Seeking papers for a panel proposal for the Society for Cinema Studies
conference in Denver, CO, May 23-26, 2002.
**Getting Physical: Performing Problem Bodies on Film**
Why the popular obsession with physically (above-) normative actors
playing problematic bodies on screen? How are cultural attitudes towards
ability/age/size/gender/sexuality/race/class mediated by such performances?
This season sees several actresses stepping into fat suits for
their roles, and Renee Zellweger has quickly slimmed down after her
weight-gain for Bridget Jones. Hollywood has a history of using and
institutionally rewarding able-bodied actors for their portrayals of the
disabled, not to mention of casting white actors in make-up to embody
Native Americans and African Americans. Yet another strand of this topic
involves films whose plots revolve around the transformation of a character
to/from "abnormal" physicality.
This panel seeks to move beyond traditional socio-cultural considerations
of "passing" performances by focusing on the physical transformations
involved in moving into (and sometimes back out of) the "problem body."
Critical Papers treating any aspect of this theme, and any kind of
"problem body" will be considered. Theoretical approaches, including
considerations of audience transformations, are also welcome. Queries will
be answered as soon as possible.
Abstracts following the SCS standard abstract form for papers (see
link below) are due by Sept. 14. Send them and any questions by e-mail or
regular mail to Susan Crutchfield, English Department, 1725 State Street,
University of Wisconsin at La Crosse, La Crosse, WI 54601; office,
608-785-6943; fax, 608-785-8301; [log in to unmask]
425W North Hall
Departments of English and Women's Studies
University of Wisconsin at La Crosse
La Crosse, WI 54601
Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
University of Alabama: http://www.tcf.ua.edu