CFPs: Conferences

Literature and the Moving Image

The Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Literature and Camera-Stylo III (The Sydney Literature and Cinema Network)

11-13 July 2019 | Macquarie University, Sydney

Keynote speakers: Prof Andrew Gibson (Royal Holloway) | Prof Paul Giles (Sydney) | Dr Miriam Ross (Victoria University, Wellington)

The moving image has undergone not one, but several technological makeovers in the new century. Streaming now supplements broadcast television; in cinemas, the DCP (Digital Cinema Package) is replacing 35mm projection; and a range of mobile devices has changed viewing practices and product availability. Blu-ray / 4K formats are also narrowing the gap between home and cinema screening technologies, as video-game aesthetics lean more and more towards the ‘filmic’, with increasingly intricate narrative pathways.

Literature has always had a complex and volatile – yet also productive – relationship with the moving image. In 1948, Alexandre Astruc coined the term camera-stylo, or ‘camera-pen’, to propose that filmmaking be seen as a form of writing, a medium for thought like the essay or the novel. In the digital age, and in light of the changes outlined above, this is more applicable than ever. Television is now largely seen as a writer’s medium, and its scripted, serial dramas often referred to as the ‘new novel’. The effects of this shift are being felt in the film world, and in other moving-image media – just as fiction writers themselves have taken heed of the new possibilities opened by long-form drama.

The Australasian Association for Literature is uniting with the Camera-Stylo group to hold a conference that explores the various ways in which the literary and the filmic meet, interact and condition one other. To that end, we welcome proposals on topics that bring together literature and the moving image (film, television, web series, video games, art installations), whether reflecting on the effects of recent technological changes, or on more classical understandings of word and image.

These may include but are not limited to:

  • Screenplay as literary / cinematic text – poetics of screenwriting
  • HBO / AMC / Netflix and the television revolution
  • Intersections of literary and cinematic modernism
  • Documentary as literary and cinematic process
  • Early cinema and writing
  • Literary and film theory
  • The video essay (as art / criticism)
  • Genre in writing and cinema
  • Literary / cinematic poetics
  • Adaptation (in all its guises)
  • Biopic and life writing
  • Authorship and / as auteurism
  • The writer in film
  • Film montage as writing

Please send abstracts of 300 words and a brief bionote to by 31 March 30 April 2019. Notification will be forthcoming by early May. Individual paper presentations should be 20 minutes in length to maximise time for questions and discussion. We also invite panel submissions, workshops sessions or position papers for discussion.

Organising committee:

A/Prof Paul Sheehan (Macquarie); Dr James Mackenzie (Macquarie); Sabina Rahman (Macquarie); Blythe Worthy (Sydney).


Re-Orientating E.M. Forster: Texts, Contexts, Receptions

An international anniversary conference

2–4 April 2020 | University of Cambridge

Confirmed speakers: Paul Armstrong (Brown) | Stefan Collini (Cambridge) | Santanu Das (Oxford) | Leela Gandhi (Brown) | Jane Goldman (Glasgow) | Stefania Michelucci (Genoa) | Rachel Potter (East Anglia) | David Trotter (Cambridge)

E. M. Forster, one of the major British writers of the twentieth century, died on 7 June 1970. The fiftieth anniversary of his death affords a special opportunity for a comprehensive re-evaluation of his place and significance in the literary and wider culture of Britain and beyond. This conference, to be held at the Cambridge University Faculty of English and King’s College – where Forster was an undergraduate and where he later resided for many years as an Honorary Fellow – invites a wide-ranging exploration of his life and work, while focusing attention on two broad areas: (a) Forster in his historical and cultural context; (b) receptions of Forster since 1970.  A central aim is to facilitate a productive dialogue between these two perspectives, with a view to defamiliarizing dominant perceptions of Forster and his work, exposing what has been occluded, and identifying new directions of travel in Forster studies.

Forster’s novels are widely read and have frequently been adapted for radio, television, and the cinema; he continues to be a major influence on other writers.  A Passage to India remains a foundational text for postcolonial studies and Anglophone writing about India, while Maurice, first published in 1971, is a cornerstone of queer fiction.  But how does the Forster that emerges in the artistic and scholarly production of the years since his death relate to the Forster of the years of literary creation? How far have contemporary receptions of Forster been shaped by our own cultural perspectives, agendas, and anxieties? To what extent and in what regards has E. M. Forster the man become E. M. Forster the myth?  How might he be seen as a different writer from the one we think we know – perhaps one even more radical and unsettling?

In evaluating proposals, the organizers will pay careful regard to fulfilling the general aims and conception of the conference.  Submissions are welcome on any topic.  The following broad themes are intended as suggestions:

  • Family, friendships, social networks
  • Education
  • England and Englishness
  • The Mediterranean, Egypt, and India
  • Literary influences and affiliations
  • Modernisms
  • Politics: imperialism and colonialism, liberalism and totalitarianism, war
  • Class
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Music, art, and mass culture
  • Fantasy
  • Adaptations in other media
  • Receptions in contemporary fiction
  • International receptions, including translations
  • Writing Forster: biographies
  • History of Forster criticism

The conference also invites reflection on the relevance of Forster’s Weltanschauung (itself inviting exploration and definition) to our own historical moment, with consideration of this question: What, fifty years after his death, has Forster’s concern for ‘connection’ and for civil liberties to say to us at a time when narrow nationalisms and authoritarian ideologies have once again become prominent across the world?

A volume of essays arising from the conference is planned with a leading publisher.

Proposals of 250-300 words for 20-minute papers, together with a brief CV of no more than 100 words, should be submitted by email attachment to by no later than Friday 10 May 2019.

We also invite proposals of 100-150 words for ‘lightning talks’ of 5-7 minutes, to be submitted by the same date; this may be of particular interest to graduate students. Anyone who wishes to have a longer proposal considered either for a 20-minute paper or for a lightning talk should please indicate this in the submission.  Notification of acceptance or otherwise may be expected before the end of June.

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