Call for Chapter Proposals for an Edited Collection
Working Title: Governing Genealogies of Film Education
Hadi Gharabaghi, Drew University
Terri Ginsberg, The American University in Cairo
Contributions are sought for an edited scholarly collection, the purpose of which is to introduce readers to a nascent, critical historiographic approach to the formal study and deployment of cinema based upon extensive archival research into the declassified governing paper trail located in government, university, and philanthropic foundation archives in the United States and other imperial locations, and of traces left behind in postcolonial and neocolonial state institutions. We invite research that dovetails investigation of production culture and the cinematic public sphere with exposure and analysis of governmental policy and bureaucratic processes. The primary objective of the volume is to shed light on the institution and institutionalization of film and, more broadly, audiovisual education as an international academic discipline, as well as of media governance through the governmentality of university and state programming at bureaucratic and aesthetic levels with complex and lasting implications for global cultures and subject positions. The volume’s secondary objective is to assess and reflect in this genealogical context on the precarious state of film studies today as an academic discipline, and hence on the crisis facing an increasingly disposable labor force of film scholars and teachers who have come of professional age at the very moment at which the serious study of cinematic and disciplinary articulations of race, colonialism, and transnationalism has achieved a certain institutional acceptance and legitimacy. We especially invite work that unearths previously unvisited collections and offers original research and theorization.
The volume aims to excavate the margins of archival inquiry regarding the history of U.S. higher film education, revealing and applying findings not previously included in the scholarly literature—or in Foucault’s own Eurocentric works—in order to offer an immanent critique of the field, its history and discursive structuring, and the practices of cultural production in which it has concomitantly engaged—in unvarnished collaboration with U.S. and other imperial government agencies and with private philanthropic organizations working in close relationship with them. The volume will in turn offer an interdisciplinary scope that positions the genealogy of film and media research into much-needed dialogue with scholarship outside the field that historicizes post-WWII liberal education and educational institutions within the context of Cold War liberal nationalism and capitalist global citizenship. While the volume invites detailed genealogical investigation, it is framed theoretically by contemporary readings of postcolonial, decolonial, and critical race theories with and against poststructuralist theories of epistemology, Marxist theories of imperialism, and emerging theories of the archive in order to problematize prevailing ways in which the historicization of Cinema Studies has been narrativized, its central theoretical paradigms maintained, and its socio-cultural practices recognized and understood.
The proposed volume is conceived at a moment during which disciplinary interest in the history of Cinema Studies and governing investment in film has led to the publication of several scholarly books. It will therefore resonate with a range of theoretical methodologies associated with the fields of cinema and cultural studies. Furthermore, scholarly attention to the role of governments and governing entities in shaping the direction of art education domestically and through diplomatic policy has had a longer and more prolific history that sheds light on the Cold War foundations of higher film education in the U.S. and the international arena and its domestic and international functioning as a “soft diplomacy.” We are therefore interested in excavating archival traces of film diplomacy’s creation of certain labor opportunities, academic programming practices, and the growth of film scholarship. While we hope to generate a more dynamic dialogue with this evolving group of scholarship, our volume intends to address this thematic in a methodologically innovative way within contemporary film and media studies, making substantive use of archival findings to address critical and theoretical claims regarding the genealogies of Cinema Studies both domestically and internationally.
A reputable university press has already shown strong interest in this collection.
Job, fellowship, and CFP listings are services that are offered by the American Studies Association to support its members in exploring professional opportunities in American studies. Any questions should be directed to the program, department, or center that has posted the opportunity.