Seeking El Dorado: Golden Ages of Nationalism, Empire, and International Relations

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: July 1, 2014

“Golden Ages” have long been a way to construct notions of national identity. Encompassing tales of origin and descent, exile and migration, liberation and rebirth, “golden ages” are legends that allow us to understand the geographic, cultural, and historical boundaries by which nationhood is understood.

How do “Golden Ages,” as depicted on screen, give birth to nationalism, national identity, and/or transnationalism? To what degree is the concept of the national “golden age” linked to empire? To what degree is national character important to our definitions of “golden ages” in Hollywood and non-US cinema?

This area, comprising multiple panels, will examine all aspects of the “golden age” in film, television, and visual media. Papers that explore how national myths are played out in media from outside the US are especially welcome. Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

• The Sun Never Sets? The British Empire on Screen (Zulu, Lawrence of Arabia)

• Seven Cities of Gold: Spanish Cinema and Empire (Alatriste, The Devil’s Backbone)

• Napoleon Complex? French Film and Nationhood (Napoleon, Le Crabe-tambour, The Battle of Algiers)

Deutschland Über Alles? Germany on Screen (Aguirre, The Wrath of God; Downfall; The Lives of Others)

• Eight Corners of the World? Japanese Imperialism on Screen (Fires on the Plain; Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence)

• Paradise Found? American Territories on Screen (Edison’s Rough Riders films, Hawaii, Amigo)

• The Golden Arches: America, Cultural Imperialism, and McDonaldization

• Where the Streets Are Paved in Gold: Immigrants and Emigrants (An American Tail)

• All That Glitters: Myths of International Relations (Babel; Love Actually; Midnight in Paris)

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:

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

Elizabeth Rawitsch
University of North Carolina Wilmington

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