Transitions: Moving Images and Bodies―The NECS 2021 Conference

Transitions: Moving Images and Bodies―The NECS 2021 Conference

ONLINE, 7.-13. June 2021

The Conference programme is online! Please find the schedule here or get the links to the conference rooms.



Due to the persistent uncertainty caused by the world-wide pandemic, the NECS Steering Committee, in consultation with the NECS 2021 Local Organizing Team, has decided to hold the 2021 Palermo conference entirely online from June 7th to 13th.

The conference theme remains unchanged: Transitions: Moving Images and Bodies. And all papers, panels, and workshops accepted in early Spring of 2020 are automatically accepted to the 2021 conference. In order to maintain the spirit of live discussion and exchange, while addressing organizational needs, we’ve decided to refrain from pre-recorded sessions and hold all panels, workshops and keynote sessions as live online events.

Despite the challenges of holding an online conference with participants from around the globe, we aim to make the best of the online format and its specific affordances. Due to the scale of our conference (featuring over 150 panels), we need to reconsider the programming strategy (also with reference to the date range of June 7-13). Thus we need all the accepted presenters and panel organizers to fill in the registration poll before 10 January 2021. The form will be distributed before the winter holidays. 

We are doing our best to provide our membership – scholars from various countries and nationalities – with the most feasible solution for collaboration and the exchange of ideas. We believe this is possible only by ensuring a stable environment in full compliance with the diverse demands and limitations arising during this global pandemic.







We are very happy to announce that the Palermo team is able to host the NECS conference next year in June! Therefore, we decided to postpone the 2020 conference to 16-1​8 June 2021. All keynote speakers are still on board and we hope you are as well! If your paper was accepted, we will approach you during the summer to check if you adhere to your submission and to discuss technicalities. We will keep you posted if we can offer slots for new contributions. 


NECS Workgroup activities 

While the annual conference had to be postponed due to the current Corona crisis and ensuing travel restrictions and physical distancing rules, a few scholars and NECS workgroups are keeping up the good spirit of scholarly convivial collaboration and will hold digital sessions during the original NECS 2020 conference dates. Feel free to join these sessions and keep the NECS spirit alive! 


Wednesday, 17 June 2020, 3-4pm (CET) – Cinema and Contemporary Visual Arts (CCVA) Workgroup meeting 

CCVA will hold the annual workgroup meeting in an online format. The meeting will take place on 17 June from 3 to 4 pm CET, during the time scheduled for this year’s cancelled conference. We specially urge the CCVA members to participate, but all the NECS members are welcome to join us and get to know our workgroup activities. 

Zoom invitation:


Thursday, 18 June 2020, 5.30-7pm (CET) – NECS Workshop “Studying film and TV actors (and their intermediaries). A cultural and industrial approach” 

This workshop, sponsored by the Media Industries workgroup, was originally scheduled for the NECS 2020 conference and will take place online on Zoom and Facebook. For login details please contact

In recent years, film and television performers strengthened their role as crucial subjects inside an increasingly convergent and multi-layered media environment. They embody many functions, on both a creative and an industrial level, because of their roles and skills, their professional relationships, and their connections with audiences. By merging a critical with a professional approach, surveys increasingly scrutinize them as cultural industries agents, thus highlighting their role as a pivotal component of a wider network of media professions, logics, hierarchies and goals. The workshop will present some preliminary steps of a national research project titled “F-ACTOR. Forms of Contemporary Media Professional Acting. Training, Recruitment and Management, Social Discourses in Italy (2000-2020)”, recently funded by the Italian Ministry of University and Research. The project aims at analyzing a specific space, Italy, and a contemporary period, the last two decades, in order to map and trace major shifts in acting for film and television. The principal 

investigator and the unit leaders will discuss the main theoretical and methodological concerns of the research project together with some valued international scholars in the field and with all the workshop participants. How is the performers’ life cycle (from training to casting, from management to social discourses) quickly changing within the contemporary media environment? How can the different perspectives of performance studies, stardom and celebrity studies and media production studies help to make sense of these changes, and how can they be integrated into a systemic view? What are the assets and the pitfalls of different methods and toolkits (empirical data, ethnographical in-depth interviews, primary and secondary sources)? The focus of the discussion will mainly take into account three different levels of contemporary professional acting: training and education; talent management and professional development; PR, promotion and social discourses. 

Chair: Giulia Carluccio, Università degli Studi di Torino 


Paul McDonald, King’s College London 

Catherine O’Rawe, University of Bristol 

Petr Szczepanik, Charles University, Prague 

Dana Renga, The Ohio State University 

Francesco Pitassio, Università degli Studi di Udine 

Luca Barra, Università di Bologna 

Emiliano Morreale, Sapienza Università di Roma 

Maria Paola Pierini, Università degli Studi di Torino 


Friday, 19 June 2020, 9-10.00am (CET) - Sustainable Media Workgroup 

The newly formed Sustainable Media Workgroup will hold its first workshop on zoom. For login details please contact

The environmental footprint of the film and television industry is massive. The production of media content consumes a vast amount of energy, creates an enormous volume of waste and emits a large quantity of CO2. In the context of society's increasing ecological awareness, various players within the media industries have recently started to address their environmental impact. Film festivals are reflecting on their carbon emission, and industry meetings and panel discussions are scheduled to exchange ideas about green film production and distribution. Funding agencies are implementing measures to stimulate resource efficient productions, and offer guidelines and tool kits to help the industry work more ecology-friendly. Production houses are developing strategies and best practices to meet the environmental requirements that guarantee a green seal.

In this online workshop Fieke Spoler (Utrecht University) will present her research on green filmmaking in the Netherlands. She will map the current situation and discuss the structural, social and political obstacles that prevent a more sustainable Dutch film industry. Why is recycling and avoiding waste so difficult? Which measures and methods exist to use less resources and lower the carbon emission? What is the role of the Dutch Film Fund in greening film production? 

Presentation: Fieke Spoler (Utrecht University) 

Discussants: Bridget Conor (King's College London) 

Luca Barra (Università di Bologna) Michał Pabiś-Orzeszyna (Uniwersytet Łódzki) 

Skadi Loist (Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf) 

Chair: Judith Keilbach (Utrecht University)






NECS 2020 Conference Cancellation 16/03/2020


Dear all,

Due to the uncertain situation world-wide caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the NECS Steering Committee in consultation with the NECS 2020 Local Organizing Team decided to cancel the upcoming NECS conference, which was planned to take place in Palermo from 18-20 June.

We are very sorry about this development, especially since the interest for this conference was extremely high. Also, the NECS 2020 Local Organizing Team and the Conference Committee did a tremendous work during the last months, for which we would like to thank them once again. However, the Steering Committee felt the need to act responsibly and quickly. As a European network, our conferences usually bring together people from a large variety of countries and nationalities. Since the development of COVID-19 is difficult to foresee especially on an international scale, it is difficult if not impossible to predict what the situation will be in June.

The SC felt it needed to take this decision at this early stage in order to minimise unnecessary expenditures by conference attendees for travel to Palermo. We should add that several conference participants had already let us know that they were cancelling their trips because their institutions are prohibiting international travel at the present time.

We did explore options for a virtual conference but had to conclude this is an unfeasible alternative due to the scale of NECS. Furthermore, NECS largely functions as a network, and its conferences host many activities such as workshops and workgroup meetings that aim at exchanging ideas and stimulate collaborations. It is impossible to implement a virtual solution for this in an effective way.

Cancellations of flights and hotel reservations

If you are contacting airlines or hotels to request refunds or cancellations for travel and accommodation arrangements made, these will inevitably be subject to the original terms on which you booked with the supplier. In cases where institutions are prohibiting non-essential international travel, these institutions may be offering to cover costs. Otherwise, claims for such costs will be conditional on the terms of institutional or personal travel insurance.

Should you need to supply evidence of the conference cancellation, please contact us. We can send you a letter confirming cancellation of the conference and summarizing the reasons why.

Future Conference

We do intend to run the planned NECS conference in Palermo, although any planning for that must be placed on hold while we wait to see when and how the current uncertainties are resolved. We are exploring all possible options to organize the conference at another moment later this year. The Steering Committee will contact you as soon we have more detailed information about eventual rescheduling of the conference.

We are very sorry for the inconvenience but hope that you understand how important your well-being and that of everyone involved is to the NECS SC.

For now, stay safe and healthy!

NECS Steering Committee (Michael Cowan, Judith Keilbach, Bregt Lameris, Skadi Loist, Raphaëlle Moine, Laura Niebling, Michal Pabis-Orzeszyna, Antoine Prévost-Balga and Andrea Virginás)







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 biographical 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 will find the CFP online soon.
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.

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