Reimagining Genre in Cinema

San Francisco, CA, USA (17.-18.10.2019), 15. August 2019.

San Francisco State University's 21st Annual Graduate School Cinema Conference:

Reimagining Genre in Cinema
SFSU Cinema Studies Graduate Student Association
October 17-18, 2019

Deadline for submissions: August 15, 2019

contact email:

Whether because of digital technologies or other cultural shifts, many traditional cinematic forms, formulas, and categories seem increasingly to be in flux or mixed; this seems particularly true of notions of genre.  Of course, genre has always been subject to mixture, to being contaminated by its others, but today, new genre-redefining forms and mixtures seem to be proliferating. At the same time, this very proliferation sometimes seems to demand increasingly specific generic categorizations and subdivisions. 

The digital archive has given an unprecedented level of access to the cinema of the past and present and helps build the filmmakers of the future. New technologies make play and exploration more accessible than ever, and yet old ways of telling stories persist and evolve. This technological change is coupled with more globalized forms of communication, but also with an emphasis on representation, identity, and revising history. The result is a medium that is concerned not only with understanding its past, but also with actively constructing a new way forward.

Increasingly, traditional genres like the western and horror are turned on their head and complicated with new kinds of representations and mixture. Audiences themselves generate content and challenge generic forms--asking filmmakers to take new risks in mainstream formulas and celebrating independent and foreign cinematic forms. Indeed, following concepts of gender fluidity, genre is perhaps best understood as something that is inherently variable. This conference is concerned with both placing this generic reimagining in a historical context as well as exploring the changes occurring in our current moment, and seeks to explore these shifts through a more global lens.

Possible topics for this conference could include, but are by no means limited to:

Subverting, blending, or bending genre
Interactions between filmmakers and audiences
Identity and genre (e.g., race, sexuality, gender)
Gender fluid and genre fluid
Experimental filmmaking (e.g., found footage) and its connection to genre
Cross cultural borrowing and issues of appropriation
Similar generic play in other arts or mediums (e.g., fine arts, television, literature, etc.)
Digital media and transmedia narratives
Adaptation and intertextuality
Remakes, reboots, and franchises
Nostalgia and memory in the digital age
Historical periods that point to or have parallels with reimagining genre
International cinema and genre (how it is perceived as its own or a hybrid genre)
Revival of some genres and cinematic styles (e.g., the Western)
Genre and the auteur


Blade Runner 2049 and Blade Runner Shorts - blending Neo-Noir and Science Fiction
No Country For Old Men - Revisionist/Post Modern Western
Suspiria - Italian Giallo Horror to contemporary horror film
Us and Get Out - incorporating identity politics into horror
Mad Max - blending the road movie with science fiction and action film elements
Oceans 8 and Ghostbusters -- remaking the male buddy movie
Colossal  - monster genre mixed with comedy-drama
High Life- The prison film as a space sci-fi
Submissions will be accepted from current graduate students, recently graduated students from MA or MFA programs (1-2 years after graduation), lecturers, post-doctoral scholars, and adjunct faculty.

While the School of Cinema hosts this conference, scholars of television, cultural studies, media studies, and other related fields are encouraged to submit proposals. We welcome presentations, video essays, and other forms of visual media as well as papers. Upon acceptance, your work will also be eligible for inclusion in our online journal, Cinemedia: Journal of the SFSU School of Cinema.

Please send a 300 word abstract, a brief biographical statement (100-150 words), and CV to: by August 15, 2019.