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March 2013, 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, 5 Mar 2013 11:26:49 -0500
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“Capital, Inc.: Capitalists, Capitalism, and Corporations in the Cinematic Imagination”

An area of multiple panels for the 2013 Film & History Conference on
Making Movie$: The Figure of Money On and Off the Screen, November 20-24, 2013
Madison Concourse Hotel (Madison, WI)
DEADLINE for abstracts: July 1, 2013

AREA: Capital, Inc.: Capitalists, Capitalism, and Corporations in the Cinematic Imagination

The history of film bears the marks of economic crises, especially recently, with films addressing not only the downturn since 2008 but also broader, even esoteric, trends such as financialization, regulatory capture, outsourcing, rising inequality, and an accelerating trend towards plutocracy. Hollywood often vilifies corporate capitalism. Sometimes it exalts it. Is Hollywood liberal or conservative toward Wall Street? When are film and television trapped inside the platitudes of left-wing or right-wing definitions of the “corporation”? And when do some films move beyond them? How does the economic failure or success imagined on film characterize or redefine “capital” for its target audience? What cinematic figures of corporate capitalism affirm or subvert the national character—and why?

This area, comprising multiple panels, welcomes proposals for individual papers or full panels that examine how filmmakers have imagined, critiqued, and/or underwritten capitalism through depictions of corporations and/or its employees, whether CEOs, middle-managers, cubicle dwellers, or blue-collar laborers. Proposals are welcome to draw upon recent titles or older films. They are also welcome to focus on films produced outside of the United States, to explain how corporate capitalism is produced and consumed cinematically for a global audience. Possible topics:

• Office Workers (9 to 5, Clockwatchers, Office Space)
• High Finance (Trading Places, Wall Street, Other People’s Money)
• Unions (The Devil and Miss Jones, Blue Collar, Norma Rae)
• Bourgeois Alienation (The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, Fight Club, American Beauty)
• Media (Network, Broadcast News, The Insider)
• Consumerism (Dawn of the Dead, The Incredible Shrinking Woman, Wall-E)
• Documentaries (Roger and Me, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, The Corporation)
• Corporations in Space (Rollerball, Alien, Robocop)
• The Great Recession (Les Misérables, The Dark Knight Rises, Margin Call, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, The Other Guys, Tower Heist, In Time, The Hunger Games, Inside Job, The Queen of Versailles, The Company Men, Up in the Air, The Descendants, The Girlfriend Experience, Capitalism: A Love Story).

Please e-mail your 200-word proposal by July 1, 2013 to:

Christopher Stone, Area Chair
Capital, Inc.: Capitalists, Capitalism, and Corporations in the Cinematic Imagination
University of Wisconsin-Manitowoc
Email: [log in to unmask] (email submissions preferred)

Proposals for complete panels (three related presentations) are also welcome, but they must include an abstract and contact information, including an e-mail address, for each presenter. For updates and registration information about the upcoming meeting, see the Film & History website (

Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
University of Alabama: