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CFP: The Ghost in the Machine: Technologies for Creating, Conjuring and Capturing the Supernatural in Media
Prospective panel for SCMS Conference,  Boston, MA, March 21-25, 2012

Broadly speaking, there are two ways to look at the relationship between the technological and the supernatural in media.  One could examine the long history of using media technologies to create convincing supernatural figures and realms for entertainment, but one could also point to a long history of ghost hunting and parapsychology where audiovisual technologies have been used in attempts to document and prove the existence of an afterlife.  What is the relationship between these two impulses?

This panel seeks papers that explore the various relationships between audiovisual technologies used to manifest, document, or evoke the supernatural and the realms they are trying (or claiming) to evoke.
Potential topics might include, but are not limited to: 
The relationship between pre- and early cinema and ghost-raising 
The specter of technology in “found footage” horror films, such as The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity.
Uses of technologies in creating ghosties and ghoulies in haunted houses and other attractions or stage shows.
Comparisons of how the supernatural is evoked or made manifest across different media.
Comparisons of the different technologies used to create ghosts and supernatural realms (optical printing, CGI, etc.). 
Horror genre films in which audiovisual technology is presented as malignant, such as Videodrome, Poltergeist, and They Live.
Documenting the other-worldly (spirit photography, EVP sessions, etc.)

Please submit a 300 word abstract with a five-item bibliography and a brief author bio to [log in to unmask] by Tuesday, August 9th.  

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