Call for Papers
"Different Bodies: Disability, Disfigurement, Illness or Impairment & Love"
2010 Film & History Conference: Representations of Love in Film and Television
November 11-14, 2010
Hyatt Regency Milwaukee
Second Round Deadline: November 1, 2009
AREA: Different Bodies: Disability, Disfigurement, Illness or Impairment & Love
Because disability functions as a primary metaphor for representing and reinforcing social norms, it is often the vehicle through which many forms of cultural difference are articulated and critiqued.  Nowhere, perhaps, is this more apparent than in narratives of love.  From silent melodramas (Orphans in the Storm) to midcentury hardboiled flicks and thrillers (The Man with the Golden Arm, Rear Window); from contemporary documentaries (Murderball) to blockbuster action films (the X-Men and Battlestar Gallactica series); from romances (Children of a Lesser God, At First Sight, Scent of a Woman) to crime stories (Blink, The Fugitive), different bodies have long appeared in cinematic and televised representations of romance, sexual attraction, and love in all its forms: platonic, fraternal, familial, and erotic. 
This area, comprising multiple panels, welcomes considerations of any form of love in relation to any kind of different body: bodies with sensory loss, mobility impairments, scarred or marked bodies, bodies with missing limbs, bodies with prosthetics, bionic or "special" bodies, bodies with different physiognomies or physiologies, infected, diseased or afflicted bodies, "unacceptable" bodies, and bodies with invisible disabilities including amnesia, depression, learning difficulties or cognitive impairment.   
Possibilities include, but are not limited to, the following topics:
* Disability and love in international films -- The Colour of Paradise, and A Time for Drunken Horses (Iran), The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and Novo (France), The Family Friend (Italy), Fando Y Lis and El Topo (Spain), Open Hearts (Denmark)

* Disability's intimate relationship to romance and reproduction -- in instructional videos and public health programming, in documentaries, in feature films, or in films by-and-for people with disabilities.

* Disability, love, and class status or social (dis)empowerment (Of Mice and Men, Elephant Man, Vernon Florida, the Hunchback of Notre Dame).

* Disability, love, and  the dynamics of war and its aftermath (The Men, Born on the 4th of July, Coming Home)

* Disability in romantic comedies (Death at a Funeral, The Ringer, Stuck on You, There's Something About Mary)

* Disability, love, and the complexities of gender, family relations, and identity (What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Rain Man, Mask, Keys to the House, The Lost Prince)
Please send your 200-word proposal by e-mail to the area chair:
Marja Mogk, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of English
California Lutheran University
60 West Olsen Road #3900
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
[log in to unmask]  (email submissions preferred)
Panel proposals for up to four presenters are also welcome, but each presenter must submit his or her own paper proposal. For updates and registration information about the upcoming meeting, see the Film & History website (

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