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CFP: The Marriage and Separation of Old and New Media

Something Old, Something New: The Marriage and Separation of Old and New Media

The New York University Cinema Studies department is excited to announce the 2013 Student Conference. Each year our goal is to bring together student scholars from a variety of departments and disciplines in order to discuss particular subjects within the field of cinema studies and production. We look forward to providing students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels with an opportunity to present their ideas to their peers. Organized by and for students, the conference offers a unique forum for intellectual dialogue and stands as a valuable learning experience. This year’s conference will take place the weekend of February 22-24, 2013.


Why do we desire the new? Is anything ever really new, or simply a continuation of what has gone before? Walter Benjamin considers each development in technology as anticipating the next when he writes: “Just as lithography virtually implied the illustrated newspaper, so did photography foreshadow the sound film.” Does Benjamin’s statement present continuity between old and new technologies, or rather run the risk of merging their separate identities and historiographies? This conference provides an opportunity to reexamine cinema and historical change in an effort to reassess what is really new within the context of our past and ever changing present.

Participants might consider, but are not limited to, the following topics:

Technological Innovations

From it’s conception cinema appeared a technology-driven medium. Innovations such as editing, sound, color, scope, 3D, television, and digital transformed not only film form, but also spectator experience. How has the introduction and advancement of certain technologies affected movie content and movie going experience? Has new technology made old technology obsolete?

Recycling and Reinventing the Old

Media has a habit of remaking, adapting, continuing, and reusing content. The process of recycling material can function both economically and ideologically as in the case of sequels, franchises, found-footage films, adaptations. How does the process of changing a narrative from one form to another alter its content and meaning? Do adaptations always tell the same old story? If that’s the case, why is anything recycled and why do we watch those movies?

Creative Movements in History

Visual media continue to document the ideas and realities of societies at specific moments in time. Certain social movements (feminism, Civil Rights, LGBT, Occupy movements, etc.) have been pivotal in shaping the styles and content of cinema. These social movements have at times inspired pioneering artists to develop new stylistic expressions. Some possible topics include the Avant-Garde, the French New Wave, new national cinemas (Greece, Iran, Thailand, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Nollywood, etc.), “New Hollywood,” experimental film, D.I.Y. cinema (mumblecore, iPhone movies, etc.).

Other topics to consider:

  1.  Nostalgia, memory, and old ways of looking at the new

  2.  News culture: 24-hour news cycle, Twitter, blogging, etc.

  3.  Changes in documentary filmmaking

  4.  Stardom/Celebrity: inventing the star, star scandals, star comeback, etc.

  5.  Hollywood’s fetishization of the new

  6.  Theories of new/old

  7.  Selling the new: billboards, shop windows, ads, fashion, the “TV pilot” etc.

  8.  Theories of historiography

  9.  New methodologies for cinema and media studies

  10.  The value of new

  11.  The future of new


Submissions for single presentations

Please submit proposals of 250 words or less, including bibliographic references, to by January 28, 2013. Presentations will be no more than 20 minutes (7-10 pages, double spaced) including use of A/V material. Please include your name, presentation title, institution, major or department affiliation, and student level (BA, MA, PhD, etc) with your submission.

Submissions for full panels

Students who wish to form their own 3-student panels on a topic may submit possible proposals with a sponsoring professor or ABD PhD student as moderator. Submissions should be e-mailed to and should include a 250-word (max.) abstract for each presentation, a brief description of the panel topic, and the name and contact information for the sponsoring moderator. Please also include each presenter’s name, presentation title, institution, major, or department affiliation, student level (BA, MA, PhD, etc), and e-mail address. Time slots for the full panel, including discussion, are limited to 75 minutes. Full-panel submissions will have preference for inclusion in the conference and are due by January 21, 2013. If selected, you will be notified as soon as possible, at which time each participant will be required to submit his or her entire paper.

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