Call for Papers: “Film, public diplomacy and the Arab-Israeli conflict: Historical and international perspectives” Conference

16-18 October 2018, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA


  • Professor Tony Shaw, University of Hertfordshire, UK (
  • Professor Nicholas Cull, University of Southern California, and President of the International Association for Media and History
  • Dr Giora Goodman, Kinneret College on the Sea of Galilee, Israel

An international conference on “Film, public diplomacy and the Arab-Israeli conflict: Historical and international perspectives” will be hosted by the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA on 16-18 October 2018. The conference is supported by the University of Hertfordshire in the UK, Kinneret College on the Sea of Galilee in Israel, the International Association for Media and History (IAMHIST), and at USC the Center on Public Diplomacy and Center for International Studies.

The Arab-Israeli conflict is seventy years old in 2018. Over the decades, a great many scholars and journalists have looked into the role that the news media have played in the conflict. By comparison, relatively few scholars have explored the part played by cinema. This conference focuses not only on film’s part in the Arab-Israeli conflict but also on how film has interacted with public diplomacy and propaganda. The conference aims to go far beyond the examination of particular feature films and documentaries – though that is an essential dimension. It seeks to look “behind the scenes” to examine how governments and groups have used film as a publicity tool; to assess the role that actors, producers, agents and directors have played in the conflict both on and off the screen; and to consider cinema’s political and cultural impact on the conflict.

Hollywood is obviously an important part of this story, and by holding the conference in Los Angeles we hope to involve contemporary filmmakers, diplomats and lobby organizations based in the city that are engaged in a variety of ways in the Arab-Israeli conflict. But the conference will look at how cinemas from different parts of the world have treated the Arab-Israeli conflict. This will enable comparative analysis and point to the part played by film in the international “war of images” that has surrounded the Arab-Israeli conflict since its inception.

Our approach is interdisciplinary, and we welcome proposals for papers from scholars of all fields, including History, Middle East studies, Israel studies, Public Diplomacy and Propaganda studies, International Affairs, Film studies, Literature, and the Social Sciences. Possible topics for panels and papers include but are not limited to:

  • Key feature films and documentaries about the Arab-Israeli conflict
  • Cinema’s direct and oblique treatments of the conflict
  • National film industries’ different takes on the conflict
  • Film activism
  • Film celebrity off-screen activism
  • Film as a public diplomacy and propaganda tool
  • Cinema and censorship/boycotts
  • Film and issues of image and Nation Brands

The working language of the conference will be English. We welcome individual proposals for 20-minute presentations, as well as 90-minute panels. Proposals for individual presentations should not exceed 300 words, while those for panels should be a maximum of 1000 words. All contributors should include a brief (250-300 word) autobiographical paragraph and the contributor’s academic affiliation and email. All of this should be sent to Professor Tony Shaw at

Deadline for abstracts: 30 June 2018.

Notification of acceptance: 31 July 2018.

“I have a dream…” Media, utopia and experiment, Second Symposium of the Society for Media History

Université Paris 2

92 rue d’Assas 75006 Paris

Deadline: 7 December 2017

The first edition of the Symposium of the Society for Media History took place on May 26 and 27 2015; it sought to draw up an inventory of institutional and historiographical developments in media history since it first emerged and to explore current themes of study.

In a context of strong criticism of the media, including the accusation of bias – political and economic- this second edition seeks to cross-examine the way in which media, rather, have been the flagship of social change, of how to conceive and fashion another world.

Fifty years after the events of May and June 1968, the Society for Media History invites researchers to reflect on the links between media, utopia and experiments. The call for papers is not solely intended for media historians; it seeks to be a venue for as many different viewpoints and disciplines as possible. The scientific committee will favor proposals based on a corpus or a specific field, illuminating little known aspects of the history of the media or various epistemologies.

Proposals should preferably be placed in one of the following areas:

  • Alternative Media and Countercultures
  • Media and Utopia/Dystopia
  • Technical Experiments
  • Revolutions in the field of Media Studies


Each abstract (3000 characters max.) should have a title, an explicit problematic and a short bibliography. No proposal may have more than three authors. The abstracts will be blind peer reviewed.

You may also submit a proposal for a panel on a specific topic (three proposals minimum).

The deadline for submission is November 24. Authors are invited to submit their titles, abstracts and cv electronically on the homepage of the conference:

For further information, please visit:

Call for Papers: Film Distribution, Exhibition and Consumption in the Second World War: A Workshop on Data Collection and Analysis, Computational Methods and the Opportunities for Comparative Research

Organized by DICIS and IMS
15-16 May 2018
KU Leuven, Belgium
Within the specific time frame of the Second World War, this workshop invites researchers who examine the operations of distribution, exhibition and consumption of cinema in belligerent and neutral countries. Following in the footsteps of ‘Cinema and the Swastika: The International Expansion of Third Reich Cinema’ (Vande Winkel & Welch, 2007, 2011 revised) and inscribing itself into the field of ‘New Cinema History’ (Maltby, Biltereyst & Meers, 2011), this workshop brings together researchers who are compiling and analysing empirical data about wartime film distribution, exhibition, reception in or across specific cinemas, cities, regions or countries. The workshop, organised by the Institute for Media Studies (IMS) and the Scientific Research Network on Digital Cinema Studies (DICIS), strives to stimulate collaboration among scholars and to explore new methodologies and new types of interdisciplinary investigation, taking full advantage of the impact of digitalization on historical research (digital humanities).

The aim of this workshop is:

  • To compare ongoing or recently completed research on film distribution, exhibition and consumption/reception during World War II.
  • To share individual experiences about the use of digital tools and sources such as digitized newspapers and journals; online databases related to film such as IMDB or; tools such as Nvivo for analysing transcribed oral history interviews; geographic information software such as GIS, or specifically designed databases, as well as traditional analogue source materials (newspaper archives, film posters, wartime documents, diaries, reference works) to retrieve empirical data, identify the films mentioned in historical sources and reconstruct the circulation of those films.
  • To compare and interrogate specific research questions and methodologies
  • To present and discuss the pros and cons of existing databases and methods to analyse.
  • To think about ways to make computational databases ‘talk to each other’ (through data modelling and harmonization), allowing direct comparative research.
  • To stimulate collaboration among scholars within, as well as outside the discipline of film studies, and to explore new methodologies and new types of collaborative investigation, taking full advantage of the impact of digitalization on historical research

Papers may discuss topics such as:

  • Film distribution networks or practices (local, national, international)
  • Film exhibition (local, national, international)
  • Film censorship (local, national, international)
  • Film consumption/reception (local, national, international)
  • The ways in which the ideological visions of the wartime belligerents translated into different approaches to film policy
  • The practical implementation of wartime film policies
  • The ways in which new research on distribution, exhibition and reception can help us learn how audiences reacted to wartime films
  • The challenges of gathering and validating the quantitative information needed to analyse such topics
  • Formulating hypotheses about the circulation of films in societies dominated by economic constraints and political coercion (censorship, restricted access to the international film market and/or bans on films from particular countries).
  • Digital and analogue tools and sources used for that purpose.
  • The consideration of best practice in formulating research questions and employing comparative tools and methodologies from an international/comparative perspective

Confirmed Keynote: ‘Wartime Geopolitics at the Movies: The ‘European Cinema’ of the Nazi New Order in Global Perspective’ by Benjamin Martin (Department of History of Science and Ideas, Uppsala University), author of ‘The Nazi-Fascist New Order for European Culture’ (Harvard University Press, 2016).Thunnis van Oort (CREATE, University of Amsterdam) and Roel Vande Winkel (KU Leuven) will present the results of their recently conducted joint research in the introductory paper ‘Comparative Potential. The Cinema Context Data Model and World War II: A Comparative Case Study into Film Exhibition in German-occupied Amsterdam (Netherlands) and Antwerp (Belgium)’.

The workshop welcomes participants working on countries in the Axis sphere of influence (Germany, Italy, Japan and the countries they occupied or befriended) as well as contributions on the Allies (USA, UK, USSR) and their sphere of influence. Research on film distribution, exhibition and consumption in neutral countries (where films from both spheres of influence met and competed) is particularly welcomed.


  • Proposals for papers and/or hands-on presentations are now invited. Every paper/presentation should offer a reflection on the sources and methodologies employed. Please send abstracts of 300-500 words and a short biography to by December 18 and address any queries to the same email.
  • After the workshop, you may be invited to submit a revised version of your paper for consideration in a special issue or edited volume to be organized by members of the committee.

Scientific committee:

Roel Vande Winkel (DICIS – KU Leuven), Pavel Skopal (DICIS – Masarykova univerzita) and Thunnis van Oort (University of Amsterdam, Create)


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