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July 2008, Week 1


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Cynthia Miller <[log in to unmask]>
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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 1 Jul 2008 13:54:31 -0400
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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: Bioethics


Bioethics got its start in the late '60's and early '70's. In that time period, the U.S. Public Health Service Syphilis Study (1932-'72) raised concerns about human experimentation, eugenics, and false dichotomies in discussions of race and gender. Also receiving ethical scrutiny were the implications of abortion laws, nuclear proliferation and experiments, and the Geneva Accords as a response to information gleaned on the "Nazi doctors" during the Holocaust. These events led historians and philosophers to realize that not only practice, but research as well, had emerged as an ethical crisis in medicine, nursing, allied health, animal and veterinary sciences, pharmaceuticals, and public health. Later, with the development of biotechnology and the rise of global capitalism, basic ethical concepts have been interrogated, such as personhood, traditional virtues, health education, and the collective responsibility for health and creative growth. The cinema of the same historical era, the latter twentieth century, has accompanied the development of new philosophical questions about the health sciences. Yet perhaps more importantly, even the films of the "pre-bioethics" half of the century can be perceived as the foundation of contemporary bioethics. Old movies have stimulated collective emotional responses to images of desire and agency among bodies whose health or illness is depicted. Thus, the entire twentieth century has been a dawning of the cinema and of bioethics. In this context, bioethics is no longer medical ethics; a current definition would entail cinematic qualities. Perhaps this would suffice: bioethics is the collectively self-aware evolution of bodies.


The area is about the rich and pluralistic historical relation between film and bioethics. Film, television, and/or new/digital media are appropriate considerations. Topics might include: depiction of physicians/practitioners, and/or researchers, in features, documentaries, TV Series, "art" films, or genres; changes or trends in bioethical considerations, appearing in genres over time; philosophical and/or geopolitical aspects of bioethics and cinema, e.g. Bergsonian, Deleuzian, neo-Kantian, phenomenological concerns; hegemonic promotion by films of race and/or racism in practice or research; gender and sexuality as medical(-ized) cinematic categories; poverty and  wealth/health and capital as moving images; bioethics as an intrinsically cinematic signifier. 


Send a 300-word proposal by August 1, 2008, to


Dr. Connie C. Price, Chair of the Bioethics Area

Departments of Philosophy and Bioethics

44-314 Bioethics Building

Tuskegee University 

Tuskegee. AL 36088 USA

Phone 334 727 8279

Email [log in to unmask] <mailto:[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 second-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 in the Division of Space History at the National Air and Space Museum, and former Chief Historian at NASA.  For updates and registration information about the upcoming meeting, see the Film & History website ( <> ).   

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