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January 2008, Week 4


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Cynthia Miller <[log in to unmask]>
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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 24 Jan 2008 18:55:11 -0500
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Call for Papers - Area: IS RESISTANCE REALLY FUTILE? - Mankind facing Technology in Science-Fiction Film and Television

2008 Film & History Conference

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

October 30-November 2, 2008

Chicago, Illinois 

Second-Round Deadline: May 1, 2008


Area: IS RESISTANCE REALLY FUTILE? - Mankind facing Technology in Science-Fiction Film and Television


Science in Science Fiction films has found an icon in the futuristic status quo of technology ever since Le Voyage dans la Lune and Metropolis. Utopias and Dystopias on big and small screen alike present us with the 'what ifs' of tomorrow's scientific progress. In its course, the role of technology will have been developed from mediating between man and his surroundings towards replacing those surroundings (and eventually man himself?). The effects of this evolution on the human body, mind, and soul have been the subject of countless dramatizations, from Blade Runner and I, Robot to The Island and Gattaca, as well as Star Trek - The Next Generation, Battlestar Galactica, or Futurama. How do such films represent future science and scientists, and what are their roles and functions? What do Science Fiction films' representations of technological development tell us about today's hopes and concerns? In what way does the technological environment induce the adaption of human life? Where are the lines between human, cyborg, android, and machine? What about the social and political implications of the technocracies to come? 


This area investigates the effects of scientific and technological development on the conception of future identities, selves, and minds of man/machine as portrayed through Science Fiction film and television. Panels may adress a wide range of topics, such as 'Memories of the Future', 'Reproduction Tomorrow', 'Mind of the Machine', and others. Presentations may feature (but are not limited to) analyses of individual films and/or TV programs from the perspective of genre history, strategies of representation, narrative structures, or film technology, they may deal with the work of a single author or film maker, for example 'Adaptions of the Philip K. Dick Stories', 'The Universe according to Gene Roddenberry', or 'Matrices and Makers'. Papers could focus on central topics such as alternate/virtual realities, technological catastrophies, future wars, man vs. machine, robots/androids/cyborgs, biotech and cloning, intelligent architecture, AI, transcendence, etc.


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


Carsten Hennig, Chair of the IS RESISTANCE REALLY FUTILE? Area

            Petterweilstr. 51                      Phone: +49(0)69-46994233

            60385 Frankfurt/M.                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 second-round proposals: May 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 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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