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SERCIA Conference: “Music and Movies”

Die 20. Ausgabe der SERCIA Conference widmet sich vom 18.-20. September 2014 dem Thema “Music and Movies: National and Transnational Perspectives”. Beiträge werden gesucht.

Die Konferenz findet an der Radboud Universität in Nijmegen, NL, statt. Näheres hierzu und zum Call for Papers:

“SERCIA, founded in France in 1993, is a European-based association of
scholars dedicated to the study of English-speaking cinema. It organizes
an annual conference dedicated to a particular theme. The theme of the
2014 conference is “Music and Movies: National and Transnational
Perspectives.” It will be hosted by the Department of American Studies,
Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands on September 18-20, 2014.
Nijmegen is the oldest town in the Netherlands and well known to movie
experts from Richard Attenborough’s A Bridge Too Far (1977). This year
will mark the 70th anniversary of Operation Market Garden, designed to
end the war quickly. During the operation, launched on September 17,
1944, American, Canadian, British, and Polish troops liberated Nijmegen.
Our conference participants will consequently find the scenic town
center buzzing with international visitors, parades, concerts, and film
events around the theme of liberation. In addition to our conference
lectures, panels, and workshops on the aural dimension of film, we will
present an exhibition as well as a live musical performance on “The
Soundtrack of Liberation” synchronized with live screenings.

Call for Papers

The global appeal of films in the digital age is not only driven by
impressive visuals but also by music. We not only watch a film: the
soundtrack plays a crucial role in shaping our perception of what is
shown on the screen. Music represents perhaps the most neglected
paradigmatic medium, in spite of being a powerful influence on how films
are understood and are able to cross national, cultural, and ethnic
boundaries. Musicians, composers, sound designers, directors, producers,
and distributors function as influential cultural mediators (in the
sense of Stephen Greenblatt) who are constitutive in shaping regional,
subnational and national identities. Thus, the theme Music and Movies
raises broader issues in transnational studies, film studies, media
studies, and studies in performance culture. The conference will bring
together international scholars from diverse disciplines offering a
discursive platform for the collaboration between film studies, cultural
studies, American studies, musicology, ethnomusicology, performance
culture, sound design, and media studies. We hope to decode the nexus
between movies and music from historical, theoretical, and analytical

Despite the centrality of our theme to film, media, and entertainment
culture, the influences of music, sound effects, and language on the
visual often remain on the fringes of academic investigations. Indeed,
we do not yet have an established analytical language in order to
understand the complex interplay of hearing and seeing a film. The
conference Music and Movies explores, maps, and critically evaluates the
creative interplay between sights, sounds, and synaesthesia, a
phenomenon linked to the ability of seeing sounds, hearing colors, and
associating colours, spaces, and emotions with sounds.

The conference will also explore many other issues. We especially
encourage proposals on themes/areas such as:

–music in silent film, the early sound era, New Hollywood,
non-Hollywood narrative film, IMAX

–music in film genres such as the western, (neo-)noir, horror, sci-fi,
animation film

–Broadway musicals, music bio-pics, dance movies

–transcultural strategies in the use of film music and transnational
composers (from Max Steiner to Hans Zimmer)

–technical aspects such as surround sound, sensurround, 3-D audio

–musical styles in movies from late romanticism via avant-garde to
popular music

–the use of pre-existing music, synthesizers, and sampling in film

–music and film in performance culture, music in character and action

–collaborations between directors and composers, directors as composers
(e.g. Charlie Chaplin, John Carpenter, and others — including, for
comparative purposes, Sergio Leone, Tom Tykwer, etc.)

–movies and music outside the multiplex, e.g. video games, museums,
concerts, events, etc.

–recent developments in transgressive performance culture (e.g.
Josephine Machon)

–film music and emotions, impacts on the brain, aesthetic and
psychological responses

–connections of painting, music, and art with case studies ranging from
Walter Ruttmann’s experimental work in international modernism via Walt
Disney (e.g. Fantasia, 1940) to contemporary avant-garde work in digital

While SERCIA is dedicated to the study of English-speaking cinema, paper
proposals comparing music in English-speaking cinema to that in
non-English-speaking cinema are welcome.

Please send proposals for individual papers both to Frank Mehring
(fmehring@gmail.com) and Melvyn Stokes (melvynstokes@hotmail.com)

Proposals should be 200-300 words including a short biography and
contact details. (You do not need to be a member of SERCIA to submit a
proposal but you will have to be a member to give a paper – the current
subscription is 30 euros, 15 for concessions.)

Deadline: April 1, 2014

Organizers: Frank Mehring (Head of American Studies, Radboud University)
and Melvyn Stokes (University College London, President of SERCIA)

Program and updates: www.ru.nl/col/SERCIA

Dr Matthew Jones

Research Associate

Department of History


Gower Street



Tel: 020 7679 7960 (Ext 37960)



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