British Association for American Studies


CFP: Cine Excess XI (Birmingham City University)

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CFP: Cine Excess XI (Birmingham City University)

September 8, 2017

Updated Call for Papers
The 11th International Conference and Festival on Global Cult Film Traditions

Birmingham City University Presents:

Cine Excess XI
Fear and the Unfamiliar: Wrong Time, Wrong Place, Wrong Crowd
Birmingham City University (and related screening venues)
9th-11th November 2017

Keynote: Professor Mark Jancovich (UEA)

Over the last 11 years, the Cine-Excess International Film Conference and Festival has brought together leading scholars and critics with global cult filmmakers for an event comprising a themed academic conference with plenary talks, filmmaker interviews and UK theatrical premieres of up and coming film releases.

Previous guests of honour attending Cine-Excess have included Catherine Breillat (Romance, Sex is Comedy), John Landis (An American Werewolf in London, The Blues Brothers), Roger Corman (The Masque of the Red Death, The Wild Angels), Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator, King of the Ants), Brian Yuzna (Society, The Dentist), Dario Argento (Deep Red, Suspiria), Joe Dante (The Howling, Gremlins), Franco Nero (Django, Keoma, Die Hard II), Vanessa Redgrave (Blow Up, The Devils), Ruggero Deodato (Cannibal Holocaust, House on the Edge of the Park), Enzo G. Castellari (Keoma, The Inglorious Bast***s), Sergio Martino (Torso, All the Colours of the Dark), Jeff Lieberman (Squirm, Blue Sunshine), Pat Mills (Action Magazine, 2000 AD) and Jake West (Evil Aliens, Dog House).

Cine-Excess XI is hosted by the Birmingham School of Media at Birmingham City University, and will feature a three day academic conference alongside filmmaking guests, industry panels and a season of related UK premieres and retrospectives taking place at screening venues across the region.

This year, Cine Excess is delighted to welcome Professor Mark Jancovich as keynote speaker. As well as being one of the world’s leading experts on horror and cult film, Professor Jancovich also writes on media and cultural theory, genre, audience and reception studies and contemporary popular television. Apart from numerous journal articles, his many books include, among others: The Screen’s Number One and Number Two Bogeymen: The Critical Reception of Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi in the 1930s and 1940s (with Shane Brown) (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012); Film and Comic Books, edited with Ian Gordon and Matthew McAllister (University of Mississippi Press, 2007); The Shifting Definitions of Genre, edited with Lincoln Geraghty (McFarland, 2008); Film Histories; An Introduction and Reader, edited with Paul Grainge and Sharon Monteith, (University of Toronto Press, 2007); The Cultural Politics of the New Criticism (Cambridge University Press, 2006); The Place of the Audience: Cultural Geographies of Film Consumption (with Lucy Faire and Sarah Stubbings) (BFI, 2003) and Defining Cult Movies: The Cultural Politics of Oppositional Taste, edited with Antonio Lazaro, Julian Stringer, and Andrew Willis (MUP, 2003).

For its 11th annual addition, the conference Fear and the Unfamiliar: Wrong Time, Wrong Place, Wrong Crowd considers the ways in which cult media exploits the boundaries of self and other in order to address horror and unease across a range of key genres. Specifically, it revisits and reconsiders Robin Wood’s (1986) taxonomy of otherness, which positioned categories such as women, the working class, ethnicity, alternative ideologies, and deviations from the ideological sexual norm as triggers for the evolution of the horror film and related transgressive genres.

Although Wood’s original return of the repressed hypothesis generated a range of critical readings around disreputable film genres, the parameters of his analysis have become invested with new and politicised resonances in recent years. Here, acts of extremism, and the making strange of the familiar in the contemporary milieu of Trump’s travel ban, a proposed wall to separate Mexico from the US, and generalised calls for greater immigration control all serve to resituate ‘other people’, ‘other cultures’ and ‘other places’ as sources of fear and revulsion. In short, awareness of individual, national and international difference has once more become culturally and politically foregrounded as threatening, thereby situating the other as being at the axes of Wrong Time, Wrong Place, Wrong Crowd.

Cine-Excess XI invites papers that either look back to Wood’s original premise, or assess more contemporaneous works/influences to consider such boundary awareness through the articulation of the other in cult media, film and television. This might involve the making strange of the familiar person/self, either in appearance or behaviour, perhaps through the mirror image or the doppelganger, or the rendering of places and spaces as uncanny, different or ideologically/physically remote, such as in the Gothic ruin, the rural backwater, or the isolated cabin in the woods. Proposals might also examine how shifts in time likewise cause ordinary contemporary on-screen places to become peculiar, excessive and cult.

Proposals are now invited for papers on a wide range of cult media case-studies, including film, television, literature, comics and digital media. However, we would particularly welcome contributions focusing on:

•       Legacy of the living dead –  Social realism and apocalyptic satire in the cinema of George A. Romero
•       Cabins, cannibals and chainsaws – The transgressive other of US cult cinema
•       Migrant trauma – Fears of the immigrant in classical and contemporary media
•       Bloody kids – Infants and infantile fears in cult media traditions
•       The return of the repressed redux – New readings of the concept of the other
•       The savage lens – Colonial visions of the unfamiliar
•       The gothic other – Terrors old and new
•       Wicker men and stone children – British tradition, folklore and cross-generational conflicts in UK cult film cultures
•       “Colonised by bourgeois ideology” – Robin Wood and the fear of the working class
•       Picket fences and domestic perversions – Unwholesome  portrayals of the nuclear family in cult film and  television
•       Invasion USA – Alternative ideologies and fears of national infiltration
•       Deadlier than the male – Case-studies of the transgressive female on screen
•       Film and the unfamiliar – Global visions, transnational variants  and genres out of place
•       Don’t go into the woods tonight – Urban fears in cinema’s forgotten rural spaces
•       Lost boys and girls – Gang culture tropes across cult film and TV
•       Cult on cults  –  Representations of religious and political extremists
•       Sexuality and the unfamiliar – Queer bodies and threats to heteronormativity
•       The other within – Outcasts , radicals and vengeful veterans
•       Fear of the once familiar – Mainstream icons reborn as cult performers
•       The Cultification of the Uncanny –  Theoretical perspectives on the concept of the unfamiliar
•       Fear of the all too familiar –   Doubles and doppelgangers in cult film and TV

Please send a 300-word abstract and a short (one page) C.V. by

Friday 8th September 2017 to:

Fran Pheasant-Kelly
University of Wolverhampton

Xavier Mendik
Birmingham City University


September 8, 2017
Event Category: