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(CFP) International Symposium on Trans Cinema Studies

May 2009 at the University of Amsterdam Co-sponsored by T-Image Foundation and The Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis Convened by Eliza Steinbock, PhD Candidate at ASCA and board member of T-Image Foundation

Taking place in conjunction with the Netherlands Transgender Film Festival (NTGF) 20-24 May 2009 at de Balie Cultural Center

In celebration of our 5th bi-annual festival, we will convene a full day of debate amongst scholars, filmmakers, the transgender community, and festival attendees. We imagine this symposium to be both reflective and forward-looking.

Susan Stryker (visiting Professor, Harvard University and Associate Professor Gender Studies, Indiana University) will present her groundbreaking work on Christine Jorgenson, a transsexual celebrity and filmmaker, as well as lead the closing plenary.

We invite 20 min. presentations from scholars and/or professionals in the field. In the interest of staking out some of the concerns of “trans cinema studies,” we suggest the following issues:

History: in what ways have gay and lesbian television, cinema and festivals enabled trans visibility; what are the histories of other avenues of emergence; in what ways have film festivals shaped the films that have been made?;

Accessibility/Distribution: what might we do about the identity ‘problem’ facing trans film festivals, which as a platform for trans cinema are sidelined as being too specialist or become redundant as more queer film festivals curate a trans program; what are the implications of greater or lesser distribution for certain films at festivals and elsewhere?

Reception: what work do (trans) viewers perform on films to make them trans, read them as trans, to make the films work in particular ways; what is at stake in trans perceptibility and how might we understand it?

Film Craft: to what extent have techniques and strategies from queer and feminist film been incorporated into trans cinema and vice versa; is ‘transness’ in the director, content, conventions/expectations, the market, or?;

Genre: which genres has trans representation tapped into and why; which genres have not yet been explored; might trans cinema be an expansive term to include experimental cinema (new languages and strategies)?;

Representation: what are the dominant and subjugated models of trans representation, especially in terms of the politics of nation, race, age, sexuality, and class; what kinds of shifts have occurred in terms of films with MTF or transfeminine characters and films with FTM or transmasculine characters?;

Film Theory: how might feminist film theory overlap with trans film theory; do we mean ‘trans’ as a concept or a practice; what methods of film analysis and film history does trans cinema render obsolete; what tools of analysis does trans cinema call for and suggest?

Interdisciplinarity: in what ways might transgender/transsexual practice and cinema relate?; how might shared concepts, such as, duration, narrative, technology expand and enrich both fields of study?;

Please submit a 250 word abstract of your intended paper and a biographical note.

Send to Eliza Steinbock <eliza_at_transgenderfilmfestival.com> by 1 February 2009.

We look forward to your response and hope to see you in May! www.transgenderfilmfestival.com


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