Spectral Cinema and Contested Landscapes

Farnham, UK (28.10.2022), 24. June 2022.

Paper proposals are invited for the one-day symposium Spectral Cinema and Contested Landscapes, taking place Friday 28th October 2022 at University for the Creative Arts, Farnham, UK.

What role might ghosts have in the way traumatic histories are communicated and represented on screen? How might the ghost have the capacity to bring the past forwards to us in the present and enable us to reconsider how histories have been formed and by whom? How are strategies of haunting and the haunted useful to us when thinking through contested histories and contested landscapes? How can global, hybrid and alternative approaches to both documentary film and socially-engaged fiction encompass these ideas to critically re-evaluate society and our position within it?

These questions are at the forefront of a growing number of creative practitioners who are building on the work of sociologists Avery Gordon (Haunting and the Sociological Imagination), Grace Cho (Haunting the Korean Diaspora: Shame, Secrecy, and the Forgotten War) and more recently cultural theorist Zuzanna Dziuban (The Spectral Turn: Jewish Ghosts in the Polish Post-Holocaust Imaginaire) to bring the notion of ghosts and haunting into socially and politically driven works that readdress and gently dismantle Western colonialist interpretations of knowledge-formation, authority, supremacy and otherness. Further, contemporary practice in this field is differentiated from how we might have traditionally encountered the ghost in cinema to re-position the ghost within moving image practice as a political entity with agency and intention.

This symposium and its associated events will delve into this relatively recent branch of scholarship and will centre around practice-as-research. Spectral Cinema and Contested Landscapes is a hybrid project encompassing an academic symposium and a series of public-facing events in Farnham.

Keynote: May Adadol Ingawanij (University of Westminster).

Confirmed artist’s presentations: Juanita Onzaga (Our Song to War); Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley (Pirating Blackness).

We warmly welcome artists, practitioners, theorists and early-stage researchers to present their work. In this context we are considering cinema in its broadest sense and works presented and discussed will include any permutations of film, video art, television, installation, audio works, AR, games. Please see the attached for potential areas of inquiry.

Please submit a 200-300 word abstract + a 100 word bio + contact information (all on the same document) with links to practice-based work if appropriate to Roz Mortimer (roz.mortimer@uca.ac.uk) by 24th June 2022.

Best wishes,

Organising committee: Roz Mortimer, Simon Aeppli, Stephen Connolly, Abby Whittall. The research group for Cinema, Affect and Place, University for the Creative Arts.

Dr Abigail Whittall
Post Doctoral Teaching Fellow, Film
Abigail Whittall | University for the Creative Arts (uca.ac.uk)
University for the Creative Arts