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December 2010, Week 4


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Brett Service <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 21 Dec 2010 02:57:27 -0800
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The graduate students in the Critical Studies division of the
University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts seek
conference papers from graduate students addressing the theme of

“F is for Failure”
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday April 9th, 2011

Submission deadline: January 10th, 2011

For its 5th conference in as many years, the ZdC Graduate Student
Conference seeks contributions that engage the critical valence of
failure in the narration of media history.  Given the tendency to
historicize media according to financial success, critical praise, or
historical coherence, we instead want to position failure as its own
positive and historically generative framework.  What happens when the
logic of failure is positioned at the center of our critical praxis?
What happens when we shift our attention to the unsuccessful, the
failed object, or the obsolete as a point of departure in our
examination of film, television, and new media?  How does an
examination of the failure, flop, hoax, or the amateurish change the
ways that we theorize media studies?  Does a consideration of failure
potentially open up sites of resistance within film and media studies?
 How do images of dystopian futures help us reflect on the unfulfilled
promises of the past and present?  How might attentiveness to failure
account for differences of taste or alternate affective engagements?

We welcome papers, creative projects, and/or pre-constituted panels
that approach the topic from a range of methodological approaches and
in a variety of media contexts.

Possible topics may include (but are not limited to):

-failed technologies and media obsolescence
-technological determinism and media in transition
-failures of/in the archive; theorizing absence in the media archive
-failures of representation (of visuality, memory, trauma)
-the “bad” text and amateur aesthetics
-failing business models; collapsing industrial infrastructures
-failures of adaptation or translation
-accidents, anomalies, hoaxes, non-events
-failures of broadcasting; inability to capture liveness or quantify audiences
-representations of failure/dystopia
-methodological/pedagogical failure; the future of the humanities

Selected papers will be included in a special conference-themed issue
of Spectator, the University of Southern California's Journal of Film
and Television Criticism.

Submission deadline: January 10th, 2011.
To propose a paper, e-mail a 250-word abstract, bibliography, and
brief bio to [log in to unmask]

Please feel free to address any questions or comments to Brett Service
at [log in to unmask]

ZdC is the Critical Studies graduate student organization at USC's
School of Cinematic Arts.  Information and programs from past
conferences can be found at:

Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
University of Alabama: