Film Noir

An area of multiple panels for the
2014 Film & History Conference
Golden Ages: Styles and Personalities, Genres and Histories

List of All Areas Main Conference Page

DEADLINE for abstracts: June 1, 2014

Emerging during World War II and reaching its peak in the decade that followed, film noir emerged from the seamy underbelly of popular culture. It drew from pulp detective stories and the hard-boiled crime novels of authors like James M. Cain, flouting the dictates of the industry’s moral guardians and embracing violence, blatant sexuality, and societal conflict. This style forced audiences to re-examine American values, including traditional gender roles, race, and sexuality; and as its social context changed, so too did film noir’s critique.

What can be said about the effects that film noir has had upon traditional Western societies? What cultural or historical factors affected audience perceptions of these stories, and their subsequent pleasures? How did female spectatorship figure into postwar narratives? How has the anti-hero figured prominently in the deconstruction of patriarchy, if at all? This area, comprising multiple panels, explores the concept of Golden Ages across the production systems surrounding Film Noir. Topics might include the following:

Proposals for individual papers should include a 200-word abstract and the name, affiliation, and contact email of the presenter. Proposals for complete panels (three related presentations) are also welcome, but they must include an abstract and contact information, including an e-mail address, for each presenter. For updates and registration information about the upcoming meeting, see the Film & History website (

Please e-mail your 200-word proposal by 1 June 2014, to the area chair:

Darrell M, Newton
Salisbury University

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