Popular Italian cinema

All call for papers has gone out for Popular Italian Cinema: an international conference, to be held at King’s College, University of London, 27-29 May 2009. Proposals are invited for papers which deal with any aspect of popular Italian film culture from early silent film to contemporary cinema. Here’s the conference blurb:

This conference seeks to establish the importance of the study of popular Italian cinema. From the origins of the silent feature film and the creation of the star system, Italy has been at the forefront of cinema as a mass cultural phenomenon. The formal incorporation of music, melodrama, and comedy, and the development of the Italian genre system, are integral aspects of Italy’s domestic cultural heritage, responsive to and influential on film internationally.

Research into Italian cinema still needs to shift the paradigms beyond neo-realism and the canonical post-war auteurs. Furthermore, realism and auteurism in Italy can only be fully understood through their position within the rich vein of the wider film culture from which they arose. This conference will provide an opportunity for examining what is meant by the popular in Italian cinema, and for resituating the turning points in world cinema of silent spectacle and neo-realism.

Titles and abstracts (350 words) for proposed papers should be sent in English to the conference organizers by 15 February 2009. Keynote speakers are Richard Dyer (King’s College, London), Rosalind Galt (Sussex), Elena Mosconi (Cattolica, Milan), Federica Villa (Turin), Christopher Wagstaff (Reading).

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