Call for Papers: Memory through the Screen: Polish Cinema and WWII

Thu, 08/02/2018 - 2:11pm

Call for Papers:

International Conference "Memory through the Screen: Polish Cinema and WWII"

October 18-19, 2018

USC Department of Slavic Language and Literature's 3rd Annual Film Conference at the University of Southern California

When a film is created, it is created in a language, which is not only about words, but also the way that very language encodes our perception of the world, our understanding of it.
–Andrzej Wajda
The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Southern California is pleased to announce its third annual film conference. This fall the conference is co-sponsored by the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research. The conference will highlight cinema concerning World War II and the Holocaust. While a big part of the conference will concern Polish cinema, we welcome papers about the representation of War and Holocaust in other cinematic traditions as well.
What do we witness when we watch cinema on the Holocaust? Cinema offers a unique archive of war memory, and Polish Cinema especially as six million of Poland’s population perished in WWII. Of the six million lost, three million were Jews which constituted ninety percent of Polish Jewry. This two-day event will explore how the stories of these lost voices have been—and can be—told in film. As scholars have noted, the memory of WWII depicted in Polish cinema is layered, perhaps even split between the memory of the Poles and the memory of the Jews. Polish cinema captures and transmits this double memory which complicates the notion of a collective memory.
The two days will feature film screenings, panels consisting of both academic and artistic presentations, and a keynote presentation from professor Marek Haltof (Professor of English at Northern Michigan University and author of Polish Film and the Holocaust: Politics and Memory (2012), and Screening Auschwitz: Wanda Jakubowska's The Last Stage and the Politics of Commemoration (2018)).

We welcome proposals for papers from academics and artists. Conference presentations ought to be 20 minutes in length and concern topics relating to cinema, war, and the Holocaust. Artistic panels can be experimental in form and may include a wide breadth of works. We encourage submissions of poetry, performance, music, and film. We also welcome submissions which overlap or intersect the academic and artistic.
In your submissions, please include your paper or artwork title along with a 250-word abstract which describes your proposed work as well as its connection to this conference. We look forward to receiving your proposals!
Please consider submitting proposals in the following topic areas:
-Holocaust and representation
-World War II in film
-Documentary film
-Spectatorship and War
-Memory and Witness
-auteurs and national cinemas
-Poland today and Holocaust Memory
-National Memory

Submission information:
Please send your proposals to Erin Mizrahi ( and Maria Zalewska ( by September 18, 2018. Proposals should be attached (.doc format) consisting of an abstract of no more than 250 words, in addition to name(s) of presenter(s), title of paper.