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February 2008, Week 4


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Cynthia Miller <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 27 Feb 2008 16:26:51 -0500
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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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Call for Papers

"Science of the Kill:  The Tangled Web of Crime and Punishment" Area

2008 Film & History Conference

Film & Science: Fictions, Documentaries, and Beyond

October 30-November 2, 2008

Chicago, Illinois <> 

Second-Round Deadline: May 1, 2008


AREA: Science of the Kill: The Tangled Web of Crime and Punishment


Film and television have portrayed violent crime-and the forensics of detecting it-in ever more sophisticated ways. A murder in The Great Train Robbery (1903) looks nothing like a murder in, for example, Fracture (2007). The techniques used in committing the crime and those used in bringing the criminals to justice and then in theorizing about its aftermath have been mapped into elaborate scientific procedures, psychologies, and philosophies. The grisly details of a crime set the stage for complex heroics by forensic specialists because film and television have begun to treat violent crime as part of a much larger network of social and symbolic relationships in our culture.


What insights about the nature of knowledge do forensic films convey? Why are viewers fascinated with the details of elaborate technical schemes for committing violent crimes and for solving the ensuing mysteries? How is the technology itself of crime and crime-solving depicted in film and television?


This area welcomes papers and panel proposals that examine the relationships among violence, forensic science (or crime investigation in general), and the narrative or aesthetic characteristics of films and television dramas.


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


Robert E. Meyer, "Science of the Kill" Area Chair

DePaul University

Department of English

802 W. Belden

Chicago, IL 60614-3214

Email: [log in to unmask]  (email submissions preferred)


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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