Film and Philosophy: Corpus//Bodies
Organized by the Graduate Film Studies Group

In conjunction with FLEXfest, the Florida Experimental Film/Video Festival
University of Florida
February 15-18, 2013

Keynote Speakers: Kaja Silverman, Christiane Paul, and Eugenie Brinkema
Guest Filmmaker: TBA

From its beginnings, the art of cinema has been inextricably intertwined with scientific studies of bodies, from Eadweard Muybridge’s motion studies to current work in neurocinema.  Bodies of film are both real and metaphorical: human and animal bodies being filmed, the body of a film itself (its assemblage), and bodies watching film.  How can we think about these different versions of film bodies?  Where do they converge, or do they?

Film’s special rapport with physical reality enables it to capture bodies in real time. The representation and reconfiguration of bodies on film or video is central to any understanding of cinema.  At the same time, moving images of bodies shape our conceptions of what constitutes a body—whether human, animal, cyborg, alien, or monstrous. 

Scholars have often thought of the moving image as a phantasmatic presence—an image of something not really there.  But that illusion only holds if we disregard the materiality of cinema.  Cinema itself is wedded to a material essence—a body—that informs its ontology.  The cinematic apparatus always structures any viewing.  How has its apparent dematerialization, brought about by the evolution of digital technologies, impacted the body of the cinematic image?

Classical film theory largely ignored questions of corporeality, but an increasing trend in current film scholarship addresses the relationship between the materiality of the cinematic image and the bodies of its spectators.  Questions of spectator response (physical, psychological, or ideological) have become particularly relevant in light of changes in modes of viewership (moving away from theaters to in-home and mobile viewing).  How are artists imagining the possibilities for spectator interaction with cinematic bodies/products, within and beyond notions of affect?

We invite proposals for 15 minute presentations that engage with any of these concerns.  Possible topics could include, but are not limited to:

- violence done to filmed bodies (literal and virtual)
- bodily excess or insubstantiality
- body politics
- the mortality of the cinematic body
- relationships between actor, movement, and space within the frame
- limits of the apparatus
- acousmêtre (embodiment through sound)
- haptic visuality (contact between eye and screen)
- neurocinema
- empirical accounts of the bodily experience of cinema
- cross-disciplinary/interdisciplinary inquiries
- spectatorship studies/reception theory

Please send 250-500 word abstracts and all other inquiries to [log in to unmask] by December 1, 2012. Please include a brief biography or CV with your abstract.  For more information please visit our website:

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