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CFP: "The Glow in Their Eyes": Global Perspectives on Film Cultures, 
Film Exhibition, and Cinemagoing

Brussels, 15-16 December 2007

The aim of the conference is to review the current state of research in 
the history of moviegoing and film exhibition and distribution. We seek 
to bring together scholars dealing with these subjects from all over the 
globe. The growing number of case studies in local film history 
increases the need for comparative studies of cities, regions, and 
nations, while the relationship between micro and macro history(ies) is 
becoming a major issue for the field. The analysis of patterns and 
networks in film culture also calls for special attention to 
methodology. The conference aims to bring European perspectives on 
cinemagoing and film exhibition into dialogue with British, American and 
Australian research, and with research elsewhere in the world, in 
Africa, South America and Asia.

The conference aims to explore and map several crucial tensions arising 
from the issues of exhibition and cinemagoing, including:
· The attention given to “top down” forces of industry, commerce and 
ideology as against “bottom up” forces of experience, consumption and 
escapism;
· Contesting concepts of public and private space in media experience;
· Questions relating to cinema’s integration into to the metropolitan 
experience of modernity, compared to its role in the construction of 
community in less urbanised and rural areas.

In line with the *ECREA film studies section* philosophy (www.ecrea.eu 
<http://www.ecrea.eu/>) the conference approaches the phenomenon of 
cinema in a broad, socio-cultural sense: cinema as content, as cultural 
artefact, as commercial product, as lived experience, as cultural and 
economic institution, as a symbolic field of cultural production, and as 
media technology. On a methodological level, the conference is open to 
multiple approaches to the study of historical and contemporary cinema: 
film text, context, production, representation and reception. Cultural 
studies perspectives, historical approaches, political economy, textual 
analysis, audience research all find their place within this scope.

The conference also signals the completion of two major *interuniversity 
research projects*, one in Belgium (‘/The //Enlightened// //City//. 
Screen culture between ideology, economics and experience. A study on 
the social role of film exhibition and film consumption in //Flanders// 
(1895-2004) in interaction with modernity and urbanisation’/), and one 
in Australia (‘/Regional Markets and Local Audiences//: Case Studies in 
Australian Cinema Consumption, 1927-1980’)./ These research projects use 
a combination of oral histories, archival documentation, demographic 
data and media reportage and personal papers to examine the audience 
experiences and business practices of cinemas in Belgium and Australia.

The conference is supported by the International Cinema Audiences 
Research Group (ICARG), and will be the second international gathering 
of the Group’s work on the *HOMER *(History of moviegoing, exhibition 
and reception) *Project* (www.homerproject.org), following the 
successful ‘Cinema in Context’ conference held in Amsterdam in April 
2006.The conference will be preceded by an ICARG workshop.


*Confirmed Keynote Speakers *

Annette Kuhn (University of London)
Richard Maltby (Flinders University)


Possible *topics for papers* are e.g.:

* Film exhibition, cinemagoing and film experience in relation to
theories of imperialism, postcolonialism, etc.
* Long term tendencies such as the rise of cinemas in rural and
urban environments, the boom of cinemagoing, the decay and
subsequent closure of many (provincial and neighbourhood) cinemas
and the rise of multiplexes
* Tensions between commercial and/or ‘pillarised’ film exhibition,
between urban and rural areas, and between provinces and regions
* Institutional developments, geographical location and programming
trends
* Audience and film experiences in urban and rural contexts
* A comparative international perspective on cinemagoing and exhibition
* Diasporic cinemagoing practices
* Representations in films of cinemagoing, film exhibition, film
culture(s)
* Reflections on methods: How to reconcile/combine large scale
analysis vs in depth case study? How to link up national or
regional databases on exhibition and cinemagoing?

* *
A selection of papers presented on the conference will be published in 
an *edited volume* in 2008 (publisher to be confirmed).

*Please submit abstracts (500 words) with short bio to 
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before **6 July 2007**. Speakers will be notified of acceptance by **31 
July 2007**.*
*/ /*

*Organizing Committee *
Philippe Meers (University of Antwerp Research Group Visual Culture / 
ECREA film studies section)
Daniel Biltereyst (Ghent University Working Group Film and Television 
Studies)
Stef Franck (Flemish Service for Film Culture (VDFC), the Royal Belgian 
Film Archive)
Richard Maltby (Flinders University)
Kate Bowles (University of Wollongong)
Deb Verhoeven (RMIT University)

*For more information:*
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*Website (under construction):*
* 
<http://www.cinemagoingconference.ugent.be/>www.psw.ugent.be/cinemagoingconference/index.aspx 



Arthur Knight
The College of William & Mary*

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