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August 2011, Week 3


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Cynthia Miller <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 17 Aug 2011 15:44:13 -0400
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“Adventure! Danger! Romance!: Myths of Exploration”
An area of multiple panels for the Film & History conference on “Film and Myth”
September 26-30, 2012
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Deadline: June 1, 2012

Exploration is central to notions of heroism, nationalism, progress, and adventure, and throughout history, the individuals who have ventured into the unknown have earned a special place in our collective lore. Whether scouting trade routes, sailing uncharted waters, or making “one small step for man” on the moon, explorers have embodied the hopes and aspirations of individuals and nations.

What are the strategies used to portray these individuals and their exploits on film and television?  Who becomes part of these narratives, and who is left out?  In what ways do explorers and their pursuits become larger-than-life representations of values, ideologies, and political groups, and in what ways to they resist those categories and burdens?  How are the crises of exploration: death and the struggles for survival; the conquest and domination of cultural groups; the appropriation and degradation of land, flora and fauna; the destruction or theft of treasures, monuments, and other resources; addressed in narratives of glory?  

This area, comprising multiple panels, will treat all aspects of exploration and explorers in films and television programs. Papers that explore how such myths are played out in depictions of adventure and exploration from outside the US and UK, and throughout various historical eras are especially welcome.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

* Explorations of the North American Frontier (portrayals of Lewis and Clark, Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, Wild Bill Hickok)

* Journeys to the Polar Regions (The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition, Forbidden Quest, Glory and Honor)

* African Safaris (Simba, Congorilla, Borneo, Rivers of Fire and Ice)

* Australia/Pacific Islands (Among the Cannibal Isles of the South Pacific, Captain James Cook, Against the Wind)

* Explorers in Space (Destination Moon, The Right Stuff, From the Earth to the Moon, Solaris, The Astronaut Farmer)

* The Age of Discovery (portrayals of Christopher Columbus, Marco Polo, Vasco da Gama, Francis Drake, Ferdinand Magellan, Sir Walter Raleigh)

* Scientist-explorers (Contact, Ten Who Dared, Darwin’s Darkest Hour)

* Missionaries (The Mission, The Mosquito Coast, Stanley and Livingstone, African Queen)

* Treasure Hunters (Indiana Jones, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, The Librarian)

* Undersea Expeditions (The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau, Sea Hunt, SeaQuest DSV)

* Women and Exploration (The Journey of Sacajawea, The Far Horizons, The Dream is Alive, Beyond the Stars)

Please e-mail your 200-word proposal by June 1, 2012, to the area chair:

Cynthia J. Miller
Area Chair, 2012 Film & History Conference
Adventure! Danger! Romance!: Myths of Exploration
Emerson College
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