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[ecrea] Reproduction on Film conference, 23-25 September, University of Cambridge

Fri Jul 03 18:15:26 GMT 2015

Reproduction on Film conference
23-25 September 2015
Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge

Reproduction is one of the most persistently generative themes in the
history of cinema. Storks, cabbage fairies, golems, homunculi, robots,
parasitic aliens, and clones have fascinated film-makers and audiences for
more than a century. Today we have grown accustomed not only to the once
controversial portrayals of sperm, eggs, and embryos in science and
medicine, but also to the artificial wombs, monstrous creations, and
dystopian futures of science fiction and fantasy. Yet, while scholars have
explored key films and genres, especially in response to the recent cycle
of Hollywood 'mom coms', the analytic potential of reproduction on film
remains largely untapped. This conference aims to explore reproduction as a
theme to unite diverse strands of film history that are not usually
considered in the same frame. Reproduction can link films across a wide
range of periods, national cinemas, and genres as different as slapstick
and horror, melodrama and social realism, sex education and experimental.
Moreover, biological reproduction is a potent metaphor for the mechanical
reproduction of cinematography.

The conference will bring together scholars representing various
disciplines and periods spanning the entire history of film. It will begin
on Wednesday evening with a screening of short films; details to be
confirmed. Talks on Thursday and Friday will summarize pre-circulated
papers and be followed by discussion in 45-minute slots, in such a way as
to promote critical engagement between fields and approaches. A preliminary
programme can be found here:

The registration fee of £30 (£15 for students/unwaged) includes lunch and
tea/coffee on both days. Registration opens soon.

Organisers: Jesse Olszynko-Gryn (Department of History and Philosophy of
Science, University of Cambridge), Caitjan Gainty (Department of History,
King's College London) and Patrick Ellis (Department of Film and Media,
University of California, Berkeley)

Supported by a Wellcome Trust strategic award in the history of medicine to
the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of
Cambridge, and by the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and
Medicine at King's College London.

For enquires, please email: (jo312 /at/

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