“I have a dream…” Media, utopia and experiment, Second Symposium of the Society for Media History

Université Paris 2

92 rue d’Assas 75006 Paris

Deadline: 7 December 2017

The first edition of the Symposium of the Society for Media History took place on May 26 and 27 2015; it sought to draw up an inventory of institutional and historiographical developments in media history since it first emerged and to explore current themes of study.

In a context of strong criticism of the media, including the accusation of bias – political and economic- this second edition seeks to cross-examine the way in which media, rather, have been the flagship of social change, of how to conceive and fashion another world.

Fifty years after the events of May and June 1968, the Society for Media History invites researchers to reflect on the links between media, utopia and experiments. The call for papers is not solely intended for media historians; it seeks to be a venue for as many different viewpoints and disciplines as possible. The scientific committee will favor proposals based on a corpus or a specific field, illuminating little known aspects of the history of the media or various epistemologies.

Proposals should preferably be placed in one of the following areas:

  • Alternative Media and Countercultures
  • Media and Utopia/Dystopia
  • Technical Experiments
  • Revolutions in the field of Media Studies


Each abstract (3000 characters max.) should have a title, an explicit problematic and a short bibliography. No proposal may have more than three authors. The abstracts will be blind peer reviewed.

You may also submit a proposal for a panel on a specific topic (three proposals minimum).

The deadline for submission is November 24. Authors are invited to submit their titles, abstracts and cv electronically on the homepage of the conference:


For further information, please visit:



Call for Papers: Film Distribution, Exhibition and Consumption in the Second World War: A Workshop on Data Collection and Analysis, Computational Methods and the Opportunities for Comparative Research

Organized by DICIS and IMS
15-16 May 2018
KU Leuven, Belgium
Within the specific time frame of the Second World War, this workshop invites researchers who examine the operations of distribution, exhibition and consumption of cinema in belligerent and neutral countries. Following in the footsteps of ‘Cinema and the Swastika: The International Expansion of Third Reich Cinema’ (Vande Winkel & Welch, 2007, 2011 revised) and inscribing itself into the field of ‘New Cinema History’ (Maltby, Biltereyst & Meers, 2011), this workshop brings together researchers who are compiling and analysing empirical data about wartime film distribution, exhibition, reception in or across specific cinemas, cities, regions or countries. The workshop, organised by the Institute for Media Studies (IMS) and the Scientific Research Network on Digital Cinema Studies (DICIS), strives to stimulate collaboration among scholars and to explore new methodologies and new types of interdisciplinary investigation, taking full advantage of the impact of digitalization on historical research (digital humanities).

The aim of this workshop is:

  • To compare ongoing or recently completed research on film distribution, exhibition and consumption/reception during World War II.
  • To share individual experiences about the use of digital tools and sources such as digitized newspapers and journals; online databases related to film such as IMDB or Filmportal.de; tools such as Nvivo for analysing transcribed oral history interviews; geographic information software such as GIS, or specifically designed databases, as well as traditional analogue source materials (newspaper archives, film posters, wartime documents, diaries, reference works) to retrieve empirical data, identify the films mentioned in historical sources and reconstruct the circulation of those films.
  • To compare and interrogate specific research questions and methodologies
  • To present and discuss the pros and cons of existing databases and methods to analyse.
  • To think about ways to make computational databases ‘talk to each other’ (through data modelling and harmonization), allowing direct comparative research.
  • To stimulate collaboration among scholars within, as well as outside the discipline of film studies, and to explore new methodologies and new types of collaborative investigation, taking full advantage of the impact of digitalization on historical research

Papers may discuss topics such as:

  • Film distribution networks or practices (local, national, international)
  • Film exhibition (local, national, international)
  • Film censorship (local, national, international)
  • Film consumption/reception (local, national, international)
  • The ways in which the ideological visions of the wartime belligerents translated into different approaches to film policy
  • The practical implementation of wartime film policies
  • The ways in which new research on distribution, exhibition and reception can help us learn how audiences reacted to wartime films
  • The challenges of gathering and validating the quantitative information needed to analyse such topics
  • Formulating hypotheses about the circulation of films in societies dominated by economic constraints and political coercion (censorship, restricted access to the international film market and/or bans on films from particular countries).
  • Digital and analogue tools and sources used for that purpose.
  • The consideration of best practice in formulating research questions and employing comparative tools and methodologies from an international/comparative perspective

Confirmed Keynote: ‘Wartime Geopolitics at the Movies: The ‘European Cinema’ of the Nazi New Order in Global Perspective’ by Benjamin Martin (Department of History of Science and Ideas, Uppsala University), author of ‘The Nazi-Fascist New Order for European Culture’ (Harvard University Press, 2016).Thunnis van Oort (CREATE, University of Amsterdam) and Roel Vande Winkel (KU Leuven) will present the results of their recently conducted joint research in the introductory paper ‘Comparative Potential. The Cinema Context Data Model and World War II: A Comparative Case Study into Film Exhibition in German-occupied Amsterdam (Netherlands) and Antwerp (Belgium)’.

The workshop welcomes participants working on countries in the Axis sphere of influence (Germany, Italy, Japan and the countries they occupied or befriended) as well as contributions on the Allies (USA, UK, USSR) and their sphere of influence. Research on film distribution, exhibition and consumption in neutral countries (where films from both spheres of influence met and competed) is particularly welcomed.


  • Proposals for papers and/or hands-on presentations are now invited. Every paper/presentation should offer a reflection on the sources and methodologies employed. Please send abstracts of 300-500 words and a short biography to roel.vandewinkel@kuleuven.be by December 18 and address any queries to the same email.
  • After the workshop, you may be invited to submit a revised version of your paper for consideration in a special issue or edited volume to be organized by members of the committee.

Scientific committee:

Roel Vande Winkel (DICIS – KU Leuven), Pavel Skopal (DICIS – Masarykova univerzita) and Thunnis van Oort (University of Amsterdam, Create)



Call for Papers: Researching Past Cinema Audiences: Archives, Memories and Methods

Researching Past Cinema Audiences: Archives, Memories and Methods
Monday 26th – Wednesday 28th March 2018, Aberystwyth University, UK
In collaboration with:
Media Industries and Institutions Research Cluster, Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies, Aberystwyth University
Centre for Media History, Aberystwyth University
Keynote Speakers:
Professor Sue Harper, Portsmouth University, UK
Professor Daniel Biltereyst, Ghent University, Belgium
Since Allen and Gomery’s (1985) call for a revision of existing approaches, the emergence and rise in prominence of the New Film History tradition has irrevocably changed what it is to be a film historian. No longer solely concerned with film aesthetics or viewing cinema as a ‘reflection’ of society (Chapman, Glancy and Harper, 2007: 2–3), films themselves are now not necessarily the chief focus of a historical investigation of cinema. Indeed, over the past twenty years there has been a notable shift towards the study of all kinds of past film exhibition spaces (both public and private) and the tastes, responses and habits of the audiences who frequented them. This is illustrated by the growing number of publications, networks and research projects on past cinema audiences which cross and connect the disciplines of film and media studies, cultural and leisure studies, and history and cultural geography.  With this shift towards researching spaces of exhibition and their audiences, film historians have met the call to look beyond traditional film history methodologies and incorporate the use of a wide range of sources, from archival, industry and reception sources, to audience memories elicited through interviews or questionnaires.
This conference offers a platform for both established and emerging scholars who share this desire to research past cinema audiences – prior to 2000 – through a wide range of investigative foci. The conference will allow for the showcasing and sharing of current research and, consequently, for the consideration of current and future directions and debates within the field. We welcome proposals for twenty minute papers, as well as for poster presentations, the latter of which may be ideal for masters or first year PhD students.   Please send paper proposals (of 250 words maximum) to Jamie Terrill and Kate Egan at hcastaff@aber.ac.uk by Friday 1st December 2017. Panel proposals (of 3 or 4 speakers) are also welcome; please include a brief panel introduction (of 150 words maximum) with paper proposals in these cases.
Paper and panel topics may include (but are not limited to):
·         Past audiences for cinemas in particular cities, towns or villages (rural, seaside, etc.)
·         Past audiences for cinemas in particular eras or decades
·         Past cinema audience responses and experiences in relation to gender, class, nationality, age, race or sexuality
·         Audience responses to – or recollections of – past film controversies (local, national or international)
·         Changing audience tastes, including in relation to particular stars, genres or modes (documentary, experimental, avant-garde, underground, cult cinema)
·         Audiences for past forms of home media (Super 8, analogue video, laserdisc)
·         Considerations of particular archives, sources or methods for researching the habits or experiences of past audiences
·         Audience responses to past technological developments (in relation to sound, colour, widescreen, 3D, etc.)
·         Audience habits or experiences associated with particular kinds of cinema or forms of exhibition (picture palaces, art cinemas, fleapits, grindhouse cinemas, multiplexes, drive-ins, midnight movies and cult screenings, matinee screenings, film societies and clubs)
  • Archives