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CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS
 
Queer Futurisms
An online symposium organized in conjunction with the Toronto Queer Film Festival
April 22nd-24th, 2022
 
Proposal deadline: December 15th, 2021.
Everyone is welcome to apply. This is a paid opportunity for all involved.

The Toronto Queer Film Festival is seeking proposals for its annual Symposium around the theme of Queer Futurisms.

Queer Futurisms seeks to explore the future possibilities of 2Spirit/Queer/Trans existence and those who dream these possibilities for all of us through their art – be it through: speculative fiction, sci-fi, automythography, documentary, biography, etc.

In alignment with the guiding principles of TQFF, we ask that submissions to this symposium prioritize the principles of decolonization. How a decolonized existence can be realized for all in the future includes Indigenous sovereignty, Black liberation, anti-racism, accessibility for all, prison abolition, and a borderless world. TQFF seeks your perspectives and experiences on how we, as individuals, and through communal efforts, can shape the future.

Submissions to Queer Futurism symposium may consider the questions: What will resistance look like in the future? How will 2Spirit/Queer/Trans people thrive in the future? What forms of kinship are guiding us into the future we want? What forms of intimacy/relationships/sex are creating new possibilities for us? What does aging look like for 2Spirit/Queer/Trans people? How does fiction create possibilities for world-building?

As ever, TQFF’s mandate remains to decolonize Queer and Trans art and media histories and practices. This symposium seeks projects with a unique perspective that frame their work in a critical, anti-oppressive, and future-bound model. We are interested in papers, workshops, roundtables, readings, performances that critically engage and reckon with and through media and the arts.

This is an artist-run festival. At TQFF, we commit to ethical treatment of artists in two concrete ways: we do not charge submission fees, and pay all those participating in the festival (whether screening, moderating, and/or speaking) fees according to IMAA & CARFAC standard rates.

The TQFF Symposium is generously funded by the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Topics for the Symposium could include, but are not limited to:

  • Current, or historical uses of speculative fiction that inspire world-building;
  • Black speculative fiction;
  • Afro-Futurism;
  • Honoring the communal care and lives of Black, Indigenous, and POC trans women, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people, who have created foundational queer movements in history;
  • Sex-worker led resistance movements;
  • HIV and AIDS activism;
  • Language reclamation;
  • Disability justice movements and accessibility;
  • Oral or written traditions, folklore, or stories;
  • Exploring and realizing AI technologies, VR, space, time travel, etc;
  • The distinct futurisms of Queer/2Spirit Indigenous people across Turtle Island, and around the world;
  • Queer and/or Indigenous histories of organizing resistance and how this continues to influence future generations;
  • Care that occurs in queer spaces and what it means to create a queer space;
  • Anti-racism/decolonization in artistic practices and/or arts organizations;
  • Envisioning the future of queer and trans resistance;
  • Solidarity & allyship both within the 2Spirit/Queer/Trans; communities and beyond;
  • New technologies/ New Media as they are explored by artists and filmmakers.
 
*A NOTE ABOUT ACADEMIC PAPER SUBMISSIONS:
To keep in line with the intentions of TQFF as an accessible and alternative creative venue for Queer people from all walks of life, we are at this time discouraging the submission of traditional academic paper presentations. Examples of this may include academic papers that utilize institutionally focused language and academic jargon and reading directly from academic-focused papers. As such, we recommend presentations that eschew the typical academic-focused reading and that, instead, actively engage with what will primarily be a non-academic audience. Utilizing creative engagement such as visuals, clips, performances, and other hybrid forms of presentations is highly encouraged. For those who wish to present research, we require that you indicate the format and content of your presentation.

FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT SUBMISSIONS:
While papers, roundtables, workshops, moderated discussions, etc. are welcome, we especially encourage more creative formats and engagements including but not limited to: arts-based research, multimedia presentations, poetry, performances, music, readings, artist talks, and other presentation formats that innovate and encourage online participation. As a symposium organized as a part of the Toronto Queer Film Festival, we are particularly interested in contributions that engage in some way with queer and trans-media and/or art practices.

We highly suggest taking a look at previous programming from our previous years when considering your submission: https://torontoqueerfilmfest.com/symposium-2021/

As a grassroots organization embedded within our communities, the Toronto Queer Film Festival encourages contributions from folks across our community – not just academics embedded within academic institutions, but also independent scholars, activists, artists, community members, and other people with lived experience that would provide valuable perspectives to discussions on global queer liberation, art, and media.

Everyone is welcome to apply.

Please submit the following information via our online form by December 15th, 2021.
  • Name
  • Affiliation (Institutional, collectives, ad-hoc groups, etc., if applicable)
  • Presentation format (i.e. paper, roundtable, workshop, creative)
  • Presentation title
  • 250-word abstract
  • The email address you can be contacted at
  • Accessibility needs

This symposium will be held online. We are particularly interested in submissions that take full advantage of the capabilities of online platforms. Individual papers and presentations should be no more than 15 minutes. Roundtables, workshops, panels, etc., should be no more than 1 hour, including an opportunity for Q&A. We will also accept submission for proposals with shorter durations (i.e. lightning talks, microsessions, Pecha Kucha, etc).

Only selected participants will be notified of their acceptance by January 31st, 2022.

 

Silly Media

The 17th Annual Graduate Student Conference, April 22-23, 2022 Department of Cinema and Media Studies, University of Chicago

“Well maybe it is stupid, but it’s also dumb!”

— Patrick Star, “The Camping Episode,” SpongeBob SquarePants (2004)

This conference takes its cue from the late Lauren Berlant in proposing “a counterpolitics of the silly object,”1 where studying popular media in the humanities entails handling silly, erratic, ephemeral, trivial, worthless, and even “disgusting” artifacts. The silly object often presents itself as being about nothing more than itself. In contrast to carnival, camp, satire, and absurdity, according to Jeffrey Weinstock, “silliness is gentler and takes on smaller targets. It plays acceptingly with the given world in ways we hadn’t realized or remembered were possible.”2 Rather than functioning as cogent or caustic social critique, it often presents itself as uncomplicated and ostensibly lacking a political dimension. In its seeming worthlessness, according to the OED, the silly is that which “provokes sympathy or compassion; that is to be pitied; unfortunate, wretched.”3 As Sara Ahmed also notes, the “etymology of silliness is striking. It comes from the word sael, originally meaning blessed, happy, or blissful. The word mutates over time; from blessed to pious, to innocent, to harmless, to pitiable, to weak and feeble. From the blessed to the feeble: we learn from the depressing nature of the genealogy of silliness.”4 Silliness thus negotiates both negative affects and “inappropriately positive affects” as its attraction inheres in its appearance of un-recuperability and “worthless happiness.”5 So, then, what does one do with something, as we have construed it here, that simply seems silly? And in trying to “do something” with silliness, is it possible to avoid recuperating it into a project of seriousness?

Not much work has taken up “silliness” as a key term. When it is taken up, however, it is often in a marginal way and simply used in place of “low taste” or the “bad object.” The “Silly Media” conference proposes a reinvestment in the aesthetics and politics of silliness and its objects. How does the silly register in and through different affects, forms, genres, modes, styles, structures, technics, etc.? What are its locations and modes of address? What contrary epistemologies and counterpolitics might emerge when we reimagine the “waste materials of everyday communication”6 as pivotal to the construction and experience of a public? The texts that constitute a “silly archive,” or “the small, the inconsequential, the antimonumental, the micro, the irrelevant,” as Jack Halberstam contends, “do not make us better people or liberate us from the culture industry, but they might offer strange and anticapitalist logics of being and acting and knowing, and they will harbor covert and overt queer worlds.”7 Similarly, Racquel Gates offers a detour from the serious objects of black visual culture. Pointing to rapper Flavor Flav and comedian Katt Williams, key “bad objects” of black popular culture typically viewed as black men “acting foolish for the pleasure of white audiences,” Gates embraces the silly counter-politics of these figures, arguing that these “negative representations serve as the repository for all of the feelings that positive images cast aside.”8 For these scholars, the “silly object” is an unstable object of cultural weight and consequence; it is the everydayness, ephemerality, and popularity of such texts that makes them worth reading.

Further embracing the silliness of all art, as Fredric Jameson does in his turn to Theodor Adorno’s “astonishing insistence on the deeper mindless silliness or ‘simplicity’ of all true art,”9 this conference asks if we must erode the possibility of the silly to engage with it. Instead of making the silly serious, can we make the serious silly? Can we embrace the possibility of failure and incoherence in our own work? This conference finally proposes that cinema and media scholars more deeply consider questions of disposition, feeling, and affect in our critical work. As scholars, we feel differently about our current position and pandemic moment: “instead of remaining serious in the face of self-doubt, ridicule, and broader ecological crisis,” as Nicole Seymour suggests, this conference hopes to embrace “the sense of our own absurdity, our uncertainty, our humor, even our perversity.”10 For is it a bad sign that defenders of the humanities become tongue-tied so quickly when non-academics ask what the humanities are, and why we should value them in crisis times? Perhaps the answers are downright silly.

Keynote Speaker: Racquel J. Gates, Associate Professor of Film at Columbia University

Potential paper topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • Silliness and/as Genre, Style, Mode, Register, or Aesthetic Category
  • Silliness and/as Affect, Minor Feelings, Negative Emotions, Inappropriately Positive Affects
  • Queer and Trans* Forms of Negativity, Failure, Anti-Productivity, Inefficiency
  • Blackness and the Popular Image, the Failed and Foolish, the Silly Objects of Afro-Pessimism
  • Children’s Media, Cuteness, Wonder, Animation, Silly Symphonies, Gross-Up Close-Ups
  • Horror Studies, Laughing and Screaming, Slashers, Shlock, Shock, Sleaze, and Trash Aesthetics
  • Comedy Studies, Silent-Era Slapstick, Zaniness, Goofiness, Cringe, Gross-Out, Stoner Humor
  • Porn Studies, Porn and Silly Registers, Only Fans and Virtual Sex Work, Fan Fiction
  • Social Media, Silly Citizenship, Tik Tok, Letterboxd, Dank Memes, Cursed Images, CreepyPasta
  • Pandemic Humor, COVID-19 Memes, Silliness in a (Post-)Pandemic, Nervous Laughter
  • Digital Aesthetics of Failure, Inefficiency, Wasted Time, Buffering, Glitch, Noise, Decay
  • Sound Studies, Sound Art, Popular Music Videos, Vaporwave, Accelerated Aesthetics
  • Art History, Fluxus Art, Silly Social Disruption, Experimental Art Performances
  • Avant-Garde Film and Cuteness, Lightness, Boredom, Slowness
  • Crip Approaches to Silliness, Crip Humor, Disabling vs Disability Humor, “Freak Shows”
  • Television Studies and Low Theory, Reality TV, Cooking Competitions, Game Shows
  • Game Studies, Fun, Play, Casual Games, Fumblecore, “Queergaming” and Inefficiency
  • Irreverence and Ecocriticism, Anti-sentimental Expressions of Environmentalism, Queer Ecology
  • Silliness and Scholarly Seriousness in the Humanities and Media Studies

Please submit an abstract (~300 words) along with a short bio (~150 words) to the organizing committee co-chairs Basil Dababneh, Avery LaFlamme, Nicolas Rueda-Sabater, and Joel Sutherland by February 1, 2022. Email submissions to sillymedia2022@gmail.com. Please include “Name + Silly Media 2022 Submission” in the subject line. Conference presentations will be 15-20 minutes. We warmly welcome non-traditional, silly modes of presentation that can embody the spirit of the conference alongside traditional academic papers. Participants will be notified by mid-March. This conference will be held entirely in person.

1. Lauren Berlant, The Queen of America Goes to Washington City (Duke UP: Durham, 1997), 12.
2. Jeffrey Weinstock, “Bubba Ho-Tep and the Seriously Silly Cult Film,” in Science Fiction Double Feature: The Science Fiction Film as Cult Text (Liverpool UP; Liverpool, 2015), 235.
3. “silly, adj. 4.”. OED online. October 2021. Oxford English Dictionary.
4. Sara Ahmed, The Promise of Happiness (Duke UP: Durham, 2010), 220.
5. Sara Ahmed, The Promise of Happiness (Duke UP: Durham, 2010), 220.
6. Lauren Berlant, The Queen of America Goes to Washington City (Duke UP: Durham, 1997), 12.
7. Jack Halberstam, The Queer Art of Failure (Duke UP: Durham, 2011), 20-21.
8. Racquel Gates, Double Negative: The Black Image and Popular Culture (Duke UP: Durham, 2018), 2.
9. Frederic Jameson, Late Marxism: Adorno, or, the Persistence of the Dialectic (Verso: London, 1990), 145.
10. Nicole Seymour, “Toward an Irreverent Ecocriticism,” Journal of Ecocriticism 4 no.2 (2012), 57.

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The following is a Call for Papers for the 24th Annual Film Studies Association of Canada Graduate Colloquium, co-hosted by the University of Toronto and York University, to take place online on 18/19 February 2022. Submission guidelines are outlined below.

(Version française ci-bas)

CFP: Altered States

Nothing exists that doesn’t have this senseless sense – common to flames, dreams, uncontrollable laughter – in those moments when consumption accelerates, beyond the desire to endure.

– Georges Bataille, The Impossible

But there is another way of going to the movies… by letting oneself be fascinated twice over, by the image and by its surroundings… ready to fetishize not the image but precisely what exceeds it>: the texture of the sound, the hall, the darkness, the obscure mass of the other bodies, the rays of light, entering the theatre, leaving the hall; in short, in order to distance, in order to ‘take off,’ I complicate a ‘relation’ by a ‘situation.’

 

The experience of an altered state requires some sort of excess, where things become too much and the line between pleasure and pain is blurred. In political terms, to alter or revolt against the state implies an excess of action and affect, towards a possible change in the order of things. Faced with the disintegration of our institutions, ongoing environmental degradation, and endemic colonial and racial violence, we risk falling into cynicism and a fatalistic acceptance of dissolution and collapse. Meanwhile, a surreal feeling pervades as the pandemic confines us to our ‘private’ spaces amidst ongoing digitization that frustrates any sense of a public/private divide. When do film and media catalyze altered states, in their many iterations? How can media that resists conventional form destabilize our perception? What does it mean to be altered by another or by an experience?

While the theme of altered states immediately invites questions of interiority and subjectivity, we welcome submissions that work through a wide range of media and methodologies, including psychoanalytic and affect theories to new media analyses of state-generated impingements. How can we realize Barthes’ evocation of the potential for cinema and media to “fascinate us twice over, by the image and by its surroundings?” Vivian Sobchack famously asks us to consider the correspondence between cinematic representation and embodied perception, naming coenaesthesia “the potential and perception of one’s whole sensorial being.” Moving beyond

representation, Scott Richmond takes up the possibility for fascination and dis/re-orientation and conceives of cinema as an aesthetic technology where the intentional object is the spectator’s body, making illusions and hallucinations central to cinema’s modulation of perception.

Scholars of gender and technology like Donna Haraway describe this increasing imbrication of subjective experience and technology under capitalism as “an imaginative resource” and a potential site for the transformative potential necessary to surmount our seeming impasse. When thinking through ways of “staying with the trouble,” Frank B. Wilderson III might suggest an improvisational imperative, so as “to stay in the hold of the ship, despite fantasies of flight.” Historically, moving image makers have navigated the use of technology for resistance and decolonization. Following Walter Benjamin, it is “only when in technology body and image so interpenetrate that all revolutionary tension becomes bodily collective innervation, and all the bodily innervations of the collective become revolutionary discharge.” Revolutionary Third Cinema manifesto authors Fernando Solanas and Octavio Getino place anti-imperialism at the “service of life itself, ahead of art; dissolve aesthetics in the life of society: only in this way, as [Frantz] Fanon said can decolonization become possible.” As Dziga Vertov urges, “WE believe that the time is at hand”!

While altered states of consciousness may initially evoke subjective experiences, these modes are deeply relational. We hope to draw upon recent approaches from Black and Indigenous studies, queer and trans studies, and other decolonial perspectives to address altered states through an intersectional lens. As such, we invite papers from film and media studies, visual studies, and other related fields. In addition to traditional conference presentations, we welcome video essays and other writerly and artistic explorations of our theme.

Keynote: Kemi Adeyemi (University of Washington)

Sample topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • Abstraction and experimentation
  • Abjection
  • Abeyance, liminality, thresholds
  • Blackness and ontology
  • Consciousness and simulation
  • Deleuzoguattarian becomings
  • Governmentality and surveillance
  • Gender and sexuality
  • (Im)possibility
  • Indigeneity and Indigenous futurisms
  • Mental health in moving images
  • Mysticism & the occult
  • Noise, (in)coherence, and sonic affect
  • Perception and hallucination
  • Relationality and entanglement
  • Revolutionary cinema
  • Substances, psychedelics, and repetitive impulses
  • Transgressing boundaries between inside and outside, self and other, subject and object

 

We welcome English and French submissions from independent scholars and graduate students worldwide. Interested parties must submit a brief abstract (300-500 words) and a bio of 50-100 words to csgraduatestudentunion@gmail.com by 17 December 2021.

Submissions should provide the following information:

  • Name
  • Level of study and name of institution (if applicable)
  • Title
  • Abstract/Bio
  • 3-5 item bibliography

 


 

La présente est un appel à contribution pour la 24e conférence annuelle des cycles supérieurs de l’Association canadienne d’études cinématographiques, co-présenté par l’Université de Toronto et l’Université York, qui se tiendra virtuellement les 18 et 19 février 2022. Les conditions de soumissions sont décrites ci-dessous.

 
Appel à contributions: États Altérés

Rien n’existe qui n’ait ce sens insensé – commun aux flammes, aux rêves, aux fous-rires – en ces moments où la consumation se précipite, au-delà du désir de durer.

– Georges Bataille, L’Impossible

Mais il est une autre manière d’aller au cinéma… en s’y laissant fasciner deux fois : par l’image et par ses entours… prêt à fétichiser, non l’image, mais précisément ce qui l’excède : le grain du son, la salle, le noir, la masse obscure des autres corps, les rais de la lumière, l’entrée, la sortie : bref, pour distancer, « décoller », je complique une relation par une « situation ».

– Roland Barthes, « En sortant du cinéma »

L’expérience d’un “état altéré” requiert une sorte d’excès où les choses deviennent trop et où la ligne entre le plaisir et la douleur devient ténue. En termes politiques, se révolter contre l’état (ou tenter de l’« altérer ») implique un excès d’action et d’affect vers un changement possible dans l’ordre des choses. Devant la désintégration de nos institutions, la dégradation continue de l’environnement, et l’endémie d’une violence coloniale et raciale, nous risquons le cynisme et l’acceptation fatale de la dissolution et de l’effondrement. Pendant ce temps, un sentiment surréel s’installe alors que la pandémie nous confine à des espaces « privés », durant une période où le numérique empêche la distinction même du public et du privé. Quand est-ce que le cinéma et les autres médias catalysent les états altérés, dans leurs différentes déclinaisons? Comment est-ce que les différents textes, dans leur résistance aux formes conventionnelles, déstabilisent notre perception? Qu’est-ce que signifie une forme d’état altéré provoquée par autrui, ou par une expérience?

Bien que le thème d’un état altéré invite immédiatement des questionnements d’intériorité et de subjectivité, nous accueillons des soumissions qui engagent un vaste éventail de médias et de méthodologies, des théories psychanalytiques et affectives aux analyses des nouveaux médias face à l’ingérence de l’état. Comment pouvons-nous réaliser le potentiel du cinéma à nous fasciner « deux fois : par l’image et par ses entours », comme l’évoque Barthes? Vivian Sobchack nous demande notoirement de considérer la correspondance entre la représentation cinématographique et la perception incarnée, nommant la coenesthésie « le potentiel et la perception de notre propre être sensoriel ». Allant au-delà de la représentation, Scott Richmond engage la possibilité de la fascination et de la dés/ré-orientation et conçoit le cinéma en tant que technologie esthétique qui a pour objet intentionnel le corps même du spectateur, faisant de l’illusion et de l’hallucination une partie intégrante de la modulation perceptive engendrée par le cinéma.

Les recherches à l’intersection du genre et de la technologie, comme les travaux de Donna Haraway, décrivent la croissante imbrication de la technologie et de l’expérience subjective sous le capitalisme en tant que « ressource imaginative », ainsi que comme un site de transformation potentiel nécessaire pour surmonter notre apparente impasse. En pensant à des façons de « vivre avec le trouble », Frank B. Wilderson III suggérerait sans doute une impérative d’improvisation, de façon à « rester dans la cale du navire, malgré les fantaisies de fuite ». Historiquement, les faiseurs d’images animées ont exploré l’utilisation de la technologie à des fins de résistance et de décolonisation. Selon Walter Benjamin, c’est seulement « lorsque le corps et l’espace d’images s’interpénétrent en elle [la collectivité] si profondément que toute tension révolutionnaire se transformera en innervation du corps collectif, toute innervation corporelle de la collectivité en décharge révolutionnaire, alors seulement la réalité sera parvenue à cet autodépassement qu’appelle le Manifeste communiste ». Les auteurs du manifeste pour un cinéma de libération dans le Tiers Monde Fernando Solanas et Octavio Getino placent l’anti-impérialisme au service de la vie même, avant l’art; il s’agit de « dissoudre l’esthétique dans la vie sociale, telle sont… les sources à partir desquelles, comme aurait dit [Frantz] Fanon, la décolonisation sera possible. » Tel que Dziga Vertov l’exhorte : « NOUS croyons que le temps est proche »!

Bien que les états de conscience altérés évoquent initialement des expériences subjectives, ces modes sont profondément relationnels. Nous espérons nous appuyer sur les approches récentes des études Noires et Autochtones, des études queer et trans, et d’autres perspectives décoloniales, de manière à adresser les états altérés sous un angle intersectionnel. Ainsi, nous invitons des contributions des études cinématographiques et médiatiques, des études en culture visuelle, et tout autre domaine qui adresse les états altérés. En plus des présentations traditionnelles, nous accueillons les essais vidéographiques et autres explorations écrites et artistiques de notre thème.

Conférencière d’honneur: Kemi Adeyemi (Université de Washington)

Les sujets peuvent inclure, mais ne sont pas limités à :

  • L’abstraction et l’expérimentation
  • L’abjection
  • La liminalité, les seuils
  • Les études noires et l’ontologie
  • Conscience et simulation
  • Les devenirs Deleuzoguattarien
  • La surveillance et la gouvernementalité
  • Genres et sexualités
  • (Im)possibilité.e.s
  • Autochtonie et futurismes autochtones
  • La santé mentale dans les images en mouvements
  • Le mysticisme et l’occulte
  • Le bruit, l’(in)cohérence et les affects soniques
  • Perception et hallucination
  • La relationalité et l’enchevêtrement
  • Le cinéma révolutionnaire
  • Substances, psychédéliques, et impulsions répétitives
  • La transgression des limites entre l’intérieur et l’extérieur, entre soi et autre, sujet et objet

Nous acceptons des soumissions francophones et anglophones de chercheurs indépendants et d’étudiants aux cycles supérieurs de partout dans le monde. Les parties intéressées doivent soumettre un bref résumé (de 300 à 500 mots), ainsi qu’une brève biographie de 50 à 100 mots à csgraduatestudentunion@gmail.com d’ici le 17 décembre 2021.

Les soumissions doivent inclure les informations suivantes :

  • Votre nom
  • Niveau de scolarité et nom de l’institution d’attache (si applicable)
  • Titre de la présentation
  • Résumé et biographie
  • Une courte bibliographie (3 à 5 titres)
 

Call for Proposals Reminder:

FOOT30: Hopeful Positions, or: Playing in Precarity

UPDATED OCTOBER 20: U of T was under censure for six months, but it has been temporarily put on hold. In November there will be a vote to formally lift the censure. We now welcome submissions from external applicants, and encourage folks to read about the censure to make their decision to submit accordingly. Should circumstances change, we will notify all applicants as soon as possible.

The upcoming 30th anniversary of FOOT (Forum of Original Theatre/Theory/Thought) Conference (Feb. 17-18, 2022), organized by graduate students at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies (CDTPS) at the University of Toronto (U of T), invites proposals for this year’s theme: Hopeful Positions, or: Playing in Precarity.

Hope is both a noun and a verb. One can have it. One can be it. One can practice it. If, as Kathleen Gallagher argues, hope is a practice rather than a state of being or possession (2015, p. 423), then Hopeful Positions asks if, when, how and performing new creative work participates in this practice. Perhaps hope is ignited by disaster, loss, uncertainty; perhaps it is precipitated by joyfulness, play, intimacy. Perhaps it ignites these conditions. Like hope, play is also a noun and a verb. Beyond its definition as a unit of theatre, play is commonly associated with freedom, fun, and games. For some, to be hopeful or playful is naïve, out of touch with reality, disillusioned; for others, it is brave, strategic, beautiful. Out of play and hopefulness come a messy performance of competing ideals around nationalism, citizenship, intimacy, aesthetics, kinship, survival.

If hope and play are practices, then Hopeful Positions asks if, when, and how performing new creative work participates in this practice. Where can a play and playing take us? What does it mean to be hopeful? Playful? What do you hope for? What are the connections between hope, play, and precarity? If institutional power does not get in the way, what do you intend for your work to do? What do we learn when things get in the way? What (or who) is in your way? How do you play with it?

We invite proposals for papers, performances, installations, workshops, panels, or other forms of presentation that explore these. Proposals might explore:

New and renewed precarities in the arts, academia, elsewhere
Impact of ‘hybrid’ modes of interaction on global communities
Performance for socio-political engagement/intervention
Performance during/after the pandemic or crisis
Personal narratives and storytelling
Devising and collective creation
Games, sports, and roleplay
Comedy, improvisation, and surprise
Performances of hope, joy, utopianism, optimism
Performativities of race, gender, class, sexuality
Indigenous sovereignty, resurgence, futurity
Climate justice and environmental crises
Hopes for the Arts and Humanities, U of T, or CDTPS
We invite proposals from U of T graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, and staff from a variety of fields in the Humanities and Social Sciences beyond Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies. These may include English and Cultural Studies, Comparative Literature, Cinema and Media Studies, Women and Gender Studies, and Education.

Our aim is for this to be a hybrid online/in-person conference. However, in the spirit of precarity, we continue to monitor the ever-changing situation and will implement a contingency plan whereby the conference may proceed fully online. Participants who select to present in-person are advised to prepare for such reorientations. The conference organizers will inform all participants of a final decision by December 15, 2021.

Please submit a proposal (max 300 words) and biography (max 200 words per participant) via our online application forms by October 30, 2021. For applicants proposing a curated panel, you will be responsible for securing your presenters; the conference organizers may assist if needed. For more information, please visit the FOOT30 website or email foot30.cdtps@gmail.com.

Please submit proposals for papers at this link
Please submit proposals for performances at this link.
Please submit proposals for curated panels at this link.

 

Call for Articles on AR and VR in Storytelling

The Writing Platform is looking to commission articles of approx 750 to 2,000 words on creating stories with augmented and virtual reality technologies. This might include the use of AR and VR in fiction and non-fiction literature, journalism, theatre, movies, and games as well as articles that explore AR and VR as tools to promote existing works or as alternatives for live social events (e.g. face-to-face meetings with authors). 

We are looking for papers that examine forms such as: AR stories in which you become one of the protagonists (e.g. Wonderscope), VR experiences in which spoken and written word plays an important role (e.g.The Chalk Room) or VR poetry and VR experiences that blend spoken poetry with dance (e.g. VR Nightsss), AR books and comics (e.g. Modern Polaxis), VR theatre and opera (e.g. The Under Presents: The Tempest), performances that blend VR with interaction between the performer and spectator (e.g. Draw Me Close), holographic theatre (e.g. Chronicle Of Light Year) and live augmented reality glasses performances (e.g. Verrat der Bilder), as well as AR and VR games (e.g. Pokémon Go! or Virtual Virtual Reality). We are also interested in articles on VR experiences that can be used for therapeutic purposes (e.g The Wayback), VR and AR documentaries (e.g. The Waiting Room), VR and AR literary adaptations (e.g. Metamorphosis VR) or VR literary archives (e.g. Digital Fiction Curios), and many more. 

We are interested in the ways in which technologies can produce new forms of storytelling and are also keen to receive articles focusing on expanding and diversifying audiences for immersive storytelling experiences as well as on the ethics of using new technologies and platforms in storytelling. 

The deadline for submission of proposals and ideas for articles has been extended to 1st November 2021. Articles will be published on The Writing Platform website late 2021/early 2022. Once your proposal is accepted we will negotiate a deadline for the full submission with you.

Your proposed article might fit into one of the following categories: 

Resource: for example, a how-to guide for practitioners about creating stories with any AR/VR tool

Research: for example, an overview of a collaborative research project on AR and VR in storytelling or an examination of the impact of using VR and AR on enhancing audience immersion 

Experience: for example, an account of a VR and AR experience that you have experienced or developed

News: for example, highlighting a new project or opportunity in the VR/AR field that our readers might not have heard of before

Projects: a case study of an especially innovative or inspiring project with impactful outcomes 

We have a small commissioning fund for freelancers (£100 per article).

To propose an article, email Agnieszka Przybyszewska (a.przybyszewska@bathspa.ac.uk) with a 100 word overview of your idea and tell us which category or categories it would best fit into. 

 
(Version française ci-bas)

Call for Applications: MITACS Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Regent Park Film Festival

Archive/Counter-Archive and The Regent Park Film Festival are pleased to announce a competition for a 1-year MITACs Accelerate Post-Doctoral Fellowship position hosted by York University and The Regent Park Film Festival.  
Archive/Counter-Archive: Activating Canada’s Moving Images Heritage is a seven-year SSHRC Partnership Grant dedicated to researching and remediating audiovisual archives created by women, Indigenous Peoples, the LGBTQ2+ community and immigrant communities. Political, resistant, and community-based, counter-archives disrupt conventional narratives and enrich our histories. The project’s research is committed to finding solutions for safekeeping Canada’s audiovisual heritage. We seek to research and remediate audiovisual heritage that is most vulnerable to disappearance and inaccessibility, fostering a community and network dedicated to creating best practices and cultural policies. 
 
The Regent Park Film Festival (RPFF) is a non-profit cultural and educational media arts organization. It is Toronto’s longest-running, free community film festival, and is the sole community film festival in Canada’s largest and oldest public housing neighbourhood. In addition to its annual festival in November, it offers year-round screenings, a School Program, workshops, and community events at no cost. RPFF is dedicated to showcasing local and international independent works relevant to people from all walks of life. The key communities it serves are Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) communities, people with low-income, people who live in public housing, and Regent Park residents. 

MITACs is a national, not-for-profit organization that builds partnerships between academia and industry. MITACs Post-Doctorial Fellowships bring academic expertise into a partner organization, working on a specific project related to your area of research. The successful candidate will be required to submit a MITACs proposal tobe expedited through the approval process with the support of the host institutions. 
 
In this opportunity the candidate will coordinate the Regent Park Film Festival’s Regent Park Made Visible Project as well as engage in visual research on the historyof the Regent Park neighbourhood and its communities. Regent Park has undergone a revitalization process, changing rapidly from a low-income to a mixed-income neighbourhood accompanied by changes to community demographics and urban geographies. The successful candidate will coordinate a digital media arts project where artists will engage with visual source material (archival footage of Regent Park as well as narrative forms set in Regent Park) to respond and create original works (short films) for digital and in-person presentation at the 20th anniversary of the Regent Park Film Festival in 2022. The candidate’s own proposed project will engage in visual research both within and outside of institutional archives and will explore themes that are pertinent to Regent Park today: gentrification, immigration and belonging, community building, racial justice, housing and income security.  

We invite applications from interdisciplinary scholars who have earned a doctorate in communications, media studies, public history, or archival and information studies and have expertise in such fields as Canadian immigration history, city studies, urban development, policy and community planning, and/or community archives. The position requires that the candidate has a familiarity with arts administration, strong skills and experience in visual archival research practices, project management skills, oral history/interview experience, online outreach/engagement experience, knowledge of various audiovisual formats, familiarity with film production and media arts resources and service providers in Toronto, and a general understanding ofcopyright clearance. Required skills include a strong understanding of anti-oppression, communication skills, managing project budgets, a collaborative working style particularly online, good time management, problem solving, organizational andrelationship management skills, and adaptability. Experience working in a community arts setting or in film festivals, and an understanding of Regent Park’s communities and context through work, study and/or lived experiences will be a strong asset. 
This Post-Doc position will include opportunities to produce publications, participate in conference presentations and directly contribute to the Regent Park Made Visible project through organizing online and in-person screenings, artist talkback panels, and writing related materialsIt is expected that the candidate will work remotely as well as divide their time between York University and the Regent Park Film Festival, and other spaces as the work dictates. 

Funding 
The MITACs Post-Doc will receive an annual salary of $45,000.00 (benefits inclusive), office space at both York University and TheRegent Park Film Festival, use of a computer and full access to York University Libraries. They will be supervised by Professor Desirée de Jesus, Department of Communication and Media Studies and will work closely with The Regent Park Film Festival staff spearheaded by Executive Director Angela Britto and Manager of Programming Aashna Thakkar. 
Please note that the MITACs Post-Doc is contingent on the selected candidate writing a successful proposal and clearing York University Research Ethics prior to the position start date. 

Applications are due Friday November 5th, 2021, at 5:00PM EST. 

Duration and Residency Requirement 
The Post-Doc position will begin in February 2022 and end January 31, 2023. The candidate will begin part-time with Regent Park Film Festival from November 29, 2021- January 31, 2022, prior to the start date of the postdoc position. Residency in Toronto is required.

How to apply 
Applicants should forward a cover letter, a brief research statement (maximum 1 page), curriculum vitae, as well as the names and email contacts of three academic references in one PDF document to Dr. Sara Macdonald, Archive/Counter Archive Project Manager at admin@counterarchive.ca

All correspondence should be addressed to:  
Professor Desirée de Jesus
c/o Dr. Sara Macdonald, Project Manager  
SSHRC Partnership Grant, Archive/Counter-Archive  
YORK UNIVERSITY | 2001F Victor Phillip Dahdaleh Building  
4700 Keele Street · Toronto ON · Canada · M3J 1P3  

York University welcomes applications from all qualified individuals, including individuals within the University’s employment equity categories of women, persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities and Indigenous persons, individuals of diverse gender and sexual orientation and all groups protected by the Human Rights Code. York University is committed to employment equity and diversity, and a positive and supportive environment. 
 
 


 

 

La bourse d’études post-doctorale MITACs au Regent Park Film Festival
Archive/Contre-Archive et le Regent Park Film Festival sont heureux de vous annoncer le concours de la bourse d’études postdoctorale MITACs Accélération d’une durée d’un an organisée par l’Université York et le Regent Park Film Festival.
 
Archive/Contre-Archive (A/CA) : Activer le Patrimoine de l’image en mouvement au Canada est une subvention de partenariat d’une durée de sept ans avec le CRSH qui se concentre sur la recherche et la remédiation d’œuvres réalisées par des femmes, des peuples autochtones, des membres de la communauté LGBTQ2+ et des communautés immigrantes. À travers une démarche politique, réfractaire et communautaire, les contre-archives bouleversent les récits conventionnels et enrichissent nos histoires. Notre recherche est engagée à trouver des solutions afin de maintenir l’héritage audiovisuel du Canada. Nous cherchons à activer et à remédiatiser l’héritage audiovisuel le plus vulnérable et sujet à la disparition et à l’inaccessibilité, ainsi qu’à promouvoir une communauté et un réseau dédié à la création des meilleures pratiques et des politiques culturelles.

Le Regent Park Film Festival (RPFF) est une organisation culturelle et éducative des arts médiatiques sans but lucratif. Il s’agit du plus ancien festival de films local gratuit de Toronto, ainsi que le plus grand et le plus ancien festival de films local situé dans un quartier de logements sociaux. En plus de son festival annuel en novembre, il offre des projections de films à l’année, un programme scolaire, des ateliers et des évènements communautaires à titre gratuit. Le RPFF se consacre à la présentation d’œuvres locales et internationales traitant de peuples provenant de parcours de vie différents. Le festival a principalement à cœur les communautés noires, autochtones, et les peuples de couleurs (BIPOC), les gens à faibles revenus, les gens vivant dans des logements sociaux, ainsi que les résidents de Regent Park.

MITACS est une organisation nationale sans buts lucratifs qui bâtit des partenariats entre le monde universitaire et l’industrie. La bourse d’études postdoctorale MITACS fusionne une expertise académique avec une organisation partenaire qui travaille sur un sujet précis en lien avec votre champ de recherche. Le ou la candidat·e choisi·e devra soumettre une proposition au MITACS qui fera l’objet d’un processus de validation avec le support des institutions organisatrices.

Dans le cadre de cette opportunité professionnelle, le ou la candidat·e coordonnera le projet Regent Park Made Visible du Regent Park Film Festival, et devra également s’engager dans des recherches visuelles sur l’histoire du quartier Regent Park et ses communautés. Suite à son procédé de revitalisation, le quartier Regent Park est passé rapidement d’un faible revenu à un revenu mixte, accompagné de changements démographiques au sein de sa communauté et de sa géographie urbaine. Le ou la candidat·e choisi·e coordonnera un projet d’art médiatique numérique dans lequel les artistes entreront en contact avec du matériel visuel (images d’archives de Regent Park, ainsi que les différentes formes narratives qui ont lieu à Regent Park) afin de réaliser des œuvres originales (courts-métrages) pour des présentations numériques et en personne lors du 20e anniversaire du Regend Park Film Festival en 2022. Le projet du ou de la candidat·e s’engagera dans la recherche visuelle à la fois à l’intérieur et à l’extérieur des archives institutionnelles et explorera différents thèmes qui sont aujourd’hui pertinents à Regent Park : l’embourgeoisement, l’immigration, les immeubles communautaires, la justice raciale, le logement et la sécurité financière.

Nous acceptons des applications provenant de spécialistes interdisciplinaires qui ont obtenu un doctorat en communication, en études médiatiques, en histoire publique ou archivistique, ainsi qu’en études de l’information et qui possède une expertise dans des champs tels que l’histoire de l’immigration canadienne, les études urbaines, le développement urbain, la planification communautaire et ses règlements, et/ou les archives communautaires. Le poste requiert que le ou la candidat·e possède une familiarité avec l’administration des arts, de fortes qualifications et de l’expérience en pratiques de recherches de l’archive visuelle, de l’expérience en gestion de projet, de l’expérience en histoire et en entrevues orales, de l’expérience en engagement et du rayonnement en ligne, de la connaissance dans divers formats audiovisuels, de la familiarité avec la production de films et des ressources médiatiques, des sociétés de services situées à Toronto, ainsi qu’une compréhension générale de l’acquittement du droit d’auteur. Les compétences requises incluent une forte compréhension de l’anti-oppression, des compétences en communication, la gérance de budgets de différents projets, la faculté à travailler de façon collaborative spécialement en ligne, une bonne gestion du temps, la résolution de problèmes, des compétences de gestion relationnelle et organisationnelle et d’adaptabilité. De l’expérience dans un environnement des arts communautaires ou dans les festivals de films, ainsi que la bonne compréhension des communautés de Regent Park, que ce soit à travers des contextes liés à des expériences qu’elles soient personnelles, ou encore liées au travail ou aux études, sont un fort atout.

Ce poste postdoctoral inclura différentes opportunités telles que des possibilités de publications, de participer à des conférences et de contribuer directement au projet Regent Park Made Visible en organisant des projections en ligne et en personne, des panels de discussions avec des artistes, ainsi que l’écriture de matériels connexes. Il est prévu que le ou la candidat·e travaillera à distance, tout en partageant son temps entre l’Université York et le Regent Park Film Festival, et d’autres espaces qui seront dictés par le travail.
 
Financement
Le ou la postdoctorant·e du MITACS recevra un salaire annuel de 45 000$ (avantages inclus), un espace de travail à l’Université York et au Regent Park Film Festival, l’accès à un ordinateur et l’accès complet aux bibliothèques de l’Université York. Iel sera supervisé·e par la professeure Désirée de Jesus, département des communications et des études médiatiques et travaillera étroitement avec l’équipe de supervision du Regent Park Film Festival, notamment avec la directrice général Angelo Britto et la directrice de la programmation, Aashna Thakkar. Veuillez noter que le poste postdoctoral du MITACS dépend de la proposition par écrit du ou de la candidat·e choisi·e et de l’acquittement des recherches éthiques de l’Université York, et ce avant le début des activités.

Les applications doivent être déposées le vendredi 5 novembre, 2021 à 17h, HE.

Durée et exigence résidentielle
Le poste postdoctoral débutera en février 2022 et se terminera le 31 janvier 2023. Le ou la candidat·e débutera à temps partiel au Regent Park Film Festival du 29 novembre 2021 au 31 janvier 2022, avant la date de début du poste postdoctoral. Une résidence à Toronto est requise.

Comment appliquer 
Les appliquants·tes doivent envoyer une lettre de présentation, un bref sommaire de recherche (maximum 1 page), un curriculum vitae, ainsi que les noms et les courriels de trois références académiques dans un document PDF au Dre. Sara Macdonald, directrice de projet à Archive/Contre Archive au admin@counterarchive.ca

Toute correspondance doit être adressée à :
Professor Desirée de Jesus
c/o Dr. Sara Macdonald, Project Manager  
SSHRC Partnership Grant, Archive/Counter-Archive  
YORK UNIVERSITY | 2001F Victor Phillip Dahdaleh Building  
4700 Keele Street · Toronto ON · Canada · M3J 1P3  

L’Université York accepte les applications de tout·e individu·e, incluant les individus·es qui répondent aux catégories d’équité de l’emploi de l’Université telle que les femmes, les personnes avec des handicaps, des membres des minorités visibles et des personnes autochtones, des individus·es de différents genres et orientations sexuelles et tous les groupes protégés par le Code des droits humains. L’Université York s’engage à l’équité de l’emploi et de la diversité, ainsi qu’à un environnement de soutien.

 

The year 2020 was not only a pandemic year, it overstretched many people specifically the frontline and essential workers. From the health professionals and caregivers in hospital wards, to the police and emergency officers, cleaners, reporters and journalists, postman that delivers mails and others. These people due to the peculiarities of their jobs had to hold the bull by its horns. For many of them, this was unprecedented and through sweats, cries, laugh and moments of giving-in and giving up, and determination, they held strongly to the fort.

Essential workers have played altruistic roles that measure up quite commendably; especially during the outbreak of the pandemic. These people even took on volunteer roles which demand some sort of compensation or outright wages, for duties carried even at the risk of losing their lives. A scholarly collection that valorizes essential workers and critique existing structures in which these workers exist is important. This is because many postcolonial governments, and state functionaries hardly see the remarkable ideals of selflessness in essential workers but rather, ignore the very core nature and circumstances that surround the tasks they fulfill in order to curtail the anxieties caused by the pandemic, saving lives and reducing the death rates, helping elderly people to go survive the health hazards, instructing potential victims about how to maintain social distancing at health centers, hospitals, clinics, isolation centers, distributing masks even at the risk of their own lives. In spite of their contributions most of them go unrewarded for their act of bravery and valor, during the period of these unsavory quagmire. In a recent article by Bouakary Sawadogo, the writer opined that, in the city of New York,

“it is estimated that there are thousands of undocumented African immigrants in New York. Undocumented immigrants in the US are ineligible for emergency assistance, such as unemployment benefits or the economic impact payments of up to $1200 per individual paid out by the federal government. Yet, these immigrants— mostly low-paid essential workers—form a key part of the labor force that kept New York City running under the stay-at-home order. Many African immigrants in particular work in “essential” occupations such as delivery workers, grocery store clerks, cab drivers, cleaners, homecare aides, health care workers, and more, without protection mechanisms such as health insurance.”

If immigrant essential workers could go through such grueling experience, from a government they claim to serve how much of the horrendous experiences, would have gone uncited or unrecorded, in the continent of Africa and indeed the third world? The collection seeks to constitute a discourse around how Covid-19 impacted on, and altered duties of essential workers, and how these workers have been mediated and remediated in the media, on screen, literature and the stage enactments and performances. Our focus shall also gesture towards alternate media such as, street drama, street performances, flash mobs, short films, features films, documentaries and so on. We seek essays that demonstrate what Boukary Sawadogo described (about the attitude, bravery and rare courage of these peculiar workers), as “emblematic of a certain resilience and adaptability”, of a different breed and a selected population of people who risked their lives at the expense of a lot of people.

This book proposes to investigate ways in which essential workers have been depicted both on stage and on screen. Essays will critically examine creative contents via different theoretical lens.

Questions that might be explored (although this list is by no means exhaustive) include:

  • What lessons can we learn from essential workers?
  • How can government be instigated to take essential-workers serious in a neo-
    colonial polity?
  • How do we see the concept of “commitment” in a time of Covid 19?
  • How can marginalized people benefit richly, and massively from the huge
    largesse in government coffers of postcolonial governments?
  • How has the media, screen, literature or stage performances and other alternate media and performances mediated the iconic resilience of frontline
    workers during a period of Covid 19?
  • How can we embrace the diversity of essential labour in film, literature,
    popular literature and culture?
  • What would be an aesthetics of labour or the dignity of labour in World Screen
    Media-within the context of essential/frontline workers?
  • How does equity and diversity distort hegemonic tendencies and attitudes in
    a dichotomized world?

The aim of the volume is first to celebrate frontline and essential workers by shining
light on their exemplary work and effort before, during and after pandemic. Also, in this volume, we want to challenge dominant narrative that exist within frontline/essential workers categorization as a way to create a dialogue around the issues of equity, representation, and labour. We invite contributions from scholars across different disciplines to engage with the ideas proposed in this call. We welcome different methodologies, from practical case studies to theoretically or empirically informed arguments to creative responses. We also welcome the inclusion of quotations in different languages (although with English translations.)

Submissions need to include:

i) An abstract of 500 words (highlighting whether it is a paired work or single authored work)
ii) Author’s biography of not more than 150 words.

Deadline for submission: 1 November, 2021

Submit to Editors: Dr. Taiwo Afolabi (Taiwo.Afolabi@uregina.ca) and Tunde Onikoyi (tundeonikoyi@gmail.com)

Please note: We will notify you by 1st December, 2021 of the outcome of your abstract. If selected, we will expect a full chapter draft of 6,000-8,000 words by March 1st 2022. Word count will include footnotes but excludes bibliography. The final decisions about articles selected to compliment the volume will depend on the quality of your paper.

Style Referencing System
Please use the APA style referencing system and UK rather than US spelling. If you quote something in an African language (which is encouraged), please make sure that you also provide an English translation.

 

In 2022, the Ryerson Image Centre will offer five fellowships for research related to photography

The Nadir Mohamed Postdoctoral Fellowship
$10,000 CAD (for candidates holding a PhD)

The Singer Family Doctoral Fellowship
$10,000 CAD (for candidates holding or working toward a PhD)

The Wendy Snyder MacNeil Research Fellowship
$2,500 CAD (for candidates holding or working toward an MA)

The Howard Tanenbaum Fellowship
$2,500 CAD (for candidates holding or working toward an MA or independent artists and scholars with equivalent experience and demonstrated interests)

The Elaine Ling Fellowship
$2,500 CAD (for candidates holding or working toward an MA)

Research fellows have the opportunity to study select areas of the RIC’s photography collections first-hand. These include the acclaimed Black Star Collection of photo-reportage, with over a quarter-million prints spanning the twentieth century; a historic and fine art photography collection; and several archives devoted to the life and work of diverse photographers, including Berenice Abbott, Wendy Snyder MacNeil, Jo Spence, and Werner Wolff.

We also offer access to the Ryerson Archives and Special Collections, which house additional important resources related to photography, including the archive of Kodak Canada.

Applications must be sent to Dr. Thierry Gervais via email c/o Alexandra Gooding at ricresearch@ryerson.ca no later than January 28, 2022 by 5:00 pm EST.

HOW TO APPLY

 

Cinephile 16.1 — Constant/Change

 

The past year has been a time of unprecedented change, but it has also led to important engagements with some long-standing ideological lived material practices. The film industry is no exception to these considerations, as media production, consumption, and criticism are constantly redefined by the evolving political, economic, social, industrial, and technological contexts in which they inhere. Some key historical shifts include, but are evidently not limited to, the advent of sound, colourized film, censorship, the Red Scare, feminist and civil rights movements, television, the multiplex, and the rise of the Internet. Some very recent radical changes include the COVID-19 pandemic and its temporary worldwide disruption of film production, distribution, and exhibition (as well as some of the unique opportunities that the pandemic presented to many independent producers and artists); global movements for social justice, which have uniquely highlighted the relationship between film production and the communities with which filmmakers engage; the meteoric rise of streaming services and social media platforms; global pop culture powers like South Korea, Japan, and Mexico increasingly influencing mainstream Western culture; and the unique existential threat of climate change, which will impact the creation of media in ways yet to be seen. With a focus on change, this issue of Cinephile hopes to interrogate the link between social and industrial development.

 

However, while it is tempting to focus exclusively on these crucial changes and shifts, film and media practices are also shaped by myriad long-standing ‘constants’ that inform their artistic, technological, and industrial components. These include studio systems, the ‘standardization’ of film form and language, the stylistic supremacy of Hollywood classical style, ongoing formal challenges posed by global New Wave cinemas, the technological obsession with creating ever-more faithful and perfect replications of reality, mainstream cinema’s elision of marginalized communities and experiences, and even the persistence of the the medium itself, despite innumerable predictions forecasting the ‘death of cinema’. While the COVID-19 pandemic prompted a major disruption to media production and distribution, the ensuing lockdown and social distancing measures also created a unique sort of stasis wherein many groups found themselves unsure of how to proceed on both the practical and philosophical levels of filmmaking. The Wall Street Journal reported that worldwide online video streaming subscriptions reached 1.1 billion while movie theatre revenues dropped by $30 billion, revealing how the pandemic exacerbated a pre-existing tension between the two exhibition models. The tension between theatrical and online exhibition practices functions not only on the level of varying economic concerns between studios and artists, but also fundamentally impacts the nature of cinema as a shared experience. 

 

This issue of Cinephile welcomes submissions that consider how new technologies, practices, and social, political, and economic contexts inform media production, scholarship, and consumption – as well as works that can account for the aforementioned and other constants in media practices. Our aim is to account for longstanding constants in a medium so heavily defined by key changes and innovations, while simultaneously exploring how these seemingly fixed constants shift and evolve as they absorb new changes.

 

Possible topics may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • The influence of technological development on film form
  • Changing approaches to race, gender, sexuality, and disability in film production and scholarship
  • Encounters between classical and experimental cinematic forms
  • The stability of classical and experimental forms across various eras of film history 
  • The impact of COVID-19 on film production, including production stoppages, new safety protocols, and “pandemic productions”
  • Non-theatrical distribution models including streaming services and pay-per-view releases. 
  • The evolution of home entertainment 
  • Globalization and media
  • The proliferation of short, online video content via TikTok, Quibi, Snapchat, etc
  • Film production and climate change

 

We encourage submissions from graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and established scholars. Papers should be between 2,000-3,500 words, follow MLA guidelines, and include a detailed works cited page, as well as a short biography of the author. Submissions should be directed toward SUBMISSIONS@CINEPHILE.CA and general inquiries toward INFO@CINEPHILE.CA.

 

Submissions are due by October 23rd, 2021.

 

ReVisions: Speculating in Literature and Film in Canada (essay collection)

Edited by Wendy Roy, University of Saskatchewan

During a global pandemic, the ways that speculative fiction, film, and television comment on the present as well as the future have become acutely evident. These genres ask readers to consider environmental, health, technological, and political events and developments in the world today, and the impacts these may have on the world of the future. They are often used by their creators to represent and speculate on key societal issues, such as relations of class, gender, and race, as well as issues of health safety, environmental destruction, and political conflict. In Canada, speculative writing has become a tool to interrogate colonial systems and histories, and to open up spaces for members of often marginalized groups, including women, Indigenous peoples, members of LGBTQ2S+ communities, and others whose lives are inflected by cultural difference. A variety of speculative worlds have achieved popularity through films and television/internet series, some of which are adapted from other genres. 

We invite submission of academic papers and creative works that explore or put into practice the re-envisioning/revision of futures and societies in or relating to Canada. What do speculative texts tell us? Which visions of “Canada” do we find in speculative texts? How do these visions reflect our own perceptions of the world? Does this kind of literary and/or visual imagination offer space for grief, resilience, and hope? Does it help us respond constructively to crises or achieve social change?  

Contributions can take a range of approaches related to speculative writing in Canada, including:  

  • Speculations on global pandemics and other health crises
  • Indigenous and decolonizing speculations
  • Environmental and/or technological changes and developments in speculative writing
  • Speculations on language and power
  • Gender and sexuality in speculative writing
  • Disability in speculative writing
  • Geographical speculations in the real or virtual world
  • Speculative writing for children
  • Speculative poetry
  • Speculation and interdisciplinarity
  • Dystopian, utopian, and anti-utopian worlds
  • Apocalyptic scenarios and post-apocalyptic futures
  • Speculations on the screen: movies, documentaries, television and internet series, video games
  • Speculative adaptations
  • Speculative creations, including short works of speculative fiction or poetry

 

Submissions should be original and previously unpublished, and should include the following:

  1. A maximum 8,000-word essay or creative work, double-spaced. (Note that expanded and revised versions of presentations at the 20/21 Vision: Speculating in Literature and Film in Canada conference in August 2021 may be part of the collection.)
  2. Academic essays should be 6,000-8,000 words, in MLA Handbook 9th edition style, with the word-count including endnotes and works cited.
  3. Your name, contact information (including mailing address, email address, and telephone number), and institutional or other affiliation.
  4. A 50-word biographical statement. 

Please e-mail your proposal in a Word document to Wendy Roy of the Department of English at the University of Saskatchewan, 2021vision@usask.ca, by February 1, 2022. Contact Dr. Roy if you have questions.