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March 2016, 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]>
Mon, 21 Mar 2016 19:04:20 +0000
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Subverting the Mainstream: Independent Film and Media
An area of multiple panels for the 2016 Film & History Conference: “Gods and Heretics”
October 26-30, 2016
The Hilton Milwaukee
Milwaukee, WI (USA)

DEADLINE for abstracts:  June 1, 2016

Area: Subverting The Mainstream: Independent Film and Media

Independent film and media is typically viewed in terms of its opposition to the mainstream.  Stories of independents are often presented as David and Goliath narratives, pitting the smaller, nimble, rebellious, radical independent against a staid, conservative, monolithic industry.  This area asks presenters to consider to what extent this antagonism is valid.  In what cases is this conflict productive and in what cases should it be complicated? 

How does independent media challenge the mainstream, and to what effect?  How and why do independent media producers cultivate this dichotomy?  And on the other hand, are there instances in which independent and mainstream industries overlap and coordinate in mutually beneficial ways?  We hope these panels will lead to a deeper understanding of the complex relationship and interactions between independents and the mainstream.

Possible topics include:

Maverick producers and distributors
Independent auteurs
The role of the avant-garde
Grassroots and guerilla production and marketing tactics
Challenging definitions of independence
Mainstream co-option of independent style and themes
Conventional style and/or conservative themes in independents
Independent religious media
Rhetorical strategies that negotiate the independent/mainstream divide
Crossovers and permeability of personnel and texts

Proposals for complete panels (three related presentations) are also welcome, but they must include an abstract and contact information, including an e-mail address, for each presenter. For updates and registration information about the upcoming meeting, see the Film & History website (

Please e-mail your 200-word proposal by June 1, 2016, to the area chairs:

Chelsea McCracken
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Matt Connolly
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