Please note that the deadline for proposals for the Charles Chaplin Conference to held in London 21-24 July 2005 is 28 Feb 2005. Please send proposals to the Charles Chaplin Conference, care of Alison Kirwan (address and contact information provided below).
I have included the conference Call for Papers below.
The Charles Chaplin Conference
21-24 July, 2005
London College of Communication, London UK.
The British Film Institute, in conjunction with the University of Southampton and the London College of Communication, will be holding a major conference in the summer of 2005 on the work and worldwide cultural influence of Charles Chaplin. This will coincide with the establishment of the BFIís Charlie Chaplin Research Foundation, which is designed to foster innovative research in relation to Chaplin and his contemporaries. The emphasis will be on dialogue and the bringing together of archivists, researchers and scholars from a wide range of disciplines for the presentation of papers and symposia to reassess Chaplinís impact and influence on film and the arts and modern culture. Proposals are invited for papers covering areas of study such as, but not exclusively, film history and aesthetics, archive and restoration, literary and cultural modernism, theatre history, transnational currents of production and reception, and social and cultural history.
We wish to encourage a wide range of approaches and areas of study but as a guide possible areas of focus are:
Performance History: Papers for this area are invited concerning Chaplin and the performing traditions that informed his work as well as his influence on subsequent artists and traditions in the realms of Film, Music Hall, Dance, Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Theatre History.
Chaplin as Transnational Star: Chaplinís star persona and his popularity have often been cited as Ďuniversalí. Papers are invited here to consider and question this axiom in relation to his popular critical reception both inside and outside the United States but particularly the interrelation between Chaplin as Hollywood icon and the negotiation with that image beyond the US. Areas of focus could include Chaplin Imitators, Chaplin as International Icon, Chaplin and Fan magazines.
Chaplin and Sentiment: Much has been made over the years of Chaplinís use of sentimentality and this has most often been invoked as a critique. Rather than resurrect this, approaches are invited which address sentiment along lines which explore Chaplinís use of, and influence by, this tradition in Victorian popular culture ranging from popular fiction to popular theatre and music hall.
Chaplin and Comic Traditions: Chaplinís influence on film and television comedy in the work of, for example, Jerry Lewis, Jacques Tati, Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett or Danny Kaye, is evident if not entirely well recognised. Possible areas of focus could consider both the vulgar roots of Chaplinís comedy and/or his enduring influence, recognised or not, on subsequent and contemporary comedians in, but not limited to, Hollywood (e.g. Adam Sandler, Jackie Chan, Jennifer Saunders etc.).
History of Film Aesthetics: Entering the film industry in 1914 Chaplin learned his craft alongside the rise of what is now referred to as the classical Hollywood style. Papers here could focus on Chaplinís contribution to the development of film aesthetics in areas such as his use and engagement with the Hollywood style, Comedy and the rise of Narrative Cinema or the rise of the feature film. Chaplin is also pertinent to wider issues in film aesthetics such as Auteurism, the Avant-Garde, or non-narrative filmmaking.
Industry History: Chaplinís relationship with the Hollywood majors was unique and often antagonistic. Papers here could include areas such as Chaplin and United Artists, Chaplin as Independent producer/director, Chaplin and the Hollywood System, Chaplinís role in Hollywood Exhibition and Distribution history worldwide.
Chaplin and the Intellectuals: Twentieth Century thinkers such as George Bernard Shaw, the Frankfurt School, Henri LeFebvre and artists such as Rene Clair to Samuel Becket found in Chaplin a cipher for the modern subject. Papers here could include work on Chaplin and Walter Benjamin, Chaplin and the Frankfurt School, Chaplin and the City, Chaplinís Ďhigh cultureí critical reception and modern taste formations.
History and Uses of Chaplin Ďs Star Image: Chaplinís star image has been appropriated and incorporated in almost innumerable ways perhaps most famously in the 1970s by IBM. This area encourages papers on a wide range of the ways in which Chaplinís image in its many forms (i.e. tramp, inebriate, immigrant, cross-dresser) has been utilised for varied ends and purposes.
Literary History: Chaplinís tramp character has been the springboard for works of fiction as well as critical speculation. In turn his characters, the settings as well as the narratives themselves, drew upon literary as well as theatrical antecedents. Papers here may consider areas concerning Chaplinís relationship to literature in areas such as Chaplin and Dickens, Chaplin and Popular Literature, Literary Modernism, Chaplin and Ďhigh literary cultureí.
Macro and Cultural Politics: Chaplinís status as immigrant and, according to the FBI, potential political agitator are just two of a number of areas for exploration as is his work and image in relation to cultural politics from issues of globalisation to identity politics. Areas of interest would be McCarthyism, The American Left, Exile and Diaspora, Chaplin and Jewishness, Class, Gender and Sexuality.
Preservation of Chaplin films: The work of Association Chaplin in Paris, Progetto Chaplin at Bologna University and the Chaplin Foundation at the British Film Institute are central to the preservation and restoration of Chaplinís work. However, his films, particularly the early material exist in numerous forms and editions. This area invites archivists and researchers to offer work on approaches to archiving and restoring the multiple versions and permutations of his work that is out there now.
Chaplin and Music: Chaplinís work on film music and as a songwriter offer a range of possible areas of work, from his influences to his compositions for his own films. Proposals are invited on any of the varied aspects of Chaplin and music.
Papers are expected to be no longer than 20 minutes in length. Proposals of no more than 300 words should be sent by post or email attachment no later than February 28, 2005 to:
The Charles Chaplin Conference
c/o Alison Kirwan
British Film Institute
21 Stephen Street
London W1T 1LN
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7436 7950
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