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Conference/Book CFP: Arctic Cinemas and the Documentary Ethos

2015 February 24
by Shared 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

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