Call for Papers: Histories of Film Theories in East Asia

The Permanent Seminar on the Histories of Film Theories will hold the first-ever conference devoted to the histories of film theory in East Asia. The Scientific Board invites proposals for 20-minute papers concerning any aspect of and period of the history of film theory in Korea, Japan, and Sinophone Asia.

HISTORIES OF FILM THEORIES IN EAST ASIA
September 27-30, 2012
Ann Arbor, MI
Coordinated by A. M. Nornes

CALL FOR PAPERS: Deadline for 200-word proposals in MS-Word: March 31, 2012
Send to amnornes@umich.edu

The history of film theory has largely been a Euro-American story. However, the Scientific Board of the Permanent Seminar recognizes that it actually has a global dimension that has yet to be adequately mapped. It plans to bring its annual conference to the University of Michigan – this will be the first, broad scholarly gathering devoted to the histories of film theory in East Asia. Our scope is broad. It encompasses classical philosophical approaches to film aesthetics (“essence”), questions of media ontology (“relationship to reality”), intermediality (“the other arts”), spectatorship and questions of perception and psychology (“individual viewers”) as well as sociological approaches to film (“society at large”).

Over the last two decades, Film Studies has matured into a dynamic field characterized by vital debates between well-defined theoretical paradigms. At the same time the field has seen a turn to history on several levels. Film theorists have increasingly become interested in the history of their own approaches to film, situating film theory within the broader histories of philosophy, psychology and other disciplines and fields that have traditionally provided key concepts and arguments to film theory. Among of the indicators for this new interest is the Permanent Seminar for the History of Film Theory, an international association of film theorists founded by Jane Gaines and Francesco Cassetti in 2008. It holds a biennial conference that alternates with smaller workshops on narrow themes.

The Michigan conference will feature a keynote speech by Aaron Gerow (Yale), panels, a special film screening with professional benshi Kataoka Ichiro, and breakaway sessions. The breakaway sessions will be devoted to two groups of scholars that are currently working on volumes of theory in translation from Chinese (eds., Jason McGrath [Minnesota] and Guo-Juin Hong [Duke]) and Japanese (eds., Aaron Gerow [Yale], Iwamoto Kenji [Waseda] and Markus Nornes [UM]) respectively; thus, the conference will provide a much needed forum for these groups to meet and discuss their book projects, which will eventually commemorate this field-changing conference.

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