Call for Papers
Marx at the Movies Conference
University of Central Lancashire
March 16-17, 2012
As the Lehmans Brothers filled for bankruptcy on September 15 2008 an
era came to a halt. No more was there a belief that ‘the Market’ would
work for the greater good as long as it was left un-regulated. As the
belief in neoliberal theory and practice collapsed, many turned to the
alternative theory – that of Marxism, not least because for Marx the
challenge for human thought was not simply to understand the world but
to change it.
Not for the first time Marx is ‘fashionable’. As David Harvey observes
in his introduction to The Communist Manifesto: ‘The Communist
Manifesto of 1847 is an extraordinary document, full of insights, rich
in meanings and bursting with political possibilities. Millions of
people all around the world – peasants, workers, soldiers,
intellectuals as well as professionals of all sorts – have, over the
years, been touched and inspired by it.’
The same can be said about filmmakers, film academics and students, in
view of the fact that cinema, as a collective endeavour and as an
industrial art, is an excellent ground to test Marxist dialectical
thought. But how has cinema engaged with Marxist theory and practice?
How has cinema engaged in processes to create radical social
transformation, including decolonisation and the liberation of women?
Is there a revival of Marxism in contemporary film theory and
These are some of the questions we want to discuss during the two-day
conference, hosted by the School of Journalism, Media and
Communication in Preston –a town of great importance to the history of
the working class, as testified by Marx and Engels’ writings. Papers
are sought for topics such as:
The problems of conveying Marxist thought on screen (including
attempts to screen Capital)
Representation of alienated and nonalienated labour and capital on screen
The work of Sergei Eisenstein, Bertolt Brecht, Jean-Luc Godard, Chris
Marker, Dušan Makavejev, Satyajit Ray, Ousmane Sembène, Alexander
Kluge, Ken Loach, Lars von Trier. Are they Marxist filmmakers?
Western and Eastern Marxist film theory and history
Socialist production, distribution and exhibition of films
Marxism, Third cinema and the cinema of revolt
Marxism and feminist cinema
Marxism, realism and non-realism
Screen images of Marx, Engels and Lenin
Prof. Ewa Mazierska
Dr. Anandi Ramamurthy
Dr. Lars Kristensen
Deadline for abstracts (max 250 words): 1 December 2011.
Please send abstracts to Ewa Mazierska
The conference is not expected to produce a surplus value.