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April 2007, Week 5


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
"Cynthia J. Miller" <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 29 Apr 2007 21:05:49 -0400
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Call for Papers
Code Breaking: Low & High Tech Spooking and Whodunits 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: Code Breaking: Low & High Tech Spooking and Whodunits

Successful military or political code breaking is akin to glancing at an 
opponent's hole card in Texas Hold 'Em. This is a secretive art often left 
unexamined by professional historians. In 1950, Punch magazine labeled 
Brigadier Desmond Young's Rommel: The Desert Fox "brilliant." But Young 
later learned that both Rommel and the British command were deciphering 
each other's messages throughout the war.

Breaking the Japanese Purple code did not prevent Pearl Harbor(Tora, Tora, 
Tora,) but it brought victory at Midway (Midway). Other films probing this 
clandestine world include many of the James Bond productions, political 
thrillers (from Three Days of the Condor to Sneakers), historical romances 
(Enigma), buddy films (Windtalkers), or military adventure dramas (U-571). 
And documentaries investigate the activities of Bletchley Park and the 
National Security Agency's "The Puzzle Palace."

Whodunits and mysteries abound, be they fact, semi-fiction, or fantasy. You 
may wish to explore situations in which code breakers, to preserve their 
secret, did not impede an enemy action. Or perhaps speculate on what other 
code-breaking treasure troves might be awaiting later-generation 
historians. Whose interests does each code-breaking film represent? What 
patterns in plot and characterization emerge? Which histories are 
embellished or tarnished through these kinds of films?

Please send your 200-word proposal by November 1, 2007 to

Keith Wheelock, Chair
Code Breaking: Low & High Tech Spooking and Whodunits
325 Mountain View Road
Skillman, NJ 08558
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; Emmy award-winning writer and producer John Rubin, 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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