CFP: Howard Hawks: New Perspectives (deadline: December 1, 2010)

27 08 2010

Howard Hawks: New Perspectives
Call for Papers (Edited Collection)
Deadline for proposals: 1 December, 2010

Although Hawks is often acknowledged as the director of some of Hollywood‚s most critically acclaimed and enduringly popular films, he also seems something of a marginalised figure. He may be listed as one of the important auteurs in American cinema, but he hasn’t received the same kind of scrutiny as figures such as Welles, Hitchcock, Ford, or Wilder. While each of these figures has attracted a substantial number of critical and biographical studies, the first major biography of Hawks (by Todd McCarthy) didn‚t appear until 1997.

One possible explanation for this is that Hawks‚s films don‚t seem to have a distinctively identifiable style and appear to lack the requisite directorial “signature” of the auteur. Or, as Manny Farber put it, his films “are as different as they’re similar.” Another explanation is that Hawks‚s films don’t appear to present the same kind of difficulty or complexity found in the work of other auteurs: he is often described as a “storyteller” whose films have been seen as straightforward and simply-told stories. (As early as 1928, a French review of Hawks’s A Girl in Every Port was already speaking of his “simplifying style”.) It is also the case that accounts of the films often fall back on received ideas or taken-for-granted categories such as the “Hawksian woman” or the male group. In other words Hawks seems to be a known entity whose work causes few problems of interpretation. This is further compounded by the lack of any clear relationship of narrative theme to visual style, with some of his most distinctive features being concerned more with performance, dialogue, and verbal delivery. Stylistically, it is instructive to note Hawks’s fascination with jazz and his own use of improvisational techniques in both rehearsal and shooting, techniques that might suggest a very different notion of his filmmaking method and style. Given that one of Hawks’s recurrent themes is precisely the refusal of simple categorisations, there is a need to return to his work and question the ways in which his themes and styles have been pigeonholed.
For this collection of essays we are therefore looking for work contributing to new and original perspectives on Hawks. It is anticipated that the collection would be grouped around the following suggested areas, although other approaches that have not been predicted here would also be very welcome.

    Hawks’s silent films
    Hawks and visual/aural style
    Hawks and music
    Hawks’s “failures and marginal works” (Robin Wood)
    Hawks’s generic promiscuity
    Interrogating “Hawksian”
    Hawks’s contractural career
    Hawks and the studios
    Reassessing “the Hawksian woman”
    Hawks as collaborative auteur
    Hawks’s literary collaborations
    Hawks as improviser
    Hawks and adaptation

1 December, 2010: Deadline for proposals (max 250 words + working title)
1 February, 2011: Contributors to be advised of decision
1 March, 2011: Book proposal to be sent to publishers
1 September, 2012: Completed articles (6000-8000 words) due for submission
1 February, 2013: Authors to be advised of any requested editorial revisions
1 July, 2013: Revised articles due for return
1 September, 2013: Manuscript to be sent to publisher

Please send an abstract (maximum 250 words) together with a working title to the following by 1 December, 2010:
Dr Ian Brookes
Department of Culture, Film and Media
School of Modern Languages and Cultures
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham NG7 2RD


Meet Drew Todd

26 08 2010

Drew Todd received his Ph.D. in 2004 from the Department of Communication and Culture at Indiana University, with a doctoral minor in Art History.  He has published on a variety of topics within film studies, including dandyism and cinema, crime films, history of film technology, and the poetics and politics of Satyajit Ray’s cinema. He is currently working on the films of Buñuel and their relationship to melodrama, as well as  completing a book on what he terms “Art Deco Hollywood.”

This semester Drew is teaching RTVF 10: The Film as Art (as both a regular class and a MUSE course), RTVF 111 (Alternative Cinema), and RTVF 185, an RTVF Studies course devoted this semester to the crime film. All three courses are among the department’s most successful classes.

In addition to lecturing on film topics San José State University, Drew also teaches at UCSC’s Film and Digital Media Department.  When he is not teaching or writing, or conducting research in any of California’s splendid film archives, Drew is ideally camping in the Sierras, watching Buñuel, or playing duplicate bridge.

CFP: MOVIES, MOVES AND MUSIC: The Sonic World of Dance Films (deadline: August 15, 2010)

3 08 2010


MOVIES, MOVES AND MUSIC: The Sonic World of Dance Films
Edited by Dr Pauline Manley and Dr Mark Evans
Published by Equinox, London

About the Volume

Over the last 40 years, while the musical film has faded from its
historical high-point to a more isolated and quirky phenomenon, the dance
film has displayed refulgent growth and surprising resilience. A phenomena
of modern movie-making, the dance film has spawned profitable global
enterprises (Billy Elliot), has fashioned youthful angst as sociological
voice (Saturday Night Fever, Footloose and Dirty Dancing) and acted as a
marker of post-modern ironic camp (Strictly Ballroom). This modern genre
has influenced cinema as a whole in the ways bodies are made dimensional,
in the way rhythm and energy are communicated, and in the filmic capacity
to create narrative worlds without words.

Emerging as a distinct (sub) genre in the 1970s, dance film has been
crafting its own meta-narrative and aesthetic paradigms that, nonetheless,
display extraordinary variety. Ranging from the experimental, ‘you are
there’ sonic explorations of Robert Altman’s The Company and the brutal
energy of David La Chappelle’s Rize to the lighter ‘backstage musical’ form
displayed in Centre Stage and Save the Last Dance, this genre has garnered
both commercial and artistic success.

Meanwhile, Bollywood has become a juggernaut, creating transportable memory
for diasporic Indian communities across the world. This is an entire
industry based on the ‘dance number’, where films are pitched around the
choreography, where the actors are not expected to sing, but they must dance.

This series of essays will investigate the relationship between movement
and sound as it is revealed, manipulated and crafted in the dance film
genre. It will consider the role of all aspects of sound in the dance film,
including the dancer generated sounds inherent in Tap, Flamenco, Irish
Dance and Krumping. Drawing on significant post-War dance films from around
world, this volume will finally address this mainstream genre, where image
and sound meet in a crucial symbiosis.


Please send a 250 word abstract to the e-mail address listed below.
Abstracts would be due by August 15 2010.  Final articles would be due mid
January 2011.

This volume will focus on the feature dance film rather music video or
musicals. We are especially interested in avant-garde, hip hop, Bollywood
and commercial ‘backstage’ dance films, but articles which fall outside
these categories are also encouraged.

Finalised articles should be between 6000-8000 words.

Please note that acceptance of the proposal does not guarantee publication
and all chapters will be subject to normal processes of peer review. Please
send proposals and further enquiries to

Dr Pauline Manley