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April 2007, Week 3


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"Cynthia J. Miller" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 16 Apr 2007 19:53:02 -0400
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Call for Papers
Scientific Icons Area
2008 Film & History Conference
"Film & Science: Fictions, Documentaries, and Beyond"
October 30-November 2, 2008
Chicago, Illinois
First-Round Deadline: November 1, 2007

Area: Scientific Icons

Beginning with The Story of Louis Pasteur in the late 1930s, a small but 
steady stream of films -- documentaries, dramas, and occasional 
comedies--have focused on the great scientists of the past.  Newton, 
Darwin, and Einstein have all had their turns on screen, as have J. Robert 
Oppenheimer (Day One, Fat Man and Little Boy, and the award- winning The 
Day After Trinity), Dian Fossey (Gorillas in the Mist),  James Watson and 
Francis Crick (The Race for the Double Helix), Marie and Pierre Curie 
(Madame Curie), and many others. These films have, for better or worse, a 
key role in shaping the public understanding of how science works.

This area welcomes all papers that deal with films and television programs 
depicting real scientists whose work was important enough or influential 
enough to give them iconic status at the time the film was made. The list 
of scientists in the preceding paragraph is meant to be suggestive, but by 
no means exhaustive.  "Scientist" is meant, for the purposes of this area, 
to include medical researchers (as in Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet or And the 
Band Played On) but to exclude engineers and inventors (as in The Story of 
Alexander Graham Bell and Young Thomas Edison).

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

* Depictions of historic scientists in specific films or television programs
* Depictions of a particular scientist in multiple films and/or television 
* Real scientists, fictionalized (Edward Teller/Dr. Strangelove, T. H. 
Huxley/Professor Challenger)
* Historic scientists on the A&E network's Biography
* Historic scientists in classroom films
* Use of dramatic conventions in telling "real" stories about scientists
* Real scientists in non-US film and television
* Documentaries about historic scientists
* Historic scientists as supporting players (e.g. Lord Kelvin in the 2005 
Around the World in Eighty
* Patterns: Who gets films made about them? Who gets overlooked?

Please send your 200-word proposal (email is fine) by November 1, 2007 to:

A. Bowdoin Van Riper
Social and International Studies Department
Southern Polytechnic State University
1100 South Marietta Parkway
Marietta, GA 30060
Email: [log in to unmask]

Panel proposals for up to four presenters are also welcome, but each 
presenter must submit his or her own paper proposal. Deadline for 
first-round proposals: November 1, 2007.

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; and Emmy award-winning writer and producer John Rubin. 
For updates and registration information about the upcoming meeting, see 
the Film & History website (

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