We invite scholars to submit proposals for contributions to A New History of German Cinema, to be published in the Camden House series “Screen Cultures: German Film and the Visual.”
Existing volumes on the history of German cinema have tended to narrate this history in broad strokes, granting only minimal attention to formal details or emphasizing close readings of canonical works. This anthology aims to offer a new understanding of German film history that instead presents a kaleidoscopic view of moments, texts, and figures that have been pivotal in the 100-year history of German film. The essays we seek will pursue the relationship of the figures and texts under discussion to their social, political, and aesthetic moment. Collectively, they will illustrate the pivotal role that German cinema has played in the shaping and reception of the tumultuous twentieth century.
Each essay will take a particular date and cinematic event as its starting point and expound on its significance for German film history. Although organized chronologically, the volume will not present them as a continuous narrative, but rather will seek to provide an understanding of the history of German film as a series of events and interventions. We are interested both in essays that cover familiar ground in a new fashion, revising the canon through innovative readings, and entries that expose underexamined aspects of German film history. We welcome a diversity of contributions, from analyses of specific directors, to readings of foundational moments in genre formation, to discussions of key dates in film history. Throughout, we aim to explore how German cinema has been influenced and received by, and how it in turn influences, other national cinemas.
Taken as a whole, this collection seeks to challenge current conceptions of the German film canon and offer instead a more dynamic model, one that pursues the multiple, intersecting narratives that make up German national cinema. The aim of A New History of German Cinema, in other words, is to ensure broad coverage while offering a new approach that will open up further avenues for inquiry, study, and research.
Sample entries include:
Dec. 18, 1913: The maritime disaster film Atlantis opens in Berlin, triggering a controversy about the “sinking of culture”
May 16, 1929: The First Academy Awards are given out; Emil Jannings wins for Best Actor
Jan. 30, 1945: Veit Harlan’s Kolberg premieres
Apr. 21, 1947: Siegfried Kracauer publishes From Caligari to Hitler
Dec. 21, 1955: The first of three Sissi films starring Romy Schneider premieres
Aug. 23, 1968: Thomas Brasch is expelled from film school and imprisoned for protesting the Soviet invasion of Prague
Nov. 2, 1995: Rosa von Praunheim’s Neurosia -- 50 Jahre pervers is released
Feb. 14, 2004: Fatih Akin wins the Berlinale’s Golden Bear for Gegen die Wand
We seek additional entries (no more than 2,000 words in length) on a key aspect of German cinema. Interested authors should email a brief (ca. 250 word) abstract by January 1, 2008 including date, title, and planned scope of the contribution to Jennifer Kapczynski (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Michael Richardson (email@example.com). Accepted submissions will be due July 15, 2008.
Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures
Washington University in St. Louis
Campus Box 1104
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130
314/935-4007 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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