Sunday, December 28, 2008

International Symposium on Trans Cinema Studies

Below is the call for papers from Eliza Steinbock, a board member of the T-Image Foundation, the organization that has been sponsoring the bi-annual Transgender Film Festival in the Netherlands. I hope one day we can all see each other in an international gathering of scholars such as this one. It would be very interesting to say the least.

International Symposium on Trans Cinema Studies
Deadline - 01.02.2009

19th May 2009 at the University of Amsterdam - Co-sponsored by T-Image Foundation and The Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis Convened by Eliza Steinbock, PhD Candidate at ASCA and board member of T-Image Foundation. Taking place in conjunction with the Netherlands Transgender Film Festival 20-24 May 2009 at de Balie Cultural Center.

In celebration of our 5th bi-annual festival, we will convene a full day of debate amongst scholars, filmmakers, the transgender community, and festival attendees. We imagine this symposium to be both reflective and forward-looking.

Susan Stryker (visiting Professor, Harvard University and Associate Professor Gender Studies, Indiana University) will present her groundbreaking work on Christine Jorgenson, a transsexual celebrity and filmmaker, as well as lead the closing plenary. We invite 20 min. presentations from scholars and/or professionals in the field. In the interest of staking out some of the concerns of “trans cinema studies,” we suggest the following issues:

History: in what ways have gay and lesbian television, cinema and festivals enabled trans visibility; what are the histories of other avenues of emergence; in what ways have film festivals shaped the films that have been made?

Accessibility/Distribution: what might we do about the identity ‘problem’ facing trans film festivals, which as a platform for trans cinema are sidelined as being too specialist or become redundant as more queer film festivals curate a trans program; what are the implications of greater or lesser distribution for certain films at festivals and elsewhere?

Reception: what work do (trans) viewers perform on films to make them trans, read them as trans, to make the films work in particular ways; what is at stake in trans perceptibility and how might we understand it?

Film Craft: to what extent have techniques and strategies from queer and feminist film been incorporated into trans cinema and vice versa; is ‘transness’ in the director, content, conventions/expectations, the market, or?

Genre: which genres has trans representation tapped into and why; which genres have not yet been explored; might trans cinema be an expansive term to include experimental cinema (new languages and strategies)?

Representation: what are the dominant and subjugated models of trans representation, especially in terms of the politics of nation, race, age, sexuality, and class; what kinds of shifts have occurred in terms of films with MTF or transfeminine characters and films with FTM or transmasculine characters?

Film Theory: how might feminist film theory overlap with trans film theory; do we mean ‘trans’ as a concept or a practice; what methods of film analysis and film history does trans cinema render obsolete; what tools of analysis does trans cinema call for and suggest?

Interdisciplinarity: in what ways might transgender/transsexual practice and cinema relate?; how might shared concepts, such as, duration, narrative, technology expand and enrich both fields of study?;

Please submit a 250 word abstract of your intended paper and a biographical note. Send to Eliza Steinbock by 1 February 2009. We look forward to your response and hope to see you in May! For more information visit


Monica Roberts said...

Sounds interesting....

PinayTG said...

Indeed sis and I'm glad there's a forum where we can intellectualize transgender representation on film.:)