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CFP: Documentary and the Environment

2012 March 5
by smonani

A one-day symposium hosted by the Film Studies programme at the University of Surrey

Friday September 14, 2012

The third in the series ‘Documentary and …’ to be held at the University of Surrey will be on Documentary and the Environment. The ‘Documentary and …’ series seeks to explore the conjunction of the documentary project with the worlds it encounters and the practical and conceptual modifications these combinations bring.

The first decades of the twenty-first century have seen a consistent flow of environmental documentary films which have managed to gain attention beyond special interest groups. This one-day event aims to explore the emergence or perhaps resurgence of this documentary subgenre. How have documentary filmmakers worked with the concepts of the environment and environmental awareness?  What are the ethics and aesthetics of environmental documentary filmmaking?  How do theories of documentary, ecology, and the theorisation of environmental politics interact?  How do audiences respond to environmental documentaries?
We invite speakers and contributors working on documentary film and non-fiction media as well as on the intersection of documentary with environmental education, environmental communication, and environmental psychology to respond to these questions.  The following topics are a guideline to potential paper proposals and are not meant to exclude other interpretations of the seminar’s title Documentary and the Environment:

  • Defining the eco-doc: experimental, documentary and activist representations of environmental issues
  • Place, space and ecology in environmental documentary
  • Environmental justice and the documentary
  • Nature and the natural in environmental documentary
  • Wildlife documentary and environmental issues
  • The history of the environmental documentary
  • Support structures for the production and distribution of environmental documentaries
  • The evolving environmental film festival circuit and the social hub
  • The sustainability of documentary filmmaking

Please submit a proposal including a 300-word paper abstract and a short biography to Dr. Helen Hughes ( by Friday 29, June 2012.

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