Paper proposals are invited for a panel on institutions of documentary media at the 18th Visible Evidence Conference, taking place this year in New York City from August 11-14th, 2011.
The panel will investigate and/or historicize the very institutions that make viewing, exhibiting, and researching documentary and nonfiction media possible. With this purpose in mind, papers might consider the diverse institutional frameworks that allow us to see and study documentary film by examining the intersections of non-fiction media production, distribution, promotion, education, exhibition, and preservation with particular political, historical, economic, technological, and cultural contexts.
The research presented might take an exploratory approach to the history, organizational goals, or global/local functions of a cinema, archive, media arts center, distributor, or educational organization of particular interest. Papers could also take up a comparative method to consider how different political, historical, economic, and technological specificities shape how non-fiction media circulates in, responds to, and influences cultures, nations, disciplines, and communities.
The overall quality of the proposal is of primary importance, but given the VE tradition of drawing upon the conference location and the incredibly rich non-fiction media history of NYC, papers addressing institutions that are based in or were started in New York will be particularly welcome.
Possible questions or subjects to address include (but aren't limited to):
-What kinds of mechanisms and networks enable documentary media to reach particular audiences and what are the significant challenges or hindrances within those mechanisms?
-By what means has a specific film, media arts, or educational organization facilitated the production, distribution, or exhibition of documentary media? How do we characterize the aims and implications of those practices?
-How do certain institutional formations reflect, reinforce, or re-tool the relationships that documentary media has with political and social movements?
-How do issues around access and archiving shape documentary’s presence in academic scholarship and new media practices?
-In what ways and under what guises has suppression or outright censorship of certain documentaries—or histories of documentary—been instantiated under different historical and cultural circumstances?
-Libraries, archives, museums, and documentary heritage
-Notorious individual organizations such as Newsreel, Young Filmmakers Foundation (which became Film/Video Arts in 1985), Women Make Movies, etc.
-PBS P.O.V., Paper Tiger Television, GritTV, ITVS, or other television outlets
-Specialty cinemas, clubs, film societies or other exhibition contexts that focus on non-fiction media
-Documentary film financing and grant foundations
-Documentary’s relationship to the film festival circuit and doc-specific festivals, such as Uniondocs, IDFA, Docfest, etc.
-First Run/Icarus, Tribeca Film Institute’s “Reframe” Program, or other distribution paradigms
-Documentary film, university libraries, and educational marketing
Please email a 250-word abstract or proposal (in the body of the email, not as an attachment), a brief bibliography and bio to Kristen Fallica at kmf33 (at) pitt.edu and write “VE Proposal” in the subject line.
Deadline for proposals is January 1, 2011; all submitters will be notified by Friday, January 7, 2011, so that those who will not be on the proposed panel can apply to the open call.
For more information on Visible Evidence, see http://visibleevidence.org/
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