BIG SCREENS, SMALL SCREENS:
LITERATURE/FILM ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE
CALL FOR PAPERS
10-12 OCTOBER 2013
OREAD HOTEL, THE CAMPUS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS, LAWRENCE, KS.
Abstract Deadline: June 1, 2013
"I like to watch. . ." writes David Thomson in his new book, The Big Screen. (2012). "We citizens are living with screens, even if nowadays we don't go to 'the movies'. . . ." Thomson, noted critic and historian, is the Keynote Speaker at the 2013 LFA Conference at the University of Kansas, 10-12 October 2013. His book provides the theme of this year's Conference-"Big Screens, Small Screens: Size Matters (in Adaptation)."
This year we explore the changing aspects and consequences of the many "screens"-big, small, stationary, and mobile- that dominate our visual culture. These range from the big theater screens of classical Hollywood to today's television and computer screens, mobile, hand-held screens of SmartPhones and Ipads, interactive video games, and the still frames of comic books and graphic novels. Moreover, we are no longer stationary viewers and readers positioned in public theaters and domestic armchairs; we consume our cinematic and literary texts on the move, in cars, office spaces, shopping malls, and airplanes. Consumption, perception, and comprehension of these texts are affected. As a result, the whole nature and practice of "adaptation" is changing.
In addition to traditional adaptation studies topics, other suggested subjects for conference presentations include:
How have the convenience, variety, and ubiquity of digital technologies affected the distribution and consumption of classic literary texts?
What literary texts have best lent themselves to a variety of channels of dissemination? How do newer and less conventional texts-such as comic books and video games-lend themselves to adaptation?
How does the mobility of smart phones and ipads affect patterns of consumption?
What consequences do the interactive potentials of video games have on classic literary texts?
How do fan editors at their home computers adapt and "author" their own adaptations of pre-existing cinematic texts?
And the question that hovers above it all: What does it mean these days "To watch. . . ."
In addition to David Thomson's Keynote presentation, there will be special panels, roundtables, and workshops, including demonstrations on fan-editing and a new panel on "Poetry on Film."
Please send your 200-word abstracts or inquiries to the co-organizers by June 1, 2013.
John C. Tibbetts: tibbetts [at] ku [dot] edu
Cynthia J. Miller: cynthia_miller [at] emerson [dot] edu.
The conference host site is the new Oread Hotel, a attractive multi-service facility located at 1200 Oread Avenue, conveniently situated on northern edge of the campus of the University of Kansas, just a few steps from the campus Student Union. All conference activities and dining facilities are under one roof. If you wish to explore Lawrence, the Oread is just minutes away from downtown. The conference has secured a block of discounted rooms. Additional information can be obtained from firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone number: 785-843-1200.
Shakespeare and the Soundtrack
Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK, has been awarded funds for the support of PhD studentships in certain strategic priority areas. Funding has been awarded to the School of English for the international studentship described here.
Supervisors: Professor Mark Thornton Burnett (School of English); Dr Ramona Wray (School of English)
Project: Shakespeare and the Soundtrack
Shakespeare on film is often seen as a primarily verbal or visual phenomenon; by contrast, this project argues that the filmic representations of the likes of Lawrence Olivier, Orson Welles and Kenneth Branagh are enhanced, complicated and finessed by the ways in which the soundtrack stands in for, or translates, the Shakespearean word. The role of music in Shakespeare film takes multiple forms, including lush refrains, action genre pop scores, classically-inspired requiems, and romantic themes, but a common denominator is the synecdoche-like place of musical motifs with reference to language. Tracing the means whereby music operates, the study investigates points of connection between multiple acoustic levels, placing together examples that disclose unexpected comparative possibilities. For example, in addition to exploring some familiar Anglophone instances – among them, Hamlet, Othello and King Lear – the project enfolds discussion of less well-known films from China, Japan and India, such as The Banquet, an adaptation of Hamlet, An Okinawan Night’s Dream (an adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and Yellamma, an adaptation of Macbeth. Here, the focus is on how particular forms of instrumentation – indigenous styles of strings, percussion and woodwind – work not only to mediate Shakespearean rhetoric but also to place it in alternative cultural registers that are aurally apprehended. Essentially, then, a comparative study, ‘Shakespeare and the Soundtrack’ allows methodologies that have previously operated only in narrow national and educational contexts to cross-fertilize, elaborating models of intertextual dialogue and demonstrating how creative modes of words and music offer valuable lessons for our own and media responsive global age.
Qualifications: Candidates with a range of different combinations of knowledge and skill may be considered. For those whose primary background is in literature, the equivalent of Grade 7 Theory in Music might be helpful, but other evidence of musical understanding might be acceptable. For those whose primary background is in Music, some relevant literary modules at university level, or equivalent evidence of knowledge, would be helpful.
Eligibility: International / non-EU students (students from China, Japan, India, Australia, Canada and the US, for example)
Closing date for applications: 2 March 2012
The recent earthquakes in Chile, Christchurch and Japan have left a host of powerful images in the minds and memories of millions of people around the world. Film has always played a crucial role in the imagination of disaster. From its earliest days, cinema has registered the impact of seismic events. The aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake is recorded on film. In New Zealand, footage from the Napier earthquake of 1931 shows the destruction of the town. Hollywood even recast New Zealand in Green Dolphin Street (Saville, 1947) as the fictional setting for a special effects mega-quake and tsunami.
An earthquake is also a conceptual event of telluric proportions. An emergent seismic consciousness, reflected in a number of contemporary films from Iran, Chile, Haiti, Japan, Greece, Turkey, Italy, Korea, the USA and New Zealand, has shaken to the core those solid and secure political, economic, ethical and ontological categories which ground the project of modernity in its current globalised form. Perhaps the spate of earthquakes in 2010-11 can serve a similar function for our present geopolitical formation as the famous Lisbon earthquake of 1755 held for the age of Enlightenment.
The earthquake indicates a fissure, a rupture that forces us to reconsider our established notions of film history and criticism. Faultlines, by definition, are located on the edges of tectonic plates.Film history and theory too must confront the tectonic shift in focus away from the centre (Europe, North America) toward the periphery (the Southern Cone, the Pacific Rim, China, Central Asia and the Caucasus, the Mediterrean Basin and North Africa).
Papers are invited which address any of the following issues:
fictional and non-fictional representation of earthquakes in film
narrative form, genre and the cinematic image
archival footage and digital witnessing (digital camera, phone, youtube, facebook etc)
social memory and history
modernity, film and ruins
heritage, home, exile
mourning, trauma and survival
disaster as media spectacle
alternative forms of film and media production, distribution and exhibition
racial, ethnic and indigenous experience of natural disaster
urban planning and renewal
disaster capitalism and compassion fatigue
local and national politics
international solidarity and community activism
banality, catastrophe and everyday life
the temporality of crisis, the event and emergency
Please submit an abstract of 250 words by March 15, 2012, along with a short biography, to email@example.com
This book will be published by Intellect Press.