Straight to the Front Row: Investigating Contemporary Western Gay Male Cinema
Conference to be held at the University of Northampton (UK)
16/02/2019 – 17/02/2019
From Weekend (dir. Andrew Haigh, 2011) to Call me By Your Name (dir. Luca Guadagnino, 2017), from God’s Own Country (dir. Francis Lee, 2017) to Moonlight (dir. Barry Jenkins, 2016) and Love, Simon (dir. Greg Berlanti, 2018), contemporary Western gay male cinema has endured a shift in both representational strategies and a boom in popularity within both mainstream and independent spheres, since 2010. ‘Western gay male cinema’, more specifically, refers to cinema that features a gay male protagonist, has narrative themes that relate to gay male identities and films that are primarily produced for gay male audiences. Prior to 2010, there have been Western gay male films that have been significant in either their representations or their popularity (ranging from the films that centred on gay men in New Queer Cinema to films such as Brokeback Mountain [dir. Ang Lee, 2005]), however, Western gay male films since 2010 have: gained (mass) attention within hegemonic spheres of success such as the Academy Awards and the BAFTAs, infiltrated a plethora of genres from the Teen (Young Adult) Film to the Erotic Thriller and Romantic Drama, and some have begun to (further) investigate intersectionalities of age, gender, class, race and sexuality.
This two-day conference aims to investigate both independent and mainstream contemporary Western gay male cinema, and its many facets and iterations. The organizers welcome contributions from postgraduate researchers, early career academics and established scholars, from Film, Media, and Cultural Studies more broadly, and we of course welcome papers from a queer, feminist or intersectional lens too. For the purpose of this conference, ‘contemporary’ connotes new and modern gay films, and therefore discussion and analysis should focus on films released since 2010. Lastly, while what constitutes ‘Western cinema’ or the ‘Western world’ is a much-debated topic, by ‘Western’ we mean films that are produced and released in Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand.
Confirmed keynotes are:
- Prof. Richard Dyer (King’s College London, UK)
- Dr. Andrew Moor (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK)
The organizers welcome abstracts that centre on, but are not limited to the following in direct relation to contemporary Western gay male cinema:
- Representations of gay male identity
- Space, place, temporalities and time
- Genre, ideology and iconography
- Representations of sex and/or intimacy
- Representations of love and/or romance
- Stylistic and narrative techniques (representational strategies)
- Analysis of critical and commercial reception of contemporary Western gay male films
- Gay male audiences, fans and fandom
- Intersectionality (age, race, class, gender, sexuality and disability etc.)
- The relationship between mainstream and independent gay male filmmaking practices
- The relationship between contemporary Western gay male cinema more specifically, and contemporary ‘queer’ cinema more broadly
- Contemporary Western gay male films and their place in Queer Film Festivals
Please send abstracts of 250 – 300 words, with a supporting bio of no more than 100 words, to both Connor Winterton (Connor.Winterton@mail.bcu.ac.uk) and Anthony Stepniak (Anthony.Stepniak2@northampton.ac.uk).
Abstract deadline: Monday 5th November 2018.