Deadline for Abstracts: 1 May 2014

The Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television welcomes articles which
examine aspects of early film theory from a historical perspective.
Audio-visual culture has always been accompanied with ­and even shaped by ­
generalising ideas about its inherent characteristic and meaning. From the
early days of film, intellectuals, practitioners and scholars have been discussing the inimitable properties or communalities of different media. In
so doing, they focus on different aspects, including aesthetics, narrative
possibilities, the relation of audio-visual images to specific socio-cultural and political contexts and their eventual effects. Whilst film theories help to explain more general aspects beyond isolated case studies ­and thereby offer assumptions towards a more comprehensive understanding of filmic images they also play a role in the development of academic subjects and schools of thoughts. Given that all theories, regardless of their aim or scope, are the product of specific historical and ideological circumstances, it is important to take these contexts into consideration when using or referring to such thoughts. Ahistorical approaches, which tend at discretion to apply theories without acknowledging their origin or evolution to any past or contemporary film, ought thus to be questioned.

The theme issue of the Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television explores the history of film theory. It looks specifically at theoretical ideas and debates up until the 1940s. Its wide focus invites original submissions on a variety of aspects. Articles that are based on primary sources (archival documents, contemporary journals, etc.) and/or the impact of theory are particularly welcome. Topics may feature analyses of select theorists, the development of schools of thought, film reception, the dissemination of theory (e.g. in trade and specialist journals or academic writing), approaches to media social theory and ways to implement theory into practice. Topics of film and cinema theory not included in the above list are also welcome. International perspectives and comparative approaches are strongly encouraged.

Please feel free to contact the guest editors Tobias Hochscherf
( or Katharina Niemeyer
( if you have any queries. A 150-250 word
proposal alongside a brief biographical note should be submitted to the
editors by 1 May 2014.

All final submissions are subject to the journal’s customary blind
peer-review process. The theme issue is to appear in print in summer 2016.

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