“shadow and light and shadow – but mostly shadow” (Edward Dmytryk)
The origin and essence of ‘noir’ have proven elusive. Every ‘first’ seems to give way to an antecedent, and the ‘core’ meaning resists definition, evading attempts to pin it down. The manifestation of noir images has, nonetheless, been a notable feature of modern and postmodern culture since the first half of the twentieth century. This symposium addresses the emergence and circulation of noir images by focusing not on their origin and essence, but on the way they develop, fragment, and proliferate in diverse cultural sites. These of course include film noir and crime fiction, but they also involve other media, such as television, comics, graphic novels, and the Internet – together with other genres, such as science fiction and experimental fiction. The symposium poses the further question of how a cultural milieu of noir images combines with sense and sensation in what might be called a ‘noir sensorium’.
Proposals are invited for papers that address the symposium theme by examining the manifestation of noir images. Please submit paper proposals no later than June 30, 2010 by email to firstname.lastname@example.org . Proposals should be a maximum of 350 words and should be accompanied by a brief bio of no more than 150 words.
Potential topics include, but are by no means limited to, the following: noir and literature, crime fiction, graphic novels and comics; film noir, neo-noir, postmodern noir, and influences on films and filmmakers; the commercialization of noir, the culture industry; noir and genre, noir and the gothic, science fiction noir; noir and gender, queer noir; noir and politics, the noir city.
The symposium will feature Vivian Sochack as the keynote speaker and will, in addition, include three paper panels, three film screenings, and a concluding roundtable on ‘Bodies in the Dark’.
Vivian Sobchack, University of California at Los Angeles. A leading figure in film theory and criticism, Professor Sobchack has published many books, including Carnal Thoughts: Embodiment and Moving Image Culture (University of California Press, 2004) and The Address of the Eye: A Phenomenology of Film Experience (Princeton University Press, 1992), and has contributed a voice-over commentary for the Warner Bros. Film Noir Classic Collection, Vol. 3. Among various awards and distinctions, she has received the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Distinguished Service Award and has been a juror numerous times for the American Film Institute. She has also served as Associate Dean of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.
Time and Place. October 7-9, 2010 (Thursday afternoon and evening, Friday, Saturday), Traill College, Trent University (Peterborough, Ontario, Canada).
Veronica Hollinger, Professor, Cultural Studies Department.
Ian McLachlan, Professor Emeritus, Cultural Studies Department.
Davide Panagia, Associate Professor, Cultural Studies Department; Canada Research Chair in Cultural Studies.
Douglas Torgerson, Professor, Cultural Studies Department and Politics Department; Director, Centre for the Study of Theory, Culture and Politics.
Sponsors. The symposium is jointly sponsored by the Centre for the Study of Theory, Culture and Politics and the Cultural Images Project (under the auspices of the Canada Research Chair in Cultural Studies).
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