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January 2014, Week 3


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Cynthia Miller <[log in to unmask]>
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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 16 Jan 2014 18:27:17 +0000
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**Call for Area Chairs**

Golden Ages: Styles and Personalities, Genres and Histories

The Madison Concourse Hotel and Governor’s Club

Madison, WI (USA)

October 29-November 2, 2014

Do we see the “golden ages” of the moving-image arts with skepticism or admiration? They certainly represent success, often rightly: in production style and screen presence, in formal structure and historical significance. But what attitudes—from directors and stars to audiences and critics—define that success? A certain kind of screwball comedy triumphed in the ‘30s; a certain kind of film noir, in the ‘40s. Screen and television personalities, along with directorial styles and critical approaches, rose and fell alongside these genres, which themselves were pushed and pulled by complex historical forces, like the entrance of sound and the descent into world war. But few “ages” were homogenous. Consider Vertov against Eisenstein, Welles against Wise, Lynch against Spielberg. So how and why do we ascribe success to a style, a person, or a period? Popularity? Inventiveness? Classicism?

Just as pressing, what periods or styles or characters await rediscovery and redefinition? Are there secret Golden Ages, buried under misunderstanding or lurking in the shadows of the many celebrated ages of film history, from the Silent Era to the Studio Era to the rise and fall of network TV? What do Golden Ages tell us about the cultures or values that languished because of them—or because of how we define what is “golden”? Similarly, can an industry or genre or period have more than one Golden Age, perhaps in competition? And what might an “Iron Age” look like—for actors, directors, critics? Can everything be “golden”?

Film & History seeks proposals for AREAS of multiple panels, each of which will explore a unique concept of “Golden Ages” across a wide variety of production systems (Hollywood, independent film, network and cable television), genres (animation, science fiction, noir, comedy, reality television), individuals (producers, filmmakers, stars, production personnel), and venues (movie palaces, drive-in theaters, private residences). How do these “golden” eras help us think about the cultural and historical values of styles and genres in film and television, and how have these eras influenced the futures of stars, studios, productions, and critical reception?

Prospective area chairs are encouraged to craft their own unique areas, but here are some AREA examples:


The Documentary


The Historical Epic

Independent Film

Television Drama

The Situation Comedy

African-American Film

The Studio System

The Movie Star


Children's Television



Reality TV

The Music Video

Film Noir

War Films

Other areas, already assigned and in progress, may be found on our website.

The 2014 Film & History Conference will be held at The Madison Concourse Hotel (in the heart of downtown Madison, WI, next to the historic Capitol), October 29 - November 2, 2014. F&H attendees will receive discounted room rates for this premier hotel. Air travel may be arranged conveniently to Madison, Milwaukee, or Chicago.

Deadline for Proposals from Area Chairs (organizers of multiple panels): March 1, 2014. Upon acceptance, Area Chairs will issue their CFPs (Calls for Papers) for individual panels of three presenters. Review is ongoing, but send your proposal (~200 words) to [log in to unmask] by the deadline above for first consideration.

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