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July 2008, Week 1


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Cynthia Miller <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 3 Jul 2008 08:04:23 -0400
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Updated Call for Papers:



2008 Film & History Conference

"Film & Science: Fictions, Documentaries, and Beyond"

October 30-November 2, 2008

Chicago, Illinois <> 

Third-Round Deadline: August 1, 2008


AREA: Environmental Documentaries


With An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore proved the power of documentary to teach a public audience about environmental issues, a power that was taken seriously by the Motion Picture Academy of the Arts.  Lesser-known environmental documentaries, often used in science classes or shown on television, deserve critical attention, as well.  Films like Cane Toads, Blue Vinyl, and Up Close and Toxic invite significant methodological, aesthetic, and political questions: How do filmmakers translate science/scientific issues for public consumption? How do documentary and fictional treatments of similar environmental topics compare with each other? How can grassroots documentary films be used for political change?


This area invites analyses of all varieties of environmental documentaries, including international films (e.g., Taj Mahal--Beyond the Love Story, India; Washed Away, Canada; A Big Lake, Belgium) and films on topics ranging from pollution, recycling, transportation, energy, food, land management, radiation, toxicity, etc.  Presentations may feature analyses of individual films and/or TV programs from historical perspectives (Nanook to Harlan County, USA) or in terms of stylistic elements, production values, funding, etc. Genres might include TV programs, instructional films, newsreels and broadcast media, as well as traditional documentaries (both short and feature-length).


Paper topics might include:

         Comparisons between films like An Inconvenient Truth and The Day After 


         Conflicts between "Man and Nature" or the human impact on the environment

         Global pollution problems (e.g., Mercury: A Hazard without Borders)

         The use of environmental documentaries in science education

         An analysis of documentaries about the same topic but reaching opposite



Please send your 200-word proposal by August 1, 2008 to


Sharon Zuber, Chair of the Environmental Documentaries Area

College of William and Mary

English and Film Studies

P.O. 8795

Williamsburg, VA 23187

Phone:  757-221-3939; FAX:  757-221-1844

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 third-round proposals: August 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 our Keynote Speaker, Dr. Roger D. Launius, Senior Curator of the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum, and former Chief Historian for NASA.  For updates and registration information about the upcoming meeting, see the Film & History website ( <> ).

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