The NECS 2020 Conference

Transitions: Moving Images and Bodies

18–20 June 2020
Hosted by the University of Palermo 

Please find attached PDF version: here
Deadline for submissions: 31st January 2020

The NECS 2020 Conference aims to explore connections between media and a series of developments within our current era that can be grouped under the term “transitions.” In order to explore this connection, we can perhaps begin from the most general meaning of “medium” as a form and instrument for the expression of a mediation, i.e. a shift, a motion and therefore also a “transit.” According to Bolter and Grusin’s famous idea of “remediation,” every kind of media can be considered in a certain sense as a form of “remediation,” a translation between new and old media. This is the general framework in which the conference is conceived, considering media as instruments of different kinds of transition.   

“Transit” is a suitable concept for describing our contemporary period inasmuch as it represents an exemplary state of being “between”: between a point of departure and an increasingly precarious point of arrival, between a past that is receding and a future that can only be imagined. From this standpoint, “to transit” means above all to abandon one’s assigned condition in order to choose a new one, a new condition that represents the outcome of an overcoming, even as it bears witness to a remainder, a survival of the past. Transit here is the provisional suspension of a state of things, passing through a similarly provisional loss of identity that contributes to the creation either of a new order or, on the contrary, of no order at all. In this sense, a reflection on “transits” also offers an occasion to think about historical and cultural heritage, about traditions and the way they might survive in the future. This perspective includes research into different kinds of archives, starting from audio-visual ones.  

Defined in this manner, “transit” can encompass many of the phenomena that characterize the contemporary world and its trajectories. One of these is no doubt the migration of women, men and children who decide to leave their countries in order to undertake journeys that, in many cases, have no precise destination. This enormous mass of bodies in movement, carriers of desires as much as anything else, forces us to interrogate ourselves and perhaps obliges us to reflect on the migratory phenomena as a magnifying glass through which to read and interpret our contemporary era, not only in problematic terms but also – and above all – as a vital occasion for rethinking the world’s geo-political balance. Reflecting on contemporary migration is thus a precious tool for revitalizing discussions of “globalization”: a phenomenon that today quite clearly requires radical rethinking, beginning with a new general mapping of the world affected by the daily trajectories of migration. Audiovisual media are of course fundamental in this process of progressive remapping of the old world through the stories that migrants bring with them during their long journey: this includes both stories that migrants tell by themselves (using mainly social media) and the migratory stories that have inspired artists, writers, musicians and directors. 

Today there are not only populations or individuals in migration; there are also images, forms and narratives in motion that, crossing through different times and spaces, demonstrate the need to render various traditional concepts—e.g. border, gender, medium, work, text—mobile and invest them with new meanings. As borders are crossed, genders contaminated and media converged, works and texts become the open field for these processes of hybridization, the most easily recognizable cypher of contemporary culture. The category of “transit” allows us to try and interpret sexual, cultural and gender orientations that today form the outline of a world in which there are no more clear separations and distinctions. The contemporary media panorama, through mixing different languages, formats and codes, clearly shows – perhaps more than any other area – the labile character of borders in discussion. 

The NECS 2020 conference thus aims to embrace the idea of transit – in the broad sense that we have described above – as a privileged keyword for interpreting contemporary audiovisual media. The relations and overlapping demonstrated by phenomena of different orders represent an occasion and starting point for a detailed reflection that touches on different but contiguous approaches to audiovisual media: gender studies, post-colonial studies, global studies, translation theory and, of course, sound, cinema and media studies. 

The NECS 2020 conference call there seeks presentations not only on technological devices for communication systems, but also on bodies, languages and images that run across and overlap within our contemporary world. In this context, we imagine the conference and its confrontations as enabling a space for an act of transversing (a ‘transit’ in itself), in which borders between objects and disciplinary zones can be usefully redrawn. 

Submissions may include, but are not limited to, the following topics: 

  • Transitions and migrations
  • Migrants narratives, narratives on migrants
  • Mapping and analyzing migratory movement
  • Migration, anthropocene, climate
  • Sustinability and transitions
  • Politics of migration, borders, citizenship, new communities
  • Post-colonialism
  • Transitions, intermediality, transmediality
  • Relocation, displacement
  • Old and new screens
  • Reusing, remaking, citing
  • Transits of historical poetics
  • Translation, transposing, dubbing
  • Trans-culture, trans-nationality, transnational productions
  • Converging culture and remediations
  • Transmedia storytelling
  • Circulation of media objects and texts, film festivals circuits, media networks
  • Transnational productive practices
  • Transitions, genres, gender
  • Gender diversity and sexual identities
  • Queer and Post-feminist Theory
  • Bodies, images, media, sounds
  • Sexual genders, literary genres
  • Performativity as a genre
  • Performance and performativity
  • Performativity and queerness
  • Intersectional Feminism

Scholars from all areas of cinema and media studies, whether previously affiliated with NECS or new to the network, are invited to submit proposals, but NECS membership is a requirement.


When preparing a submission for NECS 2020 please keep in mind the following restrictions. Individuals may submit only one paper proposal, either as individual presenters or as part of a pre-constituted panel or workshop. Conference participants may only serve in a MAXIMUM of two capacities. These might be:

● delivering a paper and serving as a chair of either a panel or a workshop
● delivering a paper and participating in a workshop
● delivering a paper and serving as a respondent on another panel
● chairing a workshop and serving as a respondent on a panel
● chairing a panel and participating in a workshop

Individual presenters wishing to submit a proposal for a paper presentation of max. 20 minutes are required to provide their name, email address, the title of the paper, an abstract (max. 300 words), key biblioographical references (max. 200 words), and a short bio of the speaker (max. 150 words).

We support the submission of proposals for pre-constituted panels with 3 or 4 papers (3 papers only if there is a respondent) in order to strengthen the thematic coherence of panels. Furthermore, several thematically related panels may form larger clusters. We would like to strongly encourage members of the NECS workgroups to put together pre-constituted panels, but we also welcome submissions from academic research project teams, museums, archives, and other institutions. We highly recommend no more than two speakers from the same institution with a maximum of 20 minutes speaking time per paper. Panel organisers are asked to submit panel proposals that include a panel title, a short description of the panel (max. 300 words) and information on all of the individual papers of the panel, as described above.

Events such as workshops, roundtables or seminars – both pre-conference and conference – concentrating on more practical aspects of our field, e.g. teaching, research methods, publishing, or networking with the media industry are also welcome. Speaking time should be limited to 10 minutes per participant. Organisers are asked to submit workshop proposals that include a title and a short description (max. 300 words) with a list of participants.

There will be an opportunity for NECS workgroups to meet during the conference. Please notify the conference organisers if you wish to hold a workgroup meeting: 


Please submit all proposals before 31st January 2020 using the submission form available at:
The submission form is only open to registered NECS members who have paid the membership fee. For instructions on how to become a member of NECS and how to pay the membership fee please consult our website:
Participants will have to cover their own travel and accommodation expenses. Travel information, a list of local hotels and information on further events will be posted on the NECS conference website in Spring 2020
See also:
Please email all inquiries that cannot be answered by the FAQ to:

The NECS Graduate Workshop has been designed to give scholars at the beginning of their career a platform for networking with established European film and media scholars. The 18th NECS Graduate Workshop in Palermo (17 June 2020) is dedicated to the topic of “Migration as Method: Media, Circulation, and Knowledge Production”.
You may find the CFP online here
Please send your submission with an abstract (max. 200 words) and a short bio (max. 150 words) to:

ORGANISING COMMITTEE: Giuseppe Fidotta (Concordia University, Canada) and Mara Mattoscio (Università “G. d’Annunzio” di. Chieti-Pescara, Italy)


Local organizing team: Alessia Cervini, Simona Arilotta, Silvia Basile, Laura Busetta, Matteo Di Gesù, Giuseppe Fidotta, Andrea Inzerillo, Angela Maiello, Pietro Renda, Stefania Rimini

NECS 2020 Conference Committee: Luca Barra, Alessia Cervini, Michele Cometa, Grzegorz Fortuna, Grzegorz Kapuściński, Rahma Khazam, Daniel Kulle, Marta Maciejewska, Raphaëlle Moine, Michał Pabiś-Orzeszyna, Francesca Piazza, Antonio Somaini, Salvatore Tedesco, Jan Teurlings

NECS Steering Committee: Michael Cowan, Judith Keilbach, Bregt Lameris, Skadi Loist, Raphaëlle Moine, Laura Niebling, Michał Pabiś-Orzeszyna, Antoine Prévost-Balga, Andrea Virginás.