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Call for Papers

TEACHING TRANSNATIONAL CINEMA AND MEDIA: POLITICS AND PEDAGOGY
Edited Collection
Co-editors: Bruce Bennett (Lancaster University, 
UK) and Katarzyna Marciniak (Ohio University, USA)


This proposed edited collection will focus on the 
analysis of transnational cinema (also referred 
to in different contexts as “border cinema,” 
“cinema of migration,” or “cinema of 
displacement”) in conjunction with specific 
pedagogical challenges such cinema/media evoke in 
the classroom.  Coming to the foreground in the 
early 2000s, the rubric of transnational cinema 
has galvanized film and media studies, drawing 
our attention to diasporic and “accented” 
filmmaking (Naficy), but also challenging us to 
think about cinema beyond the restrictive scope 
of the nation. For various reasons, since 2000 
there has emerged a rich archive of new films 
that exemplify transnational cinema.  Examples 
from around the globe include, for instance, 
Amreeka (2009), Babel (2006), Before Night Falls 
(2000), Biutiful (2010), Children in No Man’s 
Land (2008), Dirty Pretty Things (2002), The 
Gatekeeper (2002), Gran Torino (2008), Goodbye 
Lenin (2003), In This World (2002), Last Resort 
(2000), Machete (2010), Paradise Now (2005), 
Persepolis (2007), Silent Waters (2003), Sleep 
Dealer (2008), The Syrian Bride (2004), The 
Visitor (2007), or Unveiled (2005). Collectively, 
these films engage with issues related to 
immigrant identities, transnational encounters, 
foreignness and citizenship, the politics of 
visibility, terrorism, legality, race and racism. 
National borders emerge in these films as both 
violent geopolitical constructs and abstractions 
related to ideas of difference, otherness, 
travel, migration, neo-liberal capitalism, 
neo-colonialism and transcultural translation.

As the field of transnational cinema and media 
studies has been developing, scholars of cinema 
and media have not thus far turned their 
systematic attention to pedagogical practices. 
Discussions of teaching practices occur but they 
are mainly located in the fields of rhetoric, 
education and communication, or, occasionally, in 
gender studies. As more film scholars engage with 
transnational cinema in the classroom, our goal 
is to explore the complexities of teaching with 
and about such cinema, addressing such questions 
as: What happens when our students encounter the 
“foreignness” of various films, texts, and ideas 
in the classroom? How might teachers make the 
topics raised in transnational texts – national 
(un)belonging, racial tensions, cross-cultural 
encounters, difference, intimacy and family, the 
politics of anger – relevant, even urgent, to our 
students, a lot of whom have not knowingly 
brushed against experiences of immigration and 
foreignness? How do we avoid “consumerist” 
emotionality in teaching such complex topics? How 
might one implicate “the local” in “the global” 
and encourage students to see beyond their own 
borders of social and cultural contexts? How 
might we imbricate the transnational into one’s 
pedagogical practices so that issues of 
foreignness, migration, and dislocation begin to 
produce what we call “affective openings,” that 
is, an openness toward new ways of thinking about 
resistance to oppressive forms of phobic 
nationalisms and exclusionary practices of citizenship?

We hope to include a variety of theoretical 
perspectives from scholars with experience of 
teaching in diverse locations. We invite 
contributions that consider innovative pedagogies 
and think critically about such embodied 
experiences as spectatorial identification or 
disidentification and estrangement, spectatorial 
consumption of foreignness and “otherness,” 
culturally-mediated desire for “proper” 
representations of immigration, migration, or 
foreignness, or what Elspeth Probyn calls 
“affective reactions” in the classroom and their 
“management.” We also invite contributions that 
reflect upon the value of transnational cinema as 
educational tool or ‘weapon’  (Solanas and 
Getino), and the institutional politics of 
teaching and working in this area within 
universities and colleges in an increasingly 
neo-liberal global context and in the face of the 
“post-ideological” turn in many arts, humanities 
and social science disciplines.

Please submit a 500-word abstract and a short bio 
by September 15, 2013 to Bruce Bennett 
(<mailto:[log in to unmask]>[log in to unmask]) 
and Katarzyna Marciniak (<mailto:[log in to unmask]>[log in to unmask]).

Bruce Bennett
Director of Film Studies
Lancaster Institute of Contemporary Arts
Lancaster University
LA1 4YW

Katarzyna Marciniak
Professor and Co-Editor of Global Cinema
Transnational Studies
Department of English
Ohio University
Athens, OH 45701





    

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