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April 2019, Week 3


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Sun, 14 Apr 2019 20:00:31 -0500
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Golden Owens <[log in to unmask]>
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Backward Glances 2019: REBOOT

The Screen Cultures Graduate Student Conference

Department of Radio/Television/Film, Northwestern University

September 27 & 28, 2019

Submission Deadline: June 15, 2019

Fuller House, Twin Peaks, Spiderman, Roseanne, The Twilight Zone, Tomb
Raider. Our popular film and television landscape is inundated with those
media properties now popularly known as reboots. Whether the proliferation
of reboots constitutes a true revival, giving new life to old texts, or an
aesthetic emergency signaling the end of originality, it prompts us to ask
what the notion of the reboot has to offer in considering the relationship
between present and past. Backward Glances, Northwestern’s biennial
graduate student media and historiography conference, invites submissions
addressing the theme of “reboot” in all its many valences.

A reboot may mean a restart or a reinvention. It can involve rearticulating
a previously existing topic, recreating a pre-existing work, or revisiting
a long-forgotten idea. It may be a reimagining of something we think we
understand, or a re-dissemination of a message that older generations have
heard and that newer ones have yet to receive. A reboot may be a renewal,
but in the age of endless remakes, the utility and cultural work of the
reboot must be called into question. What does the rebooted text reveal
about its past and present context? Does our theory need a reboot as much
as our childhood favorites?

Like so many neologisms, “reboot” comes to us from the world of computing.
An electronic system is “booted up” when the hardware is switched on and
ready for use, and we reboot our tech when our protocols glitch, when we
update our operating system, or we want a clean technological slate to get
our programs running smoothly. Media theorists have often revisited
technology as model and metaphor for gender, race, ability, and mechanisms
of power. How might the concept of the “reboot” help us understand not only
aesthetic and industrial cycles, but larger shifts in culture, politics,
and power?

Further topics may include, but are not limited to:


   Remakes vs. Sequels vs. Reboots

   Casting and labor

   Memory and nostalgia

   Cross- and transcultural remakes

   The social, political, and cultural implications of reinvention

   The history of reboots

   Authorship and fandom

   Zombie media and hacking

   Reimagining genres and aesthetics

   Cultural and political cycles

   Intertextuality/paratextuality/multiplatform storytelling


   Racial difference, racialized identity, and racism in remakes

   Multigenerational viewing

   Remixing and reappropriation

We invite scholarship from across disciplines and methodologies, backward-,
forward-, and present-facing. Please send an abstract of up to 300 words
and a bio of up to 100 words to [log in to unmask] by June
15, 2019. Participants will be notified by mid-July. More information about
the conference can be found at

Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite