Performing New Media, 1890-1915
Twelfth International DOMITOR Conference
Monday, 25 June to Thursday, 28 June, 2012
University of Brighton, Brighton, UK
From the 1890s to the start of the First World War, a new media culture of projected images emerged. Showmen and women, entrepreneurs, educators, scientists and others employed magic lanterns and cinematographs in a variety of contexts that shaped and expressed the social, cultural and commercial significance of these new media. Given that these silent screen technologies almost always demanded accompaniment (words, music, sound effects) and that the combined use of lantern slides and short films implied varied and sometimes complex programmes, these events were effectively always performances. Projectionists, exhibitors, onstage talent, musical accompanists, backstage crews – all contributed to performances that could include live music, song, lectures, narration or sound effects in union with projected images. The growth of this new media also precipitated the rise of the new film industry and gave birth to the concept of ‘the cinema’. Around the world purpose-built cinemas opened in the 1900s, creating new and distinctive venues. However this screen practice was not yet ‘pure’ (i.e. film only) as these early venues were also active sites for the exhibition of films within multi-media performances. Exploring the nature and uses of these hybrid and multifaceted new media performances at this pivotal historical moment ('the invention of cinema') and analysing their social, cultural, economic and ideological meanings provides this conference with its subject and purpose. By engaging these concerns in Brighton three and a half decades after the famous 1978 FIAF conference, we wish to address and expand the historiography of early cinema in light of recent explorations of the intermedial and performative nature of contemporary new media.
We invite papers that explore such areas as:
Although we imagine the general time frame for the period covered by papers in the conference to be 1890 through 1915, we realise that cinema developed unevenly across the global stage. For that reason, papers treating cinema after 1915 in countries where early cinema practices postdate the proposed time frame will be given full consideration. Similarly, papers that examine the history and current status of early cinema’s place in the archive and museum—specifically related to the concept of “new media performance”—are also welcomed.
Proposal Submission Process: Those wishing to submit a proposal should do so no later than 31 October 2011 to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Proposals for pre-constituted panels of 3 or 4 participants will also be considered; such proposals should be submitted by the panel chair and consist of the collected individual paper proposals in addition to a brief rationale for the pre-constituted panel.
Proposals for individual papers should be no longer than 300 words and be written in either English or French. Only a paper written in one of those two languages can be presented at the conference. Papers prepared for conference delivery should stay within a word limit of 2500 words and be able to fit within a 20-minute presentation format (including any audiovisual material used to supplement the paper). We request that all papers be submitted by 30 April 2012 to allow for simultaneous translation.
While membership in DOMITOR is not required to submit a proposal, anyone presenting a paper at the conference must be a member. To become a member, please visit this site.
A PDF version of this Call for Papers.