Cinema and Multilingualism

CinemaaustraliaThe collection Cinema and Multilingualism takes its cue from two independent, but interrelated, ideas. Firstly, that the importance of linguistic difference and change in contemporary history has been vastly undervalued: an individual’s migration into a non-native linguistic environment, like the collective confrontation with foreign languages through the forces of immigration, urbanization and media globalization, bears a series of social, political, psychological and even ethical implications whose relevance to contemporary culture and society deserves a much closer look than it has so far inspired. Secondly, that transnationality and multilingualism are not recent phenomena whose impact on cinema has only just begun to be felt, but that cinema has been globalized and transnational from its very origins, and language and linguistic difference have shaped its history much more broadly than is generally acknowledged.     Although recent scholarship in film studies has begun to reevaluate the profound impact of displacement on film production and consumption – contributing to a paradigm shift that radically problematizes the concept of national cinemas, and to the establishment of the transnational as an interdisciplinary discourse – the question of language has so far occupied a marginal position. At the same time, the few recent studies that address multilingualism and linguistic difference have been largely focused on matters of translation and the representation of migrant languages and identities – as, for example, in the various reflections on dubbing and subtitling practices and the analyses of what have come to be known as “polyglot films.” Necessarily inspired by, but also moving beyond these studies, Cinema and Multilingualism is driven by the reflection that even a cursory glance at the history of film – that is, the history of its production, distribution, reception and theorization – reveals countless indications of the centrality of multilingualism in filmmaking practices. This is evident not only in the international co-productions that have always been a staple of the industry – a point that has begun to be examined – but also in the very birth of cinema, and of photography before it, in close correspondence with the consolidation of disciplines such as geography and anthropology, and the expansion of tourism. It is further evident in the medium’s popularity with (and popularization through) urban immigrant communities at the turn of the twentieth century; in the well-known fact that Hollywood itself was built in good part by immigrants, and classical Hollywood narrative and style consolidated through the work of countless displaced practitioners; and in the widespread influence of genres such as film noir, and national (but trans-regional and pluri-dialectic) cinema contexts such as that of postwar Italy, without which the medium’s history would hardly be the same. These indicators of multilingualism’s place in cinema have yet to be adequately addressed. At the same time, the further escalation of migration and globalization (and therefore multilingualism) in recent times, and its increasing relevance to areas of the world previously either untouched by such demographic and cultural shifts or without the means to confront them cinematically, is equally in need of scholarly attention.      The essays so far collected in Cinema and Multilingualism move through innovative historical debates (e.g. the impact of multilingualism on pre-cinema aesthetics); hitherto unexplored geographical areas (e.g. the minority-language films of North East India); emergent sociopolitical paradoxes (e.g. the negotiation of linguistic difference in recent European remakes of other European films); and fresh re-examinations of postcolonial discourse. The volume seeks to expand on these existing concerns with essays on the place of multilingualism in the development and dissemination of film theory (both past and current), as well as its impact on contexts such as avant-garde and silent cinema, and on the distribution, exhibition and teaching of multilingual films. It also welcomes essays that adopt a comparative and interdisciplinary approach to the study of multilingualism, particularly regarding the relationship between cinema and the other arts.     The volume Cinema and Multilingualism stands not only to provide a necessary contribution to the growing area of film studies broadly referred to as “transnational cinema,” and to re-evaluate – and re-invigorate – the question of cinema’s relation to language more generally, but also to stimulate further research into the place of multilingualism in the social and cultural history of the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Abstracts of 300-500 words should be sent to and by 1 December 2013, with a brief biographical statement. Accepted articles of 5,000-8,000 words, including notes and bibliography, should be sent to the editors by 1 June 2014.  Topics may include (but are not restricted to) the following:

- historical shifts in multilingualism and its cinematic expression (particularly the confrontations associated with moments of emerging urban and/or cosmopolitan scenes of multilingualism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries) – the place of multilingualism in areas of filmmaking generally excluded from research into this topic, particularly early and silent film, experimental/avant-garde cinema and video art – canonical or “hegemonic” filmmakers usually excluded from the discourses of transnational and migrant cinemas (e.g. Luis Buñuel, Andrej Tarkovsky, Raùl Ruiz, Straub and Huillet, Claire Denis) – linguistic concerns in the work of classical and modern film theorists working outside the context of their native language (e.g. Béla Balász, Sergej Eisenstein, Siegfried Kracauer) – the stylistic indices of multilingualism, both within the work of single individuals or across entire modes, genres or movements – cognitive approaches to the impact of multilingualism on film spectatorship – the relationship between language and visuality, particularly as it pertains to film theory – the impact of translation and mis-translation on the dissemination of film theory (e.g. Bazin in Anglophone academia) – interrelations between cinema and modernist literature, particularly with regard to the traces of multilingualism in the latter’s development – multilingualism and pre-cinema aesthetics – pedadogical approaches to cinema and multilingualism, in both monolingual and multilingual teaching contexts – multilingualism and screenwriting – multilingualism within distribution or exhibition practices – the circulation and transformation of multilingual cinema via new media – the reception of multilingual cinema within local, national, and transnational frameworks – multilingual stardom – forms or practices of multilingualism in any period of film/media history and any aspect of film theory

cfp categories:

Tales After Tolkien: Medievalism and Genre in the Twenty-First Century

Contributions are sought for an edited collection titled Tales After Tolkien: Medievalism and Genre in the Twenty-First Century. The collection explores the ways popular genres engage with the history and literature of the Middle Ages, and with the very idea of ‘the medieval.’ What are the intersections of medievalism and genre in modern popular culture?

The questions chapters might ask include, but are not limited to: how genre conventions shape the use of medieval material and vice versa? In what ways do contemporary social, cultural and political issues intersect with the medieval in popular genres? How do authors approach the Middle Ages and medieval material? What is the role of audience expectations and beliefs? Is historical authenticity important, to whom does it matter, and how is it defined?

Chapters may focus on any popular genre, but contributions exploring romance, horror, mystery, and historical, westerns, cross-genre works or comparing genres are especially welcome. They may focus on works in any medium, e.g. fiction, film, television, graphic novels, and games, or consider multi- or transmedia medievalisms.  Chapters exploring fan communities, audiences, and adaptations are also welcome. They should focus on works first published in the twenty-first century, although series which began before that date could also be considered, as could comparisons of recent works with earlier publications.

Chapters will be 6,000 to 7,000 words, including all footnotes, references etc, with first drafts due 1st June 2014, and final versions on 1st October 2014. The volume will be offered to Cambria Press, which has expressed interest in seeing the manuscript proposal.

In the first instance, an abstract of approximately 300 words along with a brief CV should be sent to by 8th January, 2014. Any queries may be directed to the same address.

Luce Irigaray International Seminar June 2014

irigaray-by-cathy-bernheimSince 2003, Luce Irigaray holds a seminar with researchers doing their PhD on her work. This way, they have the opportunity to receive personal teaching from Luce Irigaray and to exchange ideas, methods and experiences between them. The seminar was welcomed by the University of Nottingham during the first three years (see Luce Irigaray: Teaching edited by Luce Irigaray with Mary Green, and published by Continuum, London & New York, 2008), by the University of Liverpool the fourth year, by Queen Mary, University of London, the fifth year, by the Goodenough College of London the sixth year, by the University of Nottingham the seventh year, by the University of the West of England and the University of Bristol as co-hosts the eighth year, and by the University of Bristol the ninth and tenth years. The seminar will take place at the University of Bristol in 2014.

The framework of the seminar is this: A group of at most fifteen researchers, doing their PhD on the work of Luce Irigaray, stay one week on the university campus. The timetable includes a presentation by each researcher on the aspect of their PhD which most focuses on the work of Luce Irigaray, the discussion of this presentation by the group, the comments of Luce Irigaray herself and her answers to the questions asked by each one, and also sessions devoted to an explanation of some key-words or key-thoughts chosen by the participants. Personal meetings with Luce Irigaray are organized on the last day. The participants pay for their travel, but receive, at least in part, hospitality from the university. The language of the seminar is English. The participants in the seminar come from different regions of the world, they belong to different cultures, traditions and fields of research – Philosophy, Gender Studies, Religious Studies, Literature, Arts, Critical and Cultural Studies, etc. The themes of their research include, for example: the treatment of personal or cultural traumatic experience; the resources that various arts can offer for dwelling in oneself and with the other(s); the maternal order and feminine genealogy; the interpretation and embodiment of the divine today; the contribution of sexuate difference to personal and social development; new perspectives in philosophy etc. In each of these fields, diverse domains, approaches and methods are represented. To date, the participants came from Australia, Vietnam, Korea, China, India, Sri Lanka, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada, Latvia, France, Belgium, Pakistan, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Iceland, Romania and from different regions and universities of the U.S.A. and of the U.K. Beyond the multicultural teaching which results from such a gathering, the participants learn to live together and to share in difference during the time devoted to the work, and during meals, walks, personal meetings etc. The atmosphere of the seminar is intense but friendly and joyful, and its outcome highly successful for both the research and the life of each participant.

If you are interested and would like to participate in such a seminar please send as soon as possible a CV, a PhD abstract (1 page) and a presentation of the issues and arguments of your PhD that most focus on the work of Luce Irigaray (5 – 6 pages) to Luce Irigaray (by mail: 15, rue Lakanal, 75015 Paris, France). After receiving this material, Luce Irigaray will tell you if you can participate in the seminar of 2014. You will be in contact, for further practical information, in the Spring after the selection of the candidates.

Please visit for information about previous seminars and for the CFP details.


World Literature and Film

The figure of the hero underwent a renascence in meaning, visibility, and cultural cachet in the twenty-first century, with the success of the Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and World War Z franchises;  the Batman, James Bond, and Marvel Cinematic Universe tent-poles; and the 24, Arrow, and Games of Thrones television series. Moreover, the hero took on new significance in other countries’ cultural productions, as with the film series Krrish in India, Zebraman in Japan, and Valley of the Wolves in Turkey. We should also consider the role of the heroine in both ancient and modern representations: Penelope, Shahrazad, and even with television heroines such as Charlie’s Angels or today’s Emily Thorne in the show Revenge (that capitalizes on Dumas’s novel, The Count of Monte Cristo and the Occupy Protests, as well as the Villainy of the One Percenters)
The 2013 World Literature and Film Conference at Kennesaw State University will therefore explore such reconceptualizations of heroism as they travel across different media, genres, cultures, milieus, genders, and audiences. We invite scholars from a number of disciplines to consider representations of heroism in relation to the following items:
• The hero as an intermedial figure, taking shape in film, comic art, literature, radio, and new media and merchandising channels
• Ethnic, racial, and intersectional constructions of the hero across different cultural and ideological constellations
• Gender mappings and the sexual objectification of the hero, especially in relation to the Bechdel and Hawkeye tests
• The impact of the hero on the cognitive, affective, and unconscious identifications and self-understandings of readers, viewers, and consumers
• The sociopolitical resonance of the hero in a post-9/11 context of drone attacks, terrorism, market imperialism, and controversies over American exceptionalism
• Neo-Jungian and neo-structuralist approaches to the archetypes of the hero and the hero’s journey
• The notion of secret identity in relation to issues of identity and multiplicity, “viral” memetics, and schizoanalysis
Conference papers should read no longer than 20 minutes. Please send a 300-word abstract and a 50-word biographical sketch to Larrie Dudenhoeffer at or Khalil Elayan at by March 2, 2014. Kennesaw State University is in the north-metro Atlanta area. As of now, Friday, April 4th is the target date for the conference, with a reception taking place on campus the evening of Thursday, April 3rd.

Teaching African American Literature and Culture

Phillis_Wheatley_frontispieceCFP deadline Friday 6th December for ‘Teaching African American Literature and Culture’ Durham University 10 January 2014

We invite proposals for ‘Teaching African American Literature and Culture’. This one-day, HEA-sponsored event is intended to open up conversations about the place of African American literature within teaching and within teaching in different contexts. The organisers hope it will foster reflection on Higher Education pedagogical approaches, the politics of teaching, cultural canons, and the possibilities and pitfalls of the appeal of African American literature to students. We welcome a wide spectrum of responses, including interdisciplinary engagements and discussion of music, film, television, visual arts etc alongside written texts. Topics might include:


    Teaching African American literature and culture outside of the US

  • Case studies of teaching practices devised or revised for African American-focused modules
  • Questions of canonisation, exceptionalism, tokenism, exoticisation
  • Institutional contexts and / or strategies for different student groups
  • Opportunities for widening participation, public engagement, social impact
  • The Obama bounce? Historicising approaches to African American studies
  • African American literature and interdisciplinarity
  • Teaching African American literature in postcolonial / black Atlantic / American studies frameworks


Proposals of no more than 250 words should be sent to Jenny Terry ( by Friday 6 December 2013.

The organisers would like to encourage a variety of formats; for example, proposals could be for less formal, short ‘starter’ presentations with interactive elements, workshops involving sharing teaching resources or teaching scenarios, 15 minute papers etc. Presenters will be confirmed by mid-December 2013.

Teaching C21 Genre: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Old_book_bindings‘Teaching C21 Genre: Interdisciplinary Perspectives’  University of Brighton 21 January 2014

Genre has become an increasingly significant part of academic and popular criticism since the year 2000. This one day symposium will unite interdisciplinary perspectives encouraging dialogue across boundaries to ask if the politics of genre can offer insights into developments to teaching in the Arts and Humanities across the twenty-first century. The study of genre can offer insight into twenty-first century developments across the Arts and Humanities and the function of new genres in an ever-changing world. In looking closely at teaching practice, this symposium will ask where and why ‘new’ twenty-first century genres have originated, and to which other genres do they owe a debt of influence.  We encourage academics, students and writers to meet and engage with a wide range of interdisciplinary issues in contemporary genre studies, as focused through teaching and learning including, but not limited to:

  • teaching genre in the twenty-first century
  • multi-disciplinary genre developments
  • teaching new genres and authors
  • teaching technology, social media and genre
  • teaching popular culture and parody
  • the future of genre and classroom/lecture hall practice

                              Abstracts of 250 words for 15 minute papers by 2nd December 2013 to:


PhD Studentships in Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow, 2014-15

PhD Studentships in Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow, 2014-15

Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow is pleased to invite applications for PhD studentships through its involvement in the recently announced AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership Scotland. We welcome research proposals which relate to our research strengths in the medieval and Renaissance periods, the Eighteenth Century and Romantic periods and in Modernism, but we are keen to discuss applications on all aspects of Scottish literature. Scottish Literature also plays an active part in Scottish Studies Global here at the University of Glasgow.

Studentships are available to applicants living in the UK and the European Union. Applications for interdisciplinary projects are also very welcome. For full details, please visit the website of the newly-created Scottish Graduate School for the Arts and Humanities here: Further information on this exciting new development can be found at the bottom of this page.

In addition, the College of Arts will offer a number of scholarships for PhD study in 2014. These scholarships are open to UK/EU and International applicants.

The deadline for all scholarship applications is Monday 13 January 2014. To be considered for an award, candidates must have applied to study at the University of Glasgow and have provided two academic references through the university’s application system.

Further details can be found at

You can also e-mail Scottish Literature’s Postgraduate Convener, Dr. Rhona Brown, for further information on

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The Scottish Graduate School for the Arts and Humanities

The University of Glasgow is a founding member of the Scottish Graduate School for the Arts and Humanities (SGSAH). The SGSAH is a unique and ambitious national organisation created to provide world leading support for doctoral researchers in the Arts and Humanities.  A collaboration of Scottish Higher Education Institutions, we will share the best of what we have in order to enhance the quality of provision across Scotland, providing our students with access to research expertise across the nation and to our universities’ world-class resources – including museums, special collections and archives. Working with our partners, ranging from the National Galleries of Scotland to BBC Scotland to Oxfam Scotland, the SGSAH will deliver outstanding and innovative skills development training fit for the challenges of the twenty-first century. Please see for further information.

GWACS Artist Conversation on: “Art Riot”

You are warmly invited to a GWACS Artist Conversation on: “Art Riot”

Wednesday 13 November 2013, 6 pm – 8 pm, Room 352
University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW

As part of his research on the communities of power, including the Church and the Politburo, Riello’s artistic practice comments upon the issue of national residency as a site for the power of the State. For instance, a blown glass containing a Residence Permit shows that the State (in this case, the Italian Republic), understood as “a juridical entity that has sovereignty over a definite territory”, has the authority to grant or refuse the permit to enter the country. This could be seen as a very topical comment on war refugees fleeing Syria in search of a safer life.

Thus in an attempt to rouse us from the deep-seated indifference that keeps us from realising what is happening to people who need our help, Riello’s artistic practice uses a cruel-and-playful approach. This creative attitude is examplified by Italiani brava gente, an artwork in the form of a videogame where the player has to sink the boats of refugees approaching the southern Italian coasts, thus echoing the reality of the role of the sea-coast armament in the region, and its effects on human lives. One must read PerGraziaRicevuta, the rocket missile painted with the stories of Saint-Anthony, and KT WE, the military aircraft where Western and Eastern winged putti fight each other, in much the same way.

Riello’s new project, “Collateral Damage” (CD), deals with the rampage of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, or so-called “drone” attacks and their typically random, thus insidious, process and effects. These are common military tools, as they are considered to be effective and relatively inexpensive. Many military decisions are outsourced to computers and cameras, and are based on algorithms developed to detect “patterns of dangerous behaviour.”

Following the seminal research on the aesthetics of war undertaken by such figures as Paul Virolio, Guy Debord and Jacques Derrida, Riello argues, it seems urgent and vital that contemporary art, as a form of radical visual thinking, should deal with this new situation. “A sign of public defiance against the illegal use of these improper weapons should simply be our cultural duty.”

CD is a low-budget, urban public art project based on a series of outdoor installations and a campaign of visual information and protest. It takes the form of a logo of a giant bull’s-eye to be for instance stenciled on a large scale in open spaces close to social institutions or people in danger.

Antonio Riello is an eclectic artist with various interests, but he works especially with sculpture, installations, photo-montage, and digital art. He delivers courses on “Videogames Phenomenology” at several Universities. He has exhibited works and installations in art institutions and art galleries internationally

Rice Seminar Research Fellowships, 2014-15

logo_rice3The Humanities Research Center at Rice University is accepting applications for yearlong residential fellowships to participate in the 2014-15 Rice Seminar, “Exchanges and Temporalities in the Enlightenment, Romanticism, and Victorianism.” We are looking to appoint three external faculty members (any rank) and one postdoctoral fellow.  Fellows will participate in the Rice Seminar, a yearlong research seminar designed to study a broad topic from an interdisciplinary perspective. The seminar will be directed by Helena Michie (English) and Alexander Regier (English).
Applications are welcome from scholars, from all ranks and in all disciplines, whose research problematizes the geographical, chronological, and epistemological assumptions that divide the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries into periods or movements, and addresses cultural exchanges between Britain and the rest of the world. Fellows will take part in a yearlong residential research seminar, leading to the publication of an edited collection with a major university press. See below for a full description of the seminar.
All fellows are expected to be resident and full time at Rice for the entire appointment of the 2014-15 academic year. Their primary obligations will involve actively participating in all aspects of the Seminar. The postdoc will be required to teach one foundation course in the humanities. Participants will also be expected to contribute to the graduate and undergraduate experience of Rice students; the nature of this engagement will be determined in consultation with the applicant.
International scholars are encouraged to apply. Postdoctoral applicants have completed PhDs between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2014.
Fellowship stipends will be commensurate with rank, up to $60,000; we offer eligibility for Rice medical benefits and an allowance for travel and relocation to Houston.

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS FOR POSTDOCS: Postdocs must apply through Rice University’s RiceWorks system. Click HERE for the application.

Intimacy, Power and Authority in European Perspectives

Saint_GeorgeIntimacy, Power and Authority in European Perspectives
RHS symposium
Friday 18 October, Bath Spa University, Corsham Court campus
Keynote speaker: Dr Joanne Bailey, Oxford Brookes University
‘English Manly Intimacy and Power in Representations of St George and the Dragon c. 1750-1950’
This symposium will approach the concept of intimacy and closeness from a range of neglected perspectives, addressing several fundamental themes in European history. Current strands in the history of emotions dwell on singular feelings, their production, and the influence of pathological and medical discourse on their expression. Few historians have sought meaning in the theoretical advances of Lauren Berlant and Kosofsky Sedgwick, whose work has profound implications for the way in which social and political relations are understood. The symposium will approach intimacy variously through sessions that explore the following themes: political cultures, (official, popular and subaltern); legal norms; ethnic and religious difference; and desire.  The relation between interior and public modes of intimacy will be explored, through consideration of the ‘advent of intimacy as a public mode of identification and self-development’ (Berlant). A second key theme will be the concept of ‘intimate publics’ in pre-modern and modern Europe. In a similar vein, the seminal work of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick has offered new perspectives on the way in which intimacy operates in tandem with looking, sexuality and bodily contact.

Invited contributors will present on: gendered intimacy and personal authority in nineteenth-century England; the subversion of political intimacies in early modern intelligence networks; and the influence of medieval ecclesiasts on the policing of intimacy in local communities; the politics of sympathy; intimacy and power in early medieval Europe.

For the full programme, and registration form, see:

Conference attendance:
Attendance is free, as the event is sponsored by the Royal Historical Society and Bath Spa University.
Registration (for catering purposes and room size):
Please register for a place by completing the registration form and emailing it to: by Friday 11th October.