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Panel CFP: Ecocriticism and Moving Image Archives

2014 July 7
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by Shared by Steve Rust

Panel CFP: Ecocriticism and Moving Image Archives

Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference, Montreal, March 2015

Deadline for Abstracts: August 6, 2014


Archival scholars have frequently turned to geological metaphors to explain the processes of archival selection, preservation, and the ‘unearthing’ of the past. Robert-Henri Bautier, for instance, compares archival collections to ‘sediments of geological layers’ that accumulate organically in “Les archives” (Samaran, L’Histoire et ses méthodes, 1961). Karen I. Ishizuka and Patricia Zimmermann echo this metaphor in Mining the Home Movie: Excavations in Histories and Memories, referring to home movie collections as ‘archival mines’ and their study as an ‘excavation’ (2007). Yet ecocritical studies of archival practices and their material impacts on the natural world remain few and far between.


This panel intends to build upon these discursive resonances to ask what an ecocritical study of the archive might resemble, especially in relation to moving image preservation, digitization, recycling and disposal. Since archives arrest the decomposition of material artifacts, they paradoxically entail both the conservation and disturbance of place, cultural fragments and, by extension, ecology. Thus, this panel seeks to bring together archival study with the recent ecological and spatial turns in moving image scholarship.


Papers are encouraged to address, as well as build upon, the following topics:


  • Analyses of temporality, history, and space (i.e. geological time versus anthropocentric history, the site-specific nature of archives and environments, etc.)
  • Archival and environmental heritage, preservation and conservation
  • Archival digitization, e-waste and disposal
  • Coding in digital cinema or video game ecologies
  • Discursive linkages between archival practice and environmental humanities (i.e. ‘sedimentation’, ‘unearthing the past’, ‘accumulation,’ ‘excavation’)
  • Ecocritical readings of recycled archival images (including found footage and compilation films, videos, and databases)
  • Ecological impact of the archival technologies and the circulation of archival moving images
  • Ecomedia and environmental films as ‘visual archives’ of nature and the non-human
  • Ephemera and decomposition
  • Landscape as archive
  • Materiality and the ecological footprint of digital archives, cloud-servers and databases
  • Politics of ‘green’ archiving


Please send abstracts of 300 words (including bibliography, institutional/departmental affiliations, and a short bio) to Rachel Webb Jekanowski (Concordia University) at by August 6, 2014. Successful submissions will be notified by August 12.


Rachel Webb Jekanowski

Doctoral Candidate

Department of Film & Moving Image Studies

Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema

Concordia University, Montreal


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