Visions of Identity:
Global Film & Media
The Fourth Annual London Film and Media Conference
26-28 June 2014
Call for Papers
Contributions are sought for FILM AND MEDIA 2014: The Fourth Annual London Film and Media Conference, to be held at the University of London Institute of Education Conference centre in Bloomsbury, London, UK, on Thursday 26 to Saturday 28 June 2014. The 2014 theme is Visions of Identity: Global Film & Media. Papers and complete Panels are sought on this and closely related themes.
Identity in a World of Scarcity
In a world divided between apparent abundance and true scarcity, the question of identity is paramount for many reasons. In a world of scarcity, human beings struggle to satisfy basic needs and to establish the most basic forms of identity: to confirm themselves as human, against the overwhelming forces of the natural world which limit their potential and which threaten the very foundations of their existence. In this struggle, notions of identity are of necessity immediately focussed on material need, and are often, in an urgent quest for solidarity, more collective in nature.
Identity in a World of Abundance
By contrast, in a world of seeming abundance, the notion of human identity appears to be more expansive in terms of the choices made available for its development. At the same time it is often difficult to separate from the sheer multiplicity of social agencies and forces – including those of the media - which surround and underlie the human subject. Human identity, for all its privileged access to these apparent riches, can be seen as determined and conditioned by them in their sheer variety and power. Challenges thus arise here for underlying assumptions about liberty, the self, the individual, and about the relationship of the individual to the wider social community.
Identity then emerges through this tension between felt scarcity and perceived abundance in terms of a number of specific determinations. The twin drives of genetic history and the processes of socialisation – nature versus nurture – ensure an over-arching, lifelong tension. The categorical imperatives of nation, race, gender, age and social class provide critical and often dynamic and flexible parameters, whilst family and creed provide further perhaps more flexible templates. Running through these categories, the interplay between conscious and unconscious realms, in all its dreamy intangibility, casts a further shadow upon this complex matrix.
The Role of Media Institutions
The institutions of the media, for their part, come into the frame by playing their own complex roles in the processes by which human beings acquire and negotiate identity. At economic and institutional levels, they express the powerful imperatives of State or commerce, or - less frequently - suggest forms of opposition to these powers. Where media authorship is concerned they express the identities of media-makers with variously privileged or subordinated roles and voices.
Identities on Screen
On our screens, film and media project a range of audio-visual identities, often dominant and sometimes marginal. Individual spectators and mass audiences are variously invited to consume, emulate or contest these in a complex process of identification which makes its own ongoing contribution to the wider process of identity formation at large. Here the star system is the supreme embodiment of this aspect of film and media as sites for the circulation and negotiation of images and narratives of identity in process.
Papers and Panels
We welcome proposals for individual 20-minute Conference Papers/Presentations (to which ten minutes of discussion will be allocated in each case) to be placed in appropriate Panels by us.
We also welcome proposals for pre-formed 90-minute Panels made up of three 20-minute Papers (to which a total of thirty minutes discussion will be allocated).
Proposals via Website Form Only
Proposals should be made only via the Proposal Form avalable elsewhere on this website. Proposals are processed by means of sympathetic Peer Review. A formal response is normally provided within one week. Papare not required in advance.
Possible topics include:
- National Identities on Screen
- Global Identities on Screen
- Categorical imperatives: Race, Nation, Gender, Class, Age on Screen
- Familial Identities on screen
- Idenities of Creed
- Character-isation on Screen
- Media Types and Stereotypes
- Individual and Collective Identities
- Identity and Otherness
- Contestations of Identity on Screen
- Identities of Media Authorship
- The Star System
- Media ’Celebrities’ and ‘Personalities’
- Audience Identities
- Human and Non-human Identities on Screen
- Identities and Environment
- Identities of the Virtual
- Processes of Media Identification
- Media, Identity and the Unconscious