Call for Area Chairs

Golden Ages: Styles and Personalities, Genres and Histories
The 2014 Film & History Conference

Submissions to:


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Scroll down for list of existing and suggested areas


Do we see the “golden ages” of the moving-image arts with skepticism or
admiration? They certainly represent success, often rightly: in production
style and screen presence, in formal structure and historical significance.
But what attitudes—from directors and stars to audiences and critics—define
that success? A certain kind of screwball comedy triumphed in the ‘30s; a
certain kind of film noir, in the ‘40s. Screen and television
personalities, along with directorial styles and critical approaches, rose
and fell alongside these genres, which themselves were pushed and pulled by
complex historical forces, like the entrance of sound and the descent into
world war. But few “ages” were homogenous. Consider Vertov against
Eisenstein, Welles against Wise, Lynch against Spielberg. So how and why do
we ascribe success to a style, a person, or a period? Popularity?
Inventiveness? Classicism?

Just as pressing, what periods or styles or characters await rediscovery
and redefinition? Are there secret Golden Ages, buried under
misunderstanding or lurking in the shadows of the many celebrated ages of
film history, from the Silent Era to the Studio Era to the rise and fall of
network TV? What do Golden Ages tell us about the cultures or values that
languished because of them—or because of how we define what is “golden”?
Similarly, can an industry or genre or period have more than one Golden
Age, perhaps in competition? And what might an “Iron Age” look like—for
actors, directors, critics? Can everything be “golden”?

Film & History seeks proposals for areas of multiple panels, which
will explore the unique concept of “Golden Ages” across a wide variety of
production systems (Hollywood, independent film, network and cable
television), genres (animation, science fiction, film noir, comedy, reality
television), individuals (producers, filmmakers, stars, production
personnel), and venues (movie palaces, drive-in theaters, private
residences). How do these “golden” eras help us think about the cultural
and historical values of styles and genres in film and television, and how
have these eras influenced the futures of stars, studios, productions, and
critical reception?

Upon acceptance, Area Chairs will issue their CFPs (Callsfor Papers) and recruit individual presenters to be organized into 3-paper panels. Review is ongoing,
but proposals (~200 words) should be sent to

Prospective area chairs are welcome to choose one of the areas listed in the right-hand column, but are also encouraged to craft their own unique areas:

Existing Areas Potential New Areas
Auteurs and Authorship[PDF] Animation
The Cinematic City[PDF]  
Classical Antiquity[PDF] B Movies
Difficult Men[PDF] The Historical Epic
Disney[PDF] The Situation Comedy
Documentaries[PDF] African-American Film
Exploitation Film • [PDF] Children's Television
Film Exhibition[PDF] Pornography
Fan Culture[PDF] The Music Video
Film Noir[PDF] Horror
Gender in the Golden 80s[PDF]  
Heroes and Villains[PDF]  
The Holocaust[PDF]  
Independent Film[PDF]  
LGBT Representations in Film & TV[PDF]  
The Movie Star[PDF]  
Nationalism, Empire & International Relations[PDF]  
Reality Television[PDF]  
Reception and Viewer Agency in Digital Age[PDF]  
Science Fiction[PDF]  
Sound is Golden[PDF]  
Studio System[PDF]  
Television Drama[PDF]  
Television and the Family[PDF]  
Transnational and World Cinemas[PDF]  
War Films[PDF]  
Women in the Film Industry[PDF]  



The 2014 Film & History Conference will be held at The Madison Concourse
Hotel (in the heart of downtown Madison, WI, next to the historic Capitol),
October 29 - November 2, 2014. F&H attendees will receive discounted room
rates for this premier hotel. Air travel may be arranged conveniently to
Madison, Milwaukee, or Chicago.


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