SCMS 2016 - Hollywood Dreams and Publicity Machines
Peter Labuza, University of Southern California
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Society for Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference
Hilton Atlanta, March 30 - April 3, 2016
The irony of the title A Star Is Born is no longer surprising, as new
histories have examined the way that publicity before, during, and after
the Hollywood Classical Cinema has changed and developed the reception of
films, stars, and more. While studying films can tell us much about the way
they figure into larger histories, studying the way studios, agencies, and
other distributors have presented and sold their work to the public can
reveal much about both the economic and social issues of the time.
This panel hopes to focus on an array of aspects related to industry
studies and how publicity has either shaped or how it can challenge our
notions of film history. How do publicity machines shape stars or other
talents? How did certain films live or die or their publicity campaigns?
How has publicity models changed in the era following the studio system?
Are there different models for foreign or independent productions? Who gets
emphasized in publicity and who gets erased?
Papers should have a strong historical methodology with original archival
research, though papers tackling contemporary topics will be considered.
Possible Paper Topics Include:
—Histories of publicity for specific films, stars, studios, directors,
—Publicity agencies outside the studios
—Publicity in the silent era, especially in terms of methods and outlets
—Adoption of Publicity models for film from other media or businesses
—Relationships between publicists and the press
—International publicity, either Hollywood products abroad, foreign
products in the US, or foreign products in their own markets and other
—Publicity’s representation and role in gender, race, and sexuality
—Publicity in the age of the Internet
Please submit a 250-word abstract, 5 bibliographic sources (articles or
books); and a brief bio (2-3 sentences) to Peter Labuza, [log in to unmask] by
August 12. All proposals will be responded to by August 15. Please email
with any questions.
University of Southern California, SCA
PhD Student in Critical Studies
Visual Studies Graduate Certificate
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