Cult Cinema and Technological Change
An AHRC Global Cult Cinema in the Age of Convergence Network Conference
Aberystwyth University 15–16 April 2014
Deadline for proposals: 2 December 2013
Keynote speaker: Professor Barbara Klinger, Indiana University, USA
While academic study of cult cinema can be traced back to the 1980s, there has recently been a surge of scholarly interest in – alongside an increasing popular awareness of – the field. In particular, the advent and development of digital networks has led to an increasing awareness of a variety of cult followings and access to unprecedented cult films from around the world. Research addressing the changes wrought by increased digitization and global connectivity has, however, been relatively scant, as have sustained attempts to discuss and debate these issues. The aim of this conference (organised in association with the AHRC Global Cult Cinema in the Age of Convergence Network) is to bring together scholars to engage in a sustained dialogue addressing the role of technologies in different areas of cult film culture. Whilst technological change is the main theme of the conference, we welcome submissions that place such change within broader socio-historical contexts, and which reflect on the changing nature of cult cinema in relation to a range of technological developments, and the extent to which digital connectivity impacts upon understandings of cult film.
Possible topics could include:
Exhibiting cult: How changing technologies have impacted upon the ways in which films are screened/viewed and how this has led to new cultist patterns.
DVD/Blu-Ray and Cult: How these formats have led to the increased importance of repackaging, remastering, and extra materials, and how these promote particular forms of expertise.
Promoting cult: New modes of marketing and promotion and how these can facilitate cult reputations.
Transmedia cult: How altered boundaries between distinct media have led to increasing cross-media content and the extent to which these feed into cult promotion, exhibition and reception.
Funding: How the web has enabled new forms of funding films, such as Kickstarter, and the implications for this on cultism.
Informal and formal distribution cultures: New modes of distributing films (such as streaming services), incorporating ‘informal’ networks of file traders and bootleggers, etc.
Digital Aesthetics: Have cult films made with digital technologies instituted new aesthetic avenues?
Cult Criticism: The importance of ezines, blogs and similar platforms for cult criticism.
Fandom: Changing patterns of cult fandom in relation to emerging technologies and platforms.
Social Media and Cult: The importance of social media to cult film research.
Public and Private spaces: how have technological developments contributed to the spaces in which cult films are consumed, and how have relations between private/public been reconfigured?
Techno-cults: Analyses of representations of technology within particular cult films.
Residual cultism: The role of residual media, or ‘old technologies’ in cultism: for example, fans dedicated to collecting video tapes.
Historical case studies: Cult films/figures and historical uses of technologies (e.g. William Castle and Percepto and Emergo; 3D and cult, etc.)
→Proposals for individual papers or pre-constituted panels should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org by 12 December 2013. Proposals should be sent in a word document email attachment, and include the paper title, abstract (350 words), along with the name of the presenter and their institutional affiliation. Panel organizers are asked to submit panel proposals including a panel title, a short description of the panel (150 words) and information on each paper following the guidelines listed above. Panels should consist of three speakers with a maximum of 20 minutes speaking time each.