Call for Papers
Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference
Philadelphia, USA
March 6-9, 2008

Technologies of the Filmic Self
The reflexive focus on the technological aparatus in first person  
filmmaking has preoccupied filmmakers virtually since the inception  
of the cinema. Instances of such self inscription abound, from  
Vertov's Man with a Movie Camera, to the myopic virtuosity of early  
American independents Ross McElwee and Jim McBride, to feminist  
interventions of Joyce Chopra, Lordes Portillo, Agnes Varda and the  
identity and/or cultural politics of the likes of Sadie Benning,  
Andres di Tella, Jonathan Cauoette, Shu Haolun, David Achkar and many  
others. First person films from around the world posit the apparatus  
as a venerable conduit and instrumental focal point in the  
construction of the self. This panel will explore aspects of first  
person documentary filmmaking practices internationally, with a  
special emphasis on the question of technology and ways in which  
changing media (interactive, multi-media, digital camera, mobile  
phones, etc.) influence and enable constructions of subjectivity and  
conditions of intersubjectivity, exemplified in increasing instances  
of "shared textual authority" [Renov, 2004] between filmmaker  
(Benning, DuBowski, et al) and those who traverse the camera's field  
of vision.  In what ways does the technology (new or established)  
shape the contours of the filmic self? How is the self and its others  
(family, ethnicity, nation, etc.) technologized, or to adapt  
Foucault's apt phrase: how can we account for and interpret, if not  
genealogize, the filmic technologies of the self? Styles of  
narration, authorship, performativity, and tendencies toward  
confessionality, narcissism, and political efficacy, may all be  
addressed in relation to recent innovations in the technical  
apparatus. The merger or "nesting" of older, obsolete, technologies  
within the new can also be a feature of the presentations.

Please send paper proposal (300 word abstract, bio and biblio) or  
inquiries via email to Alisa Lebow [log in to unmask] and Angelica  
Fenner [log in to unmask] by August 15.  Accepted papers  
will be notified by August 20.

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