31/7/2019 – CFP: Constellations. Connections, Disruptions, and Imaginations in Cinema and Beyond

What, when & where

Division of Cinema and Media Studies
University of Southern California

Constellations: Connections, Disruptions, and Imaginations in Cinema and Beyond.

Thursday, October 10 and Friday, October 11, 2019

When gazing at the sky, one turns to the billions of specks occupying the universe, an infinite space where visible and invisible galactic matter creates multidimensional shapes and figures. Throughout history, the cosmos has served as a site of epistemological enunciation. In connecting and linking disparate star systems, societies have advanced knowledge and created constellations. Constellations as metaphor moves one beyond discussions of the universe. In this regard, cinema, media, and visual culture have mediated our imagination on constellations. From planetariums and large screens projecting images of the enigmatic universe, to films imagining worlds outside of our own galaxy, to television and radio networks sending out sound and image via wavelengths, and to transmedia organizing, constellations are projections and imagined networks.

One can add that constellations have guided people to situate themselves within the universe; to shift their geographical and migratory positions; to measure and keep track of time; to sync to nature; and to preserve history and culture. Discrete points are the vital infrastructure supporting constellations; effacing points would compromise the integrity of the figure and radically transform its meaning and image.

Constellations are created when mapping and charting geographies, struggles, and movements. This allows one to rethink how their positionality and temporality link and relate disparate spaces, objects, and peoples. For example, sentient and non-sentient beings have formed their own social constellations, creating networks, circles, communities, and support systems. One can argue that media creates its own constellations, especially when mediums rely on other media systems: transmedia, intermedia, social media, and “cloud” sharing devices.

While constellations consist of connections that create imaginary shapes, objects, and figures, one must nuance the specificity of each point and raise questions that help one confront the precarity of constellations. Disruption enters the picture, threatening the integrity of the shape.

Imagining new constellations is hermeneutical. The act of imagining opens the possibility for third spaces, making room for new worlds, and forming connections that were otherwise impossible. When imagining constellations, one leaves open the possibility of adapting to new changes, allowing new points to enter and emerge, and respect the existence of other constellations in the vicinity. Cinema, media, and visual culture has been generative in this endeavor.

What happens when points are not granted their specificity? Can a point disengage from one constellation and align itself with others to create new constellations? What are the consequences when external forces seek to erase points in order to undo the power of unity in constellations? What is lost when constellations cease to exist? How is sound, moving images, and other media implicated in the creation and disruption of constellations?

The First Forum 2019 organizing committee welcomes papers, artwork, and creative projects that expand, complicate, and reconsider the metaphor of constellations in relation to sound and moving images. Papers outside the field of cinema and media are strongly encouraged.

Deadline & how to apply

Deadline: Wednesday, July 31, 2019 by 11:59 p.m.
Decision notification by Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Please e-mail an abstract of 250-300 words for a 15 to 18 minute presentation; a biography of 150 words; and institutional affiliation to firstforum2019@gmail.com

Samples of artwork and creative projects for exhibition accompanied by a 250-300 word abstract and a biography of 150 words can be e-mailed to firstforum2019@gmail.com

Other info, Links & conditions

Please direct queries to Michael Anthony Turcios at maturcio@usc.edu or to the conference organizing committee at firstforum2019@gmail.com

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Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash
 

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Until filled – University of Redlands, CA. Assistant professor in Chicanx /Latinx literatures and cultures

What, when & where

The English Department at the University of Redlands seeks to hire a visiting assistant professor in Chicanx /Latinx literatures and cultures, with strength in media and visual studies, for the 2019-2020 year. This coming fall we’ll begin searching for a tenure-track assistant professor in this field, but in the meantime, we hope to hire a visitor to teach classes that include Chicanx literature, film and literature, and, ideally, introductory classes in other American literatures. We will consider both candidates who have completed the PhD and those who are near completion (assuming that a year of full-time teaching would not interfere with their ability to complete their work).

Deadline & how to apply

Please send a brief letter of application and current CV to Dr. Priya Jha (Priya_jha@redlands.edu) and Dr. Claudia Ingram (Claudia_ingram@redlands.edu) as soon as possible.

Other info, Links & conditions

The English Department at the University of Redlands also seeks to hire adjunct instructors for the academic year 2019-2020 (including a one-month May term) to teach a variety of introductory-level literature courses, possibly writing-intensive, in areas such as: World Literature, Literature of the Americas, Fiction, Poetry and Cultural Studies. Please ask any interested candidates to

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