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March 2008, 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]>
Sun, 16 Mar 2008 22:35:24 -0400
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Call for Papers

"Adventure! Danger! Romance!: Explorers and Exploration in Film and History" Area

2008 Film & History Conference

Film & Science: Fictions, Documentaries, and Beyond

October 30-November 2, 2008

Chicago, Illinois <> 

Second-Round Deadline: May 1, 2008


AREA: Adventure! Danger! Romance!: Explorers and Exploration in Film and History


Tales of explorers and adventurers often blur the line between "science" and "fiction," with chronicles of the exotic and the unknown becoming the stuff of legends and the building blocks of history. Explorer tales spin heroic stories of adventures that cross borders, shatter boundaries, develop new knowledge, and, in so doing, depict the causes and consequences of seeking dominion over people and places.
Films of explorers and exploration have taken many forms, from early adventure-ethnographies such as Among the Cannibal Isles of the South Pacific (1918), Borneo (1937), Naked Africa (1957)-and their "B" movie, road movie, and exploitation off-shoots-to historical illuminations and recreations, such as Ken Burns' project on the Lewis and Clarke expeditions (1997) and Rick Beyer's Godspeed to Jamestown (2006), and to countless stories of our reach toward outer space (from Laika, the canine astronaut, to Billy Bob Thornton, the farmer astronaut). But whether as documentary, drama, comedy, or parody, these tales of adventure, danger, and romance help craft our identities, both personal and national, through their complex cultural messages about power and morality, values and fears, heroes and villains. As we conduct our own explorations of these narratives, we learn not only about our adventurers but also about the people and events that urge them on.

This area welcomes papers and panel proposals that examine all forms and genres of films on explorers and exploration. Possibilities include, but are not limited to, the following topics:


*  Biopics (Burke and Wills, Hudson's Bay)

*  Ethnographic films (Congorilla, Naked Africa, National Geographic productions)

*  Documentaries and docudramas (The Prize of the Pole, Lewis and Clarke: Great

   Journey West)

*  Newsreels and televised news features  (coverage of the Cold War Space Race)

*  Mockumentaries  and hybrids (Forbidden Quest)

*  Recreations and re-enactments (Godspeed to Jamestown)

*  Adventure/exploration fiction (Indiana Jones films, Astronaut Farmer)

*  Exploitation films (Africa Uncensored)

*  Historical Dramas (The New World)


Please send your 200-word proposal by May 1, 2008 to the area chair:


Cynthia J. Miller, "Explorers and Exploration" Area Chair

Emerson College

Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies

120 Boylston St.

Boston, MA  02116

Email: [log in to unmask] (email submissions preferred)


Panel proposals for up to four presenters are also welcome, but each presenter must submit his or her own paper proposal. Deadline for second-round proposals: May 1, 2008. 


This area, comprising multiple panels, is a part of the 2008 biennial Film & History Conference, sponsored by The Center for the Study of Film and History. Speakers will include founder John O'Connor and editor Peter C. Rollins (in a ceremony to celebrate the transfer to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh); Wheeler Winston Dixon, author of Visions of the Apocalypse, Disaster and Memory, and Lost in the Fifties: Recovering Phantom Hollywood; Sidney Perkowitz, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Physics at Emory University and author of Hollywood Science: Movies, Science, & the End of the World; and special-effects legend Stan Winston, our Keynote Speaker.  For updates and registration information about the upcoming meeting, see the Film & History website ( <> ).

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