CFP: HUGO MÜNSTERBERG – Life, Work, and Impact

HUGO MÜNSTERBERG – Life, Work, and Impact

2016 Early Audiovisual Theory Conference

“A hundred years of Film theory. Mu?nsterberg and beyond: Concepts, Applications, Perspectives”

29 June 2016 – 2 July 2016

Leipzig, Germany

Deadline: 15 November 2015

AREA: Hugo Münsterberg – Life, Work, and Impact

Only shortly before D.W. Griffith’s epic The Birth of a Nation received its premiere in 1915, Hugo Mu?nsterberg saw his first film: Neptune’s Daughter (Herbert Brenon, 1914). Fascinated by the medium he has encountered, he wrote his groundbreaking theoretical opus The Photoplay. A Psychological Study from October to the end of December 1915. When it was published in the following year, the study received much attention as a new way to think about film as it, for the first time, established psychological criteria for the new medium. Münsterberg marks the first published example of reception studies in film.

Presentations may feature analyses of individual films using Münsterberg’s ideas using a number of different approaches such as ontological considerations of film in comparison to other arts, film reception, the relevance of aesthetic and technical means of film, or the relevance of cinema’s mimetic ability as a medium that represents reality in various ways.

Paper topics might include a number of approaches that examine Münsterberg’s life and work as well as the impact and possible application of his ideas. The area particularly welcomes interdisciplinary approaches.

Please submit your 200-word proposal by 15 November 2015


Or send it via email to the address below.

Area Chairs: Rüdiger Steinmetz, Judith Kretzschmar, David Culbert
Institute for Communications and Media Studies
University of Leipzig
Ritterstr. 26
04109 Leipzig

Panel proposals for up to three presenters are also welcome. Please note, however, that each presenter must submit his or her own paper proposal.

This area, comprising multiple panels, is a part of the 2016 conference on early audiovisual theory held at the University of Leipzig, Germany, and sponsored by the International Association for Media and History. Taking the publication of Hugo Münsterberg’s seminal study The Photoplay (1916) as a point of departure, the international conference will look at film and television theory. A century after the publication of Münsterberg’s book, the conference seeks to look at audiovisual media from a broad variety of perspectives and disciplines. One of the keynote speakers will be Ian Jarvie.

The conference will host a ceremony to celebrate Münsterberg’s achievements, who began his career as a professor at the University of Leipzig before going to Harvard. For updates and other information about the upcoming meeting, see the conference website:

Comments are closed

  • Archives