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Tamas Nagypal <[log in to unmask]>
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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 2 Dec 2016 17:00:12 -0500
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Spiral Film and Philosophy Conference: "Love and Death"


York University

Toronto, Canada

May 12-13, 2017


The modern fact is that we no longer believe in this world. We do not even
believe in the events which happen to us, love, death, as if they only half
concerned us. It is not we who make cinema; it is the world which looks to
us like a bad film.

- Gilles Deleuze, Cinema 2


One of the few North American events specifically devoted to exploring the
intersections of film, media and philosophy, the Spiral Collective seeks
submissions for its second annual conference, organized, this year, around
the theme of "Love and Death."


Can the much-discussed and debated "death of cinema" introduce, through its
very negation of a future of/for cinema, a renewed love for the cinematic?
Can cinema bring us into an encounter - perhaps an amorous one - with
something beyond human experience, and by extension, beyond mortality and
death? Love and death have been primary concerns in philosophy, from its
pre-classical origins to the present, finding a multitude of complex and
contradictory sets of interrelations. Indeed, the fraught, and perhaps
integral, relationship between love and death has been a recurrent, even
obsessive feature of both philosophical reflection and cinematic
representation that shows no signs of letting up. From romantic,
existential, metaphysical, and phenomenological meditations on morality,
mourning and grief to transgressive depictions of the erotics of violence or
the aesthetic formalization of sexuality and mortality, philosophy and
cinema have both passionately and coldly considered the deep ties and
bubbling surfaces between the two highly suggestive terms.


In taking on the cognition of death - that of others and of one's own - and
the affective and emotive intensity of love, or, alternatively, the
affective charge of morbidity and the rationality of commitment (romantic,
political, or otherwise), philosophy and cinema both find and construct a
vital zone of encounter and confrontation. To this end, contemporary
developments in cinema and media respond to transformations in the political
and cultural meanings of love and death just as philosophy maintains its
relevance, or not, in relation to how it approaches both timely and timeless
issues of life, love and death relative to other concepts like truth,
morality, world, and community. Influential philosophical traditions persist
in theoretical debates on the concepts of love and death, some arguing for
pure affirmation and difference and others for negativity and nothingness.
Cinema inscribes mortality into its very images: it reanimates and creates
in the same gestures of disappearance and destruction. Digital cinema and
media further complicate the dynamics of love and death.


We seek papers for 20 minute presentations on, but not limited to, any of
the following topics, themes and concepts:


.       existentialism, nihilism, death drive;

.       romanticism, the sublime, morbidity, the gothic;

.       materialism, decay, death;

.       negativity and negation;

.       mourning and melancholy;

.       vitalism, difference, life;

.       phenomenology of love and death;

.       religion, theology, sacrifice and ritual;

.       intimacy, sexuality, infatuation;

.       pornography and eroticism;

.       affect and affect theory;

.       psychoanalytic approaches to love and death;

.       suicide, martyrdom, end-of-life issues;

.       terror, horror, shock, delirium;

.       biopolitics, immunization and wounds;

.       femininity and feminist approaches to love and death;

.       queer theory and love and death;

.       cultural reproduction, transmission and survival;

.       cinephilia and the death (and/or afterlife) of cinema;

.       the aesthetics of love and death;

.       cinematic bodies, cinematic deaths, cinematic loves;

.       media and morbidity


We welcome papers that engage with the work of specific philosophers and
theorists who think about love and death from any variety of perspectives
and further relate them to questions of cinema and media studies. We also
welcome filmmakers, media practitioners, and activists to present and
discuss their work.


The confirmed Keynote Speaker for "Love and Death" is Eugenie Brinkema,
Associate Professor of Contemporary Literature and Media at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is the author of The Forms of the
Affects, published with Duke University Press in 2014. Her articles have
appeared in numerous anthologies and journals including Angelaki, Camera
Obscura, Criticism, differences, Discourse, The Journal of Speculative
Philosophy, The Journal of Visual Culture, Qui Parle, and World Picture.


"Love and Death" will be held at York University, Toronto, Canada May 12-13,


Please send a 350 word abstract, brief bibliography and bio (with
institutional affiliation, if applicable) in a single document to
[log in to unmask] by January 28, 2017. 


Conference Registration Fee:

Conference Attendance: $100 (Canadian)

Graduate Students and Underemployed: $50 (Canadian)


Conference website:  <>


Organized by the Spiral Film and Philosophy Collective in collaboration with
the department of Cinema and Media Studies, York University.


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