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July 2018, Week 2


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Character as Character Admin <[log in to unmask]>
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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 7 Jul 2018 11:39:42 +0100
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*Character as character: understanding and appreciating people in films*

Abstracts (300 words with 50 word biographical note) for twenty-minute
papers are invited on any aspects of the theme “character as character in
film” for a one-day symposium at the University of Bristol, UK on *Saturday
13th October 2018* organised by Dr. Dominic Lash (Bristol) and Dr. Hoi Lun
Law (independent researcher).

Confirmed keynote: Dr. Benedict Morrison (University of Exeter, UK)

In 1966, John Bayley – reviewing W.J. Harvey’s *Character and the Novel* –
could write that ‘[c]onsidering its historical importance… it is odd that
there have been so few attempts by critical theorists to analyse what we
mean by ‘character’.’ With regard to film it is surprising that something
similar could still be said in 2018, perhaps partly because of the
understandable desire of film scholars to step out from the shadows cast by
the older artform. Despite occasional exceptions, most studies of character
in film have been oriented around issues such as identification and affect.
This symposium will, instead, focus on what value there might be in
attempting to study characters as characters; characters, rather than
spectators, are its object. What is a film character, how do we understand
them, and how might we best appreciate the achievements that successful
film characters represent? We hope that this will take us in a multitude of
directions: whether towards criticism, film aesthetics, ontology,
epistemology, or elsewhere.

Subjects might include, but are not limited to:

   - What is a film character? What goes into making one? What makes a
   character specifically filmic, besides simply appearing in a film?
   - Studies of characters in individual movies, including reassessments of
   pre-existing discussions of particular film characters.
   - The relationship between film characters and stylistic features
   (editing, framing, lighting, costume, set-design, cinematography,
   voiceover, point-of-view…).
   - What are film characters like? Traits, tropes, and types.
   - How do characters relate to narratives, and vice-versa? Is story a
   vehicle for character, or the other way around?
   - Physical character(istics): bodies, voices, faces, gestures, movements.
   - Character and characters: interactions between characters, whether in
   one film or across several.
   - Performing characters: casting, performance, the relationship between
   character and performer.
   - Star characters: investigating the relationship between our
   understanding of stars and the characters they portray.
   - Evaluating characters: examining character construction as filmic
   - Non-human characters: animals, robots, computers, monsters, aliens,
   dragons, unicorns…

Please email abstracts (or any questions) to [log in to unmask]
 by *Friday 3rd August 2018*

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