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CFP: Sex and the Cinema

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From the extremes of Disney canoodling at one end of the spectrum to pornography at the other, sex has always had a central role in moving images. This role has never been confined to representations in individual scenes, but has taken shape in every industrial and cultural aspect of their production, dissemination and consumption, from the Hollywood casting couch and red-light-district alleyways, to parked cars at drive-ins and the YouPorn user’s bedroom. So too has sex held a key position in film scholarship, aesthetics and the cognate disciplines that appraise moving images and their function in society. In recent years, this presence has only grown, in the form of key individual publications as well as burgeoning subfields (e.g., porn studies) and objects of inquiry (e.g., grindhouse programming).

As a substantial intervention into this ongoing research, the Aesthetics Research Centre, the Centre for Film and Media Research, and the journal Film Studies will stage a major international conference at the University of Kent in Canterbury (UK), to be held 9-11 December 2016.

Confirmed keynote speakers:
Prof. Daniel Biltereyst
Prof. Anne Eaton
Prof. Jon Lewis
and Jennifer Lyon Bell

This interdisciplinary conference aims to investigate the role of sex on screen, in cinematic spaces, and among the film world’s various domains; participants are encouraged to interpret both ‘sex’ and ‘cinema’ broadly and creatively. The organisers seek a wide range of proposals (for individual papers, panels or workshops) on any issue related to this topic, including (but not limited to) historical or contemporary examinations of:

• programming practices, DVD labels’ listmaking
• specialty distributors or exhibitors, online portals
• the role of sex at/in film festivals
• genres, cycles and production trends that pertain to or make strategic use of sex or sexuality
• the use of sex in marketing and promotional materials
• individual films, television series and other media
• the role of sex in star/celebrity formation
• the aesthetics of sex films, from smut to erotica
• ethical issues pertaining to sex and the cinema
• production conditions and labour issues
• regulation and censorship
• policing of public spaces, zoning
• film magazines and sex, e.g., Films and Filming
• amateur filmmaking, home cinema
• technological developments
• sexual politics, cultural activism and community building
• sexual subcultures
• gender, sexuality, race, class
• the public and private sphere
• sex films and pedagogy
• the body in performance and reception, e.g., body doubles, porn performance, embodied spectatorship
• taboos and prohibitions

Proposals of 200-500 words and a short bio should be sent by 1 May 2016 to sexandthecinema@kent.ac.uk. Selected papers will be published in a special issue of the journal Film Studies.