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June 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, 3 Jun 2008 19:25:49 -0400
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Call for Papers

Nature and the Environment in Feature Films Area


2008 Film & History Conference
"Film & Science: Fictions, Documentaries, and Beyond"
October 30-November 2, 2008
Chicago, Illinois <> 

Third-Round Deadline: August 1, 2008


AREA: Nature and the Environment in Feature Films


This area investigates the uses and representations of nature and the environment in feature films, rather than the more often discussed use of documentaries to reflect on the natural world. Thanks to Al Gore, and others, we expect and respect documentary films that address environmental issues, but feature films can also speak to environmental issues or provide nuanced representations of nature.


Feature films sometimes tackle the same issues and sometimes do so unintentionally.

Can feature films provide a forum for discussion on environmental issues?  Is such a message always sensationalized with Hollywood stars and big budget special effects?  Is this always an intersection of box office revenue and message, with box office the only hoped for winner?


Consider films like _Day After Tomorrow_ or _There Will Be Blood_.  How do these films, and many others, represent the natural world and/or the misuse of that world?  What feature films do you identify as overtly or more subtlety environmental?  Are there directors who can tell a cinematically good story while making environmental statements? How does shot selection affect a response to the natural world? Can feature film stories be more effective at sending an environmentalist message because of the larger audiences they may reach?


Re-screen your favorite films with an eye to the natural world and environmental considerations.


Submit a brief (200 word) abstract to [log in to unmask] by August 1, 2008.


Deborah Carmichael

Michigan State University

Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Culture

235 Bessey Hall

East Lansing MI 48824


[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 third-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 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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