[H-verkko] CFP: Frontiers of Screen History

Hannu Salmi hansalmi at utu.fi
To Syys 30 16:28:48 EEST 2010

Call for articles

Frontiers of Screen History:
Imagining European Borders in Cinema, 1945–2010

This refereed volume focuses on spatial imagination in cinema, in particular the way films have portrayed European history after World War II. Filmmaking connects spatial imagination with temporal dimensions; it creates timescapes, draws on everyday surroundings, as well as imagined environments, and produces topographic trajectories. Often film narratives offer itineraries for the spectator and places to identify with. It also has the means to disassociate and de-construct places and moments in time.

The key notions of this book are ‘border’ and ‘frontier’. Cinema in itself is a framing practice: it foregrounds particular images, but at the same time it leaves something out of the scene. This book approaches various geographical and historical borders as cultural mediators: films like Carol Reed’s The Man Between (1953) show a politically divided world, but simultaneously, by emphasizing borders, they can depict practices of transgressing them. Paradoxically, borders that divide also unite and produce cultural exchange. While the focus of the book is on European cinemas from the 1940s to the new millennium, it also features important alternative points of view, such as American films of the Cold War.

Since 1945 cinema has explored national and ideological borders, but it has also attempted to identify frontiers of another kind: social, ethnic, religious, gendered borderlines are equally important, historically constructed and imagined frontiers. Thus, it is crucial to consider how cinema both strengthens prevailing cultural spaces and takes part in negotiating, undermining as well as further imagining their borders. At the extreme, films may even argue that there are no borders and hence tend to eliminate frontiers of European culture.

The book is part of the research project Cinematic Cartographies of European History, 1945–2000 (funded by Finnish Academy). Further details at http://www.hum.utu.fi/kulttuurihistoria/tutkimus/tutkimushankkeet/cartography.html

We welcome proposals for additional articles on the above themes. We also welcome new ideas and openings related to the idea of imagining European borders. We would be especially pleased to receive submissions on the cinemas of the Balkans, France, Italy, North Africa, Poland, Russia, and Turkey.

Deadline for abstracts (300 words): 1 November 2010
Author meeting (optional): March 2010
Deadline for draft articles (6000–8000 words, incl. notes and bibliography): 30 April 2011
Deadline for final manuscripts: 15 September 2011
Publication: 2012

Inquiries and submissions: Hannu Salmi, hansalmi at utu.fi