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September 2017, Week 1


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Marty Norden <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 3 Sep 2017 16:41:37 -0400
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Hello, all. This is a reminder that proposals for an anthology on Paul 
Leni are due in about four weeks. See below for more information, and 
please feel free to forward the CFP to colleagues who might be 

Marty Norden
   Martin F. Norden
   Professor, Department of Communication
   N320 Integrative Learning Center
   University of Massachusetts Amherst        fax: 413 545-6550
   Amherst, MA  01003   USA                   vox: 413 545-0598
                Home page:

Call for Proposals:
Refocus: The Films of Paul Leni

Described by Siegfried Kracauer as one of the outstanding film directors 
of the post-World War I era, Paul Leni (1885-1929) is a significant yet 
overlooked figure in the German and US cinemas of the silent period. A 
frequent collaborator with stage director Max Reinhardt, Leni worked as 
an art designer for some of the most prominent German directors of the 
time before coming into his own as a director. Creating both avant-garde 
and commercial films in Germany, Leni quickly became known for his 
captivatingly macabre productions. Critics and audiences alike praised 
these films, which were marked by elaborate set designs, innovative use 
of light and shadow, and adept storytelling abilities. His best-known 
film, DAS WACHSFIGURENKABINETT (WAXWORKS, 1924), catapulted him into the 
international spotlight, and in 1927 he signed an agreement with 
Universal's Carl Laemmle to come to the US to create a string of mystery 
and horror films. The resulting productions, including THE CAT AND THE 
CANARY (1927) and THE MAN WHO LAUGHS (1928), garnered Leni an even 
greater following amongst international audiences and cemented his 
status as a cinematic visionary until his untimely death in 1929.

We seek proposals on Leni's filmic work for an edited collection that 
will be a part of Edinburgh University Press' ReFocus series, supervised 
by series editors Robert Singer and Gary Rhodes. Proposals may be on any 
aspect of Leni's cinematic pursuits. Proposed essays should be 
theoretically, critically, or historically grounded and draw upon 
primary source materials when appropriate. Approaches and topics 
include, but are not limited to:

* Leni's early career and collaborations with contemporaries such as Max 
Reinhardt, Ernst Lubitsch, and Fritz Lang

* Close studies of any of his German or American films, including his 
Rebus series of short films

* Leni's stylistic and thematic contributions to Expressionist cinema

* Leni and the Kammerspielfilm

* His set designs, cinematography, and/or lighting designs

* Audience and/or critical reception of his films

* His relationship with Carl Laemmle and Universal Studios

* His early attempts at sound cinema

* Leni's source material, such as screenplays, novels/short stories, and 
stage plays

* Studies of Leni's writings on the creative process

* Leni's films in comparison with those of his contemporaries

* The relationship between Leni's films and the tidal wave of 1930s US 
horror films

* Leni's influence on other international films, both past and modern

Suggestions outside of the above areas are encouraged. If you have any 
questions regarding the appropriateness of your topic, please don't 
hesitate to contact us.

Proposals should be approximately 250-500 words and be accompanied by a 
50-100 word author biography. All submissions must be in English and 
included as Microsoft Word or PDF attachments. We will consider 
proposals to include previously published essays with the understanding 
that the authors will secure all copyright clearances and pay any 
necessary republishing fees if the essays are accepted.

The deadline for abstract submissions is October 1, 2017. Please send 
your proposals and any inquiries to both co-editors, Erica Tortolani 
([log in to unmask]) and Marty Norden ([log in to unmask]). 
Accepted contributors will be notified by October 15, 2017. Initial 
drafts of chapters will be due April 15, 2018.

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