, although not required.
Sample topics may include but are not limited to:
- Gender and Queer studies
- Streaming and evolving media landscape
- Identity and representation
- Postcolonial, decolonial, anticolonial ways of thinking
- Film programming, curating, archiving
- Stuart Hall/cultural identity
- Raymond Williams/structures of feeling
- Systemic violence/legacies of violence
- Legacies of film history and historiographic film scholarship/methods
Submissions: Interested graduate students can submit a brief abstract (up to 350 words) as a PDF file in English by February 10th, 2023, to firstname.lastname@example.org
Submissions should include the following information:
- Your name
- Level and program of study
- Name of your University
- Title of your presentation
- Short bibliography (3 to 5 sources)
- 3-5 keywords in your research
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