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Call for Papers

BORDER VISIONS: BORDERLANDS AND FILM

Film Conference at Central Connecticut State University
New Britain, Connecticut
October 12-14, 2011

The shifting boundaries between languages and national and ethnic identities in the late 20th and early 21st century are changing the notion of borders around the world, as borderland areas become places of hybridity, cultural transfer and exchange, but sometimes also arenas of violent conflict and segregation. The Fall of the Berlin Wall, the resulting end of the Cold War, the expansion of the European Union, and the migratory movements across the continent have led to both peaceful and violent border negotiations and the attempted definition of a "New Europe." With the end of the Cold War, the notion of the "Americas" has been changing, as well, driven by an American foreign policy dominated by border politics, especially towards Mexico and the southern borders. In Spain, the transfers on the borders to North Africa are an enduring topic, as are the border disputes in South Asia and the Middle East. While land borders are erased and redrawn by social and political realities, conceptual borders are also challenged by the proliferation of the Internet and new technologies while, at the same time, the new digital divide causes new barriers to emerge.

We would like to invite contributions that address the ways in which border conflicts and their resolutions, as well as mediations of different kinds in the borderlands, are reflected in the medium of film. What are the newly imagined and real communities that are being shaped by border politics and how do films address the changing geographical, economic, ethnic, and cultural realities? What images of borderlands emerge from their filmic representations? How do these images influence the audiences and shape an understanding of borderlands among viewers not familiar with the local specifics? How do the filmmakers use the geographical borderlands as a metaphor to comment on other borders and boundaries: narrative, linguistic, or epistemological?

Our Conference proposes to be a space for debating how different communities form senses of borderlands originating from places of knowledge, politics, art, memory, and lived experience, and how these senses contribute to a changing global community. While the European borderlands are one of the main focal points of the Conference, we also welcome submissions that address borders between non-European countries (e.g. North/South borderlands in Vietnam, the Korean border, the US/Canada borderlands, the US/Mexican frontera, Afro-Arabic borders, border conflicts in Israel and the Middle East, etc.). We encourage submissions on both fiction and non-fiction films and on different genres or film movements.

Possible Subthemes of the Conference:

	Real/imaginary borders
	Language barriers and negotiations
	Modernity versus traditional societies
	Gender on the borderlands
	Dissolution of borders
	Anxiety about intrusion/Borderlands in horror narratives
	Violation of borders
	Visions of border zones, enclosed areas, no man's land
	New technologies and the digital divide

We invite scholars to submit 250-300 word abstracts for individual presentations (20 minutes) that address any of the proposed themes of the Conference. 
Abstracts, along with university affiliation, contact information and a short biography should be sent to [log in to unmask] by March 15, 2011.

Conference organizing committee: Dr. Matthew Ciscel, Dr. Jakub Kazecki, and Dr. Karen Ritzenhoff.

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