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CFP: Transnational Ecocinemas

2011 January 27
by Shared by Steve Rust

Transnational ecocinemas: film culture in an era of ecological transformation

A critical collection edited by Pietari Kääpä

Critical analysis of Hollywood cinema dominates much of the contemporary work on ecocriticism
and the cinema. While discussion of Hollywood and other place-centric films is important (ie.
Lu and MiÂ’s work on Chinese ecocinema), it is vital to contextualize such ideas within the
transnational economic and geopolitical system, especially concerning the proposed ‘global’
solutions to environmental concerns. There is a clear need for more sustained critical
interrogation of the ways concerns central to transnational cinema studies (eg. hybridity,
post-colonialism, diaspora, the geopolitics and economics of global inequality) feature in
cinematic analysis of the global ecoscape. The adoption of theoretical and methodological tools
from transnational studies allows us to address the very real economic and political factors
that are being negotiated and challenged in much of global cinema.

Instead of validating, advertently or inadvertently, the centrality of US-based
ecocinema, shifting the focus to transnational considerations allows us to build a more complex
picture of the ways ecological considerations work (g)locally, ultimately expanding our
framework to explore the global impact they have. This does not merely involve focusing on
the types of films usually considered as part of the canon of transnational cinema (ie. marginal,
liminal, postcolonial, hybrid or any number of other adjectives designating their somewhat
‘lesser’ position on a global scale). Rather, the aim is to shed light on a range of films and
cinematic practices from different cultural contexts that may be overshadowed by the
critical attention paid to mainstream ecocinema (ranging from Gore to Emmerich). Yet, we do not
neglect the important contributions US-centric films have made to global eco-awareness. Indeed,
the interaction and increasing blurring between different ecocinemas, especially in distribution
and exhibition, is one of the key areas the book seeks to interrogate.

This volume has four methodological orientations in mind: 1) a materialist-industrial study of
the potential of cinema to envision and provide more sustainable practices for cultural
production and dissemination; 2) ecocritical readings of specific films from different
cultural contexts; 3) reception studies of (trans)local audiences and their engagement with
ecological texts; 4) the potential of media convergence to advance cinematic ecologicalism.

Topics to be discussed:
The politics of development: ecosocialist rhetoric in transnational cinemas
Ecodocumentaries: planetarism and local realities
Anthropomorphism in different cultural contexts
Human ecology and cross-border/domestic migration
Mobile media and new directions in producing/distributing ecocinema
Anti- or neo-hegemonic transnational /regional ecopolitics
The city and urban / human ecology
Post-humanism and post-colonialist theory
Industrial developments, especially in markets
rarely addressed in ecocinematic literature (Bollywood, Nollywood etc.)
Haptic spectatorship and affectivity, especially
in translocal reception contexts

The collection is under contract with Intellect publishing and due out in early 2012.

Please send short proposals for articles (150-200 words) and brief author information to
Dr. Pietari Kääpä ( by March 14 2011.

Manuscript submission deadline will be in late 2011.

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