CPF: BLESS THIS MESS: Media and Domesticity

Call for Papers
BLESS THIS MESS: Media and Domesticity

Film still from “Over The Hill,” 1920

NYU Cinema Studies Student Conference, Spring 2012
March 2-4, 2012 — New York University, New York, NY

The New York University Cinema Studies department is excited to announce the 2012 Student Conference. Each year, our goal is to bring together scholars from a variety of departments and disciplines in order to address the transformations currently shaping the field of cinema studies. We look forward to providing students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels with an opportunity to present their ideas to their peers. Organized by and for students, the conference offers a unique forum for intellectual dialogue and stands as a valuable learning experience.


This year’s conference seeks to sharpen our understanding of the concept of home by interrogating representations of the domestic in cinema and other media and scrutinizing the intersection between the moving image and home life in everyday experience. In examining this concept, our goal is to critique its limitations, while also mining its rich aesthetic, political, and social dimensions. Submissions might address, but are not limited to, the following topic areas:

*Personalization of Media Experience: Discussions in this category may include analyses of the intersection of media and the domestic sphere in the form of home entertainment platforms, the creation of home videos, or new media’s presence in the home. In what way do technological innovations and changing social norms affect the reception of the moving image in our daily lives?

*Documenting Home: Whether through a political, historical, or socio-economic lens, submissions in this area might consider nonfiction treatments of the culture of home and family. Participants could discuss how these approaches intersect with and differ from other artistic modes.

*Gender (De)Construction: How have gender roles been established or criticized in representations of the domestic sphere? Papers in this category might cover issues surrounding ideals of the nuclear family, the position of men and women in familial structures, or the role media plays in arguing for or against such structures.

*Disruptions from Within and Without: While the concept of family is certainly central to many cinematic works, the discourses on family present in film and other media can be complicated by absence within the domestic sphere. Furthermore, its external disruption (home invasion, infidelity, etc.) can be equally important to a better understanding of the social impact and political charge of the concept. Papers might consider these ideas individually or as they relate to one another.

This list is by no means exhaustive, and we invite students who have differing perspectives or their own critical responses to contribute their work. Students are also encouraged to form and propose full panels dealing with conceptual angles not listed here.


Submissions for single presentations: Please submit proposals of 250 words or less, including bibliographic references, to cinecon2012@gmail.com by January 23, 2012. Presentations will be no more than 20 minutes (7-10 pages, double spaced). Please include your name, presentation title, institution, major or department affiliation, and student level (BA, MA, PhD, etc) with your submission.

Submissions for full panels: Students who wish to form their own 3-student panels on a topic may submit proposals with a sponsoring professor or ABD PhD student as moderator. Submissions should be e-mailed to cinecon2012@gmail.com and should include a 250-word (max.) abstract for each presentation, a brief description of the panel topic, and the name and contact information for the sponsoring moderator. Please also include each presenter’s name, presentation title, institution, major, or department affiliation, student level (BA, MA, PhD, etc), and e-mail address. Time slots for the full panel, including discussion, are limited to 75 minutes. Full-panel submissions will have preference for inclusion in the conference and are due by January 16, 2012. If selected, you will be notified as soon as possible, at which time each participant will be required to submit his or her entire paper.