Call For Submissions

Screen Worlds: Decolonising Film and Screen Studies

Deadline: 1 September 2021

SOAS, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON, UK

Deadline: 1 September 2021

The Screen Worlds project is delighted to announce a call for submissions to contribute to the broad range of research and resources on our website. This call builds on our belief that the decolonising of Film and Screen Studies is necessarily a collective task.

As Robert Stam powerfully noted in Film Theory: An Introduction (2000), film’s historical relationship with imperialism, colonialism and racism has been the least researched area in Film and Screen Studies. This is in spite of the fact that the film medium, since its invention in the late 1800s, was powered by White patriarchal privilege and racist representations of Africans, Asians, indigenous communities and, in particular, Black people – and which are still evident today in films and filmmaking practices. The discipline of Film and Screen Studies also remains mostly Eurocentric in its historical, theoretical and critical frameworks, despite important, ongoing critiques by Third Cinema, Black and other film scholars, and despite the attempts of world cinema and transnational cinema scholars to “expand” the field. This call is based on our conviction that a re-envisioning of our field is thus necessary.

We invite submissions that approach the topic of “decolonising film” through a diverse range of perspectives, angles, and forms (films, audiovisual essays, reflective essays, interviews, toolkits/syllabi and academic articles – see below for further information). We are particularly interested in approaches that:

  • Foreground films, perspectives, voices, and languages from African, Asian and indigenous contexts – and/or that put these in comparative dialogue with one another
  • Foreground films and film theory by people of colour, and especially Black people
  • Critique racism in films and filmmaking practices, past and current
  • Celebrate and contribute to creative responses to decolonisation through experimentation with form
  • Acknowledge that decolonisation, in any context, is a deeply affective and complex process
  • Explore how theoretical/critical Film and Screen Studies programmes and practice-based Filmmaking programmes in HE can help one another to decolonise
  • Reckon with the obstacles (institutional, political, economic, and cultural) that might inhibit fully decolonised Film and Screen Studies programmes and research
  • Demonstrate what Film and Screen Studies can learn from how other fields have been decolonising
  • Foreground positionality and lived, embodied experiences (cf. Walker 1983, Christian 1985, Crenshaw 1989, hooks 1994)

 

Given the urgency of the #BlackLivesMatter movement and related activism opposing anti-Blackness in all areas of society and in all cultures across the world, we particularly encourage and welcome work that challenges anti-Blackness in Film and Screen Studies, and in filmmaking practices, and that is produced by people who identify as Black. For, as we have stated before, we need to decolonise not only the content of films and film curricula, but also participation in Film and Screen Studies and the film industry.

Possible submission formats :

  • Short films of up to 30 minutes in length
  • Audiovisual essays of up to 20 minutes in length, accompanied by a written statement (500-2,000 words) about the research questions, thinking and process behind the making of the audiovisual essay (please note: the Screen Worlds team has produced a series of training videos about how to make an audiovisual essay if you have not made one before, which you can access here; we may also offer some training through Zoom in the future – if interested, please email our creative producer Anna Sowa at as170@soas.ac.uk)
  • Reflective essays of 4,000 words (these could take the form of personal essays or case studies, for example)
  • Interviews with filmmakers (up to 4,000 words if transcribed; up to 20 mins if submitted in podcast or film format)
  • Toolkits/syllabi (see here for examples of current Screen Worlds toolkits)
  • Academic articles of 6-8,000 words (including footnotes and bibliography)

 

We encourage the use of different languages although please provide English translations/subtitles. Please include a biography of 200 words. Ideally film content will be shared via a Vimeo link but, if this is not possible, we can discuss other means of submission.

 

Deadline for submissions: 1 September 2021

Submit to: decolonisingfilm@gmail.com

 

Please note: submission does not constitute acceptance; there will be a rigorous peer review process to select what is chosen for publication on the Screen Worlds website since we have limited space.

 

The Screen Worlds project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 819236).

 

 

Deadline: 1 September 2021