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Conference CFP: “The Image Conference”

2015 February 27
by Steve Rust

We are pleased to announce the Call for Papers for the Sixth International Conference on the Image. The Image Conference will be held 29-30 October 2015 at the University of California, Berkeley, USA. We welcome submissions from a variety of disciplines and perspectives and encourage faculty and students to jointly submit proposals, discussing the image through one of the following themes:

Conference Themes

Theme 1: The Form of the Image
Theme 2: Image Work
Theme 3: The Image in Society
2015 Special Focus: Media Materiality: Towards Critical Economies of “New” Media

2015 Special Focus

Media Materiality: Towards Critical Economies of “New” Media
When speaking about “new” media, the claim to newness draws meaning from what is supposed to be the peculiar nature of digital technologies. This narrative is mirrored in the analysis of a historical shift from an industrial age, based in the logic of mass factory production and uniform consumption, to an information age centered on the production and communication of information. In an industrial logic “material” referred primarily to a critique of a political economy of real objects, whereas “immaterial” referred to a politics of identity and culture.

The conference will address this theme through a series of cascading questions. For example, could the lens of “media materiality” be a productive way to view the flows of political economy, identity, and sexuality in the context of a critical analysis of what is “new” in the new media? How can one address the intersection, co-dependency, and interplay of media materiality and immateriality? And, as this question pertains to the Image Conference, how do we understand the production, consumption, and distribution of images in an age of “new“ compared to “old“ media? How might we frame critical economies of “new” media in relation to the legacy, rebirth, and re-imagination of “old“ media?

Proposal Submissions and Deadlines

The current review period closing date for the latest round of submissions to the Call for Papers (a title and short abstract) is 5 March 2015*. Please visit our website for more information on submitting your proposal, future deadlines, and registering for the conference.

If you are unable to attend the conference, you may still join the community and submit your article for peer review and possible publication, upload an online presentation, and enjoy subscriber access to The Image Journal.

*Proposals are reviewed in rounds adhering to monthly deadlines. Check the website often to see the current review round.

Conference Highlights

Plenary Speakers
In addition to numerous parallel presentations by researchers and practitioners, the 2015 conference will feature plenary sessions by some of the world’s leading thinkers and innovators in the field. This year’s plenary speakers include:

Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, Modern Culture and Media, History of Art and Architecture, Brown University, Providence, USA
Jesse Drew, Cinema and Technocultural Studies, University of California, Davis, USA

Current List of Accepted Proposals
Deciding on whether to attend a conference is an important decision in your academic career, and many times your peers can play an important role in helping you to take that vital step in your research progression.
To view the current list of accepted proposals to date, click here.

Staying at the conference hotel is a great way to meet fellow delegates and to ensure an easy trip to the conference venue each day. To view details on conference accommodations, click here.

Conference/Book CFP: Arctic Cinemas and the Documentary Ethos

2015 February 24
by Steve Rust

Arctic Cinemas and the Documentary Ethos
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 27-29 August 2015

Arctic Cinemas and the Documentary Ethos seeks to counteract pervasive mythologies of the Arctic as a blank space or desolate end of the world. Instead, the conference seeks to engage with how past, present, and future power dynamics shape this circumpolar region, its indigenous populations, and relationship to the rest of the world through documentary filmmaking. The conference and proposed edited volume examines the Arctic as a profoundly transnational and heterogeneous space through the rubric of Arctic documentary (including film, video, television, digital media, and installation art).

Arctic Cinemas and the Documentary Ethos reflects the state of the field by calling on the expertise by a range of established and emerging film scholars from Europe, Canada, and the United States. The conference seeks to juxtapose different forms of filmmaking not typically placed in dialogue, and whose interrelations are overlooked. We are as interested in presentations on films made in the eight Arctic countries (Canada, Denmark/Greenland, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, USA), as we are in documentaries made by non-Arctic countries, and in early cinema as much as digital media. Through this practice, we seek to uncover a counter-history that reveals the complexity of Arctic visual, cultural, ideological, and political representation in a globalized and international world. Given its importance in the history of cinematic representations of the Arctic, the conference will focus on documentary cinema broadly conceived.

Arctic Cinemas and the Documentary Ethos will be held at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on August 27-29, 2015. Confirmed participants include scholars of documentary, media, ethnographic, and circumpolar indigenous cinemas who will address particularly significant aspects of Arctic documentary cinema from the early 1900s to today. These aspects include environmental documentaries, explorer films, indigenous media, and political filmmaking, as well as production and distribution trends of the Circumpolar North.

Please submit a title, 500-word abstract, and biography by April 1, 2015 to Participants will be notified in late April. Selected book-length chapter contributions (7,000-8,000 words) will be due to the editors December 1, 2015.

Lilya Kaganovsky
Associate Professor of Slavic, Comparative Literature, and Media and Cinema Studies
Director, Program in Comparative & World Literature
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Scott MacKenzie,
Dept of Film and Media Studies,
Cross-appointed to the Graduate Program in Cultural Studies,
Queen’s University,
Kingston, Canada

Anna Westerstahl Stenport
Associate Professor of Scandinavian Studies and Media and Cinema Studies
Director of the European Union Center
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Noelle Belanger
Conference Program Coordinator

Conference CFP: The Real and the Intermedial

2015 February 22


October 23-24, 2015. International Film and Media Studies Conference, Sapientia University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

The official language of the conference is English.

Conference website:

Following up on the themes introduced in our previous conferences dedicated to “film in the post-media age”, the“cinema of sensations”, “rethinking intermediality in the digital age”, and “figurations of intermediality in film”, we invite you to address one of the most puzzling phenomena of contemporary media and film: the intertwining of the illusion of reality with effects of intermediality, connecting the experience of a palpable, everyday world with artificiality, abstraction and the awareness of multiple mediations. While on an ontological level the concept of the “real” has been radically challenged by the advent of digital technology in photography and the movies, we find that new, audiovisual media have also effectively reshaped our sense of reality, and have expanded the areas of our sensual reach into the world. In our post-postmodern age, the question of the “real” is back with a vengeance regarding all aspects of media. The digital image, as a “graphic mode” has not only brought back painting reinstating “the ‘artist’ as the source and origin of the movie” (T. Elsaesser), but in cinema, television and new media, we also have diverse and astonishing examples in which hypermediacy fulfils “the desire for immediacy” (J. D. Bolter), and we see productive intersections between the emphasis on the senses, on the physical-biological, socio-political “reality” of existence and conspicuous, intermedial stylization.

The photo-graphic effect of stillness in the moving image and its fundamental relation to indexicality is exploited to the full in the so-called “slow cinema” canon, as we see in the breathtaking films of Pedro Costa, Abbas Kiarostami, Béla Tarr, Alexander Sokurov, Lav Diaz, for example. Or we may think of cases in which painterly images of ethereal beauty are created alongside violent, shockingly naturalistic scenes in the films of Carlos Reygadas, Kim-Ki Duk, etc. Jean-Luc Godard’s new movie, Goodbye to Language, a bold incursion into the use of 3D, renders scenes of nature and the texture of everyday things in vivid, artificial imagery. (Even the recent teaming up of David Attenborough and Björk for such a new media Gesamtkunstwerk experiment as Biophilia, emphasizes this duality.)
Cultural differences, subjectivity, a sense of history and place are often articulated through techniques of intermediality in avant-garde experiments, documentary practices or fiction films alike. As a rule, the “haptic” image can be seen as the gateway to a myriad of connections between cinema and the other arts. In certain cases, a reflexive foregrounding of mediality and constructedness has become not an instrument of ironic detachment but of a search for authenticity: all of which may also bring into focus the co-experience of “the real” with the “intermedial”.

We are especially interested in the following topics (but welcome any paper that proposes a relevant approach to either keywords of the conference):

  • “Reality effect”, hybridity and media reflexivity in film, television, and new media.
  • Intermediality and inter-sensuality in film: e.g. the represented and sensed body as a site of intermedial relations, haptic “texturality” and interartiality.
  • Figurations of intermediality as imprints of (and meditations upon) history and time, cultural and personal identity.
  • “Analogue” versus “digital” viewed in terms of the “real” versus the “intermedial”.
  • Painterly stylization and “reality effect” in slow cinema.
  • Inflections of realism and intermediality within the post-communist cinema of Central and Eastern Europe.
  • Magical realism in world cinema.
  • The merging of the “representation” and the “real” within the rhetoric of intermedial cinema (e.g. the tensions underlying “poetic realism”, techniques of figuration and disfiguration, the various forms of media collage or the tableau vivant in cinema).
  • Intermediality theorized or analysed from the perspective of phenomenological or postphenomenological points of view.

Confirmed keynote speaker

  • LÚCIA NAGIB, Professor of Film, Director of the Centre for Film Aesthetics and Cultures, University of Reading, Director of International Engagement, Department of Film, Theatre and Television, editor of Impure Cinema: Intermedial and Intercultural Approaches to Film (2013), Theorizing World Cinema (2012), Realism and the Audiovisual Media (2009), author of World Cinema and the Ethics of Realism (2011), as well as several seminal articles on Brazilian, German, French, and Japanese cinema.
  • further keynotes to be announced.

Submission of proposals

We invite proposals both for individual papers and pre-constituted panels. Panels may consist of 3 or 4 speakers.

Deadline for the submission of proposals: May 25, 2015.

We will get back to you with our decision by June 1, 2015.

Please fill in one of the SUBMISSION FORMS below:



For additional information you can contact the organizers directly at this e-mail address:

NASA Releases Timelapse Videos of the Sun

2015 February 20


February 11, 2015 marks five years in space for NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory or SDO, which provides incredibly detailed images of the Earth-facing side of the sun 24 hours a day. Capturing an image almost once per second, SDO has provided an unprecedentedly clear picture of how massive explosions on the sun grow and erupt ever since its launch on Feb. 11, 2010. The imagery is also captivating, allowing one to watch the constant ballet of solar material through the sun’s atmosphere, the corona.

In honor of SDO’s fifth anniversary, NASA has released two videos showcasing highlights from the last five years of sun watching. The first is a time lapse of the past five years. Different colors represent different wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light, ultraviolet light, and visible light, which in turn correspond to solar material at different temperatures.  Additionally SDO returns solar magnetic field data that helps scientists study solar activity.

The second video showcases highlights from the last five years. Watch the movie to see giant clouds of solar material hurled out into space, the dance of giant loops hovering in the corona, and huge sunspots growing and shrinking on the sun’s surface.

The imagery in both videos is an example of the kind of data that SDO provides to scientists. By watching the sun in different wavelengths – and therefore different temperatures – scientists can watch how material courses through the corona, which holds clues to what causes eruptions on the sun, what heats the sun’s atmosphere up to 1,000 times hotter than its surface, and why the sun’s magnetic fields are constantly on the move. SDO also measures fluctuations in the sun’s extreme ultraviolet output, which provides the majority of energy for heating Earth’s upper atmosphere.

“There have now been more than 2,000 scientific papers published based on SDO data,” said Dean Pesnell, project scientist for SDO at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “SDO has also led to wonderful international collaborations, with the data being shared and used all over the world.”

Five years into its mission, SDO continues to send back tantalizing imagery to incite scientists’ curiosity. For example, in late 2014, SDO captured imagery of the largest sun spots seen since 1995 as well as a torrent of intense solar flares. Solar flares are bursts of light, energy and X-rays. They can occur by themselves or can be accompanied by what’s called a coronal mass ejection, or CME, in which a giant cloud of solar material erupts off the sun, achieves escape velocity and heads off into space. In this case, the sun produced only flares and no CMEs, which, while not unheard of, is somewhat unusual for flares of that size. Scientists are looking at that data now to see if they can determine what circumstances might have led to flares eruptions alone.

CFP: “Split Waters: Examining Conflicts Related to Water and Their Narration”

2015 February 17
by Steve Rust

*Split Waters: Examining Conflicts Related to Water and Their Narration*

*Call for Papers*

Conflicts over water may happen between people, social groups, public entities, whether users in the typical sense, or not. If in many cases water conflicts engender violence, even more frequently they impact social and individual life less evidently, and at times they occur in the context of, and to exasperate, ongoing violence that is not necessarily related to water per se. As often as not, apart from availability and allocation issues, water conflicts originate from, or are inflamed by, changes in cultivation patterns or market dependability, migration fluxes, social relations, organization of labor, issues of minority or multiple identities, geo-political factors, and several other seemingly unrelated events. While the contexts where water conflicts occur are extremely varied, the ways in which they are made part of the public domain, and how they are understood by the current scholarship, appear to be overly homogenized.

read more…

New Book: ‘Films on Ice: Cinemas of the Arctic’

2015 February 16
by Steve Rust

Blurb from the Edinburgh University Press:

The first book to address the vast diversity of Northern circumpolar cinemas from a transnational perspective, Films on Ice: Cinemas of the Arctic presents the region as one of great and previously overlooked cinematic diversity. With chapters on polar explorer films, silent cinema, documentaries, ethnographic and indigenous film, gender and ecology, as well as Hollywood and the USSR’s uses and abuses of the Arctic, this book provides a groundbreaking account of Arctic cinemas from 1898 to the present. Challenging dominant notions of the region in popular and political culture, it demonstrates how moving images (cinema, television, video, and digital media) have been central to the very definition of the Arctic since the end of the nineteenth century. Bringing together an international array of European, Russian, Nordic, and North American scholars, Films on Ice radically alters stereotypical views of the Arctic region, and therefore of film history itself.

Here is a Link to the Full Text of the book’s Introduction, which is also available on the publisher’s website.


Global Divestment Day

2015 February 13

Environmental organizations, student groups, business leaders, and politicians around the world are taking part today in Global Investment Day. As ecomedia scholars, we might consider the uses of affect and aesthetics in videos such as this one produced by

According to the Fossil Free Project: “The fossil fuel industry is both fueling the climate crisis and blocking serious action. On Global Divestment Day, we will call on our institutions — our schools, our governments, our banks and our places of worship — to divest from destruction. Each act of divestment takes back power from fossil fuel companies and helps create a mandate for our leaders to take real action.”

Visiting Assistant Professor: Gettysburg College

2015 February 12
by smonani

Position Summary:
Gettysburg College invites applications for a one‐year Visiting Assistant Professor position in Environmental Humanities in the interdisciplinary Environmental Studies Department beginning August, 2015. Field of specialization is open. Teaching responsibilities include one or more upper-division courses in the candidate’s area of specialization, an environmental humanities core course for Environmental Studies majors, and introductory environmental studies courses for non‐majors. The teaching load for this position will be three courses each semester.

The successful candidate should have a Ph.D., although ABD will be considered, and be committed to interdisciplinary teaching in the liberal arts tradition.

Application Details:
Applicants should apply online at: A cover letter, curriculum vitae and statement of teaching and research goals should be submitted. In addition, applicants should enter the names and mail addresses of three professional references. After the applicant completes his/her on-line application, the professional references indicated will be contacted by Gettysburg College via email to submit letters of recommendation electronically. At least one individual should be able to speak to the candidate’s teaching effectiveness. Review of applications will begin on March 25th, 2015 and will continue until a successful candidate is found. Inquiries can be addressed to Dr. Sarah Principato at

Gettysburg College is a highly selective liberal arts college located within 90 minutes of the Baltimore/Washington metropolitan area. Established in 1832, the College has a rich history and is situated on a 220‐acre campus with an enrollment of approximately 2,600 students. Gettysburg College celebrates diversity and welcomes applications from members of any group that has been historically underrepresented in the American academy. The College assures equal employment opportunity and prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, and disability.