Cluj-Napoca, Romania, May 27 - 28, 2016
Registration deadline: Apr 1, 2016
Department of Cinematography and Media
Faculty of Theatre and Television, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Cinema and Visual Culture in Post-Communist Europe: From Crisis to Euphoria and Back Again
Europe is rather an elusive concept. It means different things for different people, it describes very diverse civilizations with distinct historical backgrounds, it represents an uneven pattern articulated by the split and the convergence between East and West, North and South. Nevertheless, Europe has and promotes the same set of values (if it is to name only democracy and the universal human rights). Moreover, Europe is seen nowadays as a transnational entity with a shared identity and a common political goal. Yet this unity is more and more contested especially in the context of the previous economical crisis, and the recent waves of immigration.
Cinema and visual culture have always been part of the efforts to build Europe’s identity, and to define its national/cultural borders. At the same time, cinema and visual culture contribute to undermine these borders (through a wide circulation of works, open networks, common funding policies etc.) and equally to questions Europe’s identity especially now, during the present round of continental turmoil.
The questions that arise from these historical realities equally challenge and confirm recent developments: How cinema and visual culture shape Europe as a collective entity? Or rather, how they undermine it? What role national, ethnic linguistic and religious dimensions play in the recent cinematic and artistic productions? Is there a specific visual rhetoric of integration? Why totalitarianism is so appealing? What is national in the networked transnational spectatorship? Local subjects or global markets? Or both?
Stemming from these questions, specific areas for further inquiry are identified. One of them is the role of critical reflection – in different fields, from visual arts to literature, theatre or cinema – after the fall of communism in East-Central Europe. If in the 1990s critical discourse remained somewhat anchored in the established values, after the year 2000, critical reflection gained more legitimacy, acquired a certain sense of adequacy and redefined its social function.
Therefore, can we speak about a certain specificity of cultural methodologies related to this intellectual and geographical area, in the post-censorship decades? Are the recent Eastern-European interdisciplinary and cross-cultural explorations in art practice and theory easily exportable to Western Europe? Or they remain an intellectual pattern which is functional only for a local, Eastern European paradigm? How the Western-based critical thinking models (such as Post-colonialism, Critical Theory, Feminism and Cultural Studies) have penetrated and changed the East-Central European critical reflection?
This conference is an interdisciplinary forum that welcomes contributions from academics and practitioners working in the fields or at the intersection of cinema, visual arts, media, literature and performing arts.
Topics include but are not limited to:
-Rethinking cultural cannons after totalitarianism
-Collective memory and personal experience
-The rhetoric of integration
-The cultural politics of Euro skepticism
-Contemporary European cinema in the context of other cinemas
-Big screen / Small cinemas
-World cinema and Eastern European production
-National cinema after communism
-Visual and performing arts at the crossroads – between underground and
-Models of visuality in Eastern Europe – global vs. local
-Think local act global – an Eastern European approach
-The other Post-colonialism – Eastern and Central Europe’s
-Mediality and locality: television and the global communication
-Identity, memory and trauma
-Multiculturalism vs. interculturalism
-Migration, exile and cultural (dis)connections
-The cultural construction of dissidence
-Periphery / center - comparative perspective
-New artistic production means, alternative distribution networks
-Autobiography and collected memories
-Performing arts – communicating over the language barriers
-National / Post-national in culture
-Spectator, participant, consumer
-Aesthetics and politics of urban space
-Visualizations of the Gulag
-The legacy of the socialist societies
-The persistence of political ghosts
-Culture in hiding: from the secret police to Big Brother
-East-West intermedial arts - attitudes, values, practices
-Literature undercover during totalitarianism
-Local audience, European dimension: forms of public engagement
-The art of resistance
Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words, together with a short bio and author’s affiliation in English: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Deadline for abstract submissions: April 1, 2016.
Notifications of acceptance of the submissions will be emailed by April 15, 2016. Each presentation will be twenty minutes long, followed by a ten-minute discussions period. The language of the conference is English.
The conference fee for speakers is € 130 (€ 80 for PhD candidates). The fee does not include accommodation and meals, and will be paid in advance after the confirmation of paper acceptance (or, exceptionally in cash at the conference registration desk). Registered speakers will have access to snacks and coffee during presentations and will have access to the opening cocktail.
Selected papers will be published in a special issue of the journal EKPHRASIS. Images, Cinema, Theory, Media.
Keynote speakers: TBA