Film and History Association Conference Call for Papers!

The Film and History Association Conference has dedicated four special sessions to the Media Ecology Association! They’ve called for papers and proposals from anyone who has something to add to these four conversations:

Media, Iconology, and Celebrity on Screen – Cinema and the Shaping of Popular Culture Gods

“For over a century, the film industry has been shaping the public consciousness of what an important and influential person should be, both through the actual film productions and through the public relations efforts to celebrate the image and authority of figures created on screen or of those who shape the onscreen image of others.  We welcome proposals for papers on any aspect of how cinema has helped to create god-like celebrities in the overall environment of cultural media.”

The Colossus of the Screen – The Great Face and the Image of God

“Traditional cinema up through the 1970s, and even somewhat beyond, has confronted audiences with the image of a human being in close focus, a face so large it seems to rival the famous head of Constantine still remaining on display in Rome.  This is a kind of representation of the human that returns us to the divinely imperial.  In what ways has cinema helped to create a sense of some individuals having greater than human power and authority, and in what ways has this process influenced 20th-century politics.  We welcome proposals for papers on any aspect of how the very nature of the colossal cinematic image impacts the overall cultural perception of power and authority, socially, economically, and politically.”

The Gods of Media and the Media of God – Media Studies and the Representation of  the Divine

“While media studies represents a wide range of values and concerns, some of the most important and influential architects of this field, such as McLuhan and Ong, had distinctly religious pre-occupations as well as cultural ones.  In what way has the study of media been influenced, directly or indirectly, by this underlying concern for belief in the divine?  We invite papers that consider how media studies has been shaped, both in its early origins and/or in its continued explorations, by this concern for religious experience.”

“I have Marshall McLuhan right here . . .” – Representing Media through Film 

“Most of us recall the scene in Woody Allen’s Annie Hall where his character Alvy Singer brings McLuhan out from behind the film poster to support his own argument against that of the arrogant professor in the line at the movie theater.  This can serve as a starting point for considering how the field of media studies has provided a ground from which those who study film can consider it in a larger cultural context that includes the full range of visual media.  Likewise, this scene is emblematic of cinema’s own consciousness of itself as a medium, as well as of the many films that construct meta-narratives that explore the nature of and construction of film.  We welcome proposals for papers on any aspect of films that turn the camera back on the nature of film itself, and of all the practical and theoretical implications of this self-scrutiny.”

These descriptions were taken from the MEA mailing list, which you can join here.

More Information

The overall theme of the conference is “Gods and Heretics” and it will be held October 26-30 2016 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The deadline for proposals is July 15 and you can submit to

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About the Contributor

James Ogden Sharpe

James Ogden Sharpe is a black belt from Texas pursuing a Bachelor's in interdisciplinary studies combining anthropology, psychology, and media studies. Were the world's economic, social, and political edifices not crumbling, he would study literature or photography or spend more time at the movies. His work has appeared before many professors and has been generally well-received--in the B+ to A- range. 

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