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Black Camera

Call for Submissions

Close-Up: Filming the Fall: Plurality, Social Change, and Innovation in Contemporary Senegalese Cinema

Black Camera invites submissions for a Close-Up focusing on Senegalese cinema. Following its independence from France in 1960, Senegal became a leader in African cinema, represented most visibly by Ousmane Sembène who became known as “the father of African cinema.” As new filmmakers rose to prominence during the 1970s, most notably Djibril Diop Mambéty, Senegalese cinema was flourishing and it appeared that the foundation, with its cinematic forefathers, national financial support, and global attention, was set for continued growth and recognition. Unfortunately, a nationwide economic crisis in the early 1980s, exacerbated by strict economic regulations enforced by the World Bank, quickly put the brakes on the nation’s cinematic progression as the state withdrew funding for cinematic projects, and theaters across the nation began to close. As a result, many of the acclaimed Senegalese directors that followed Sembène and Diop Mambéty undertook their cinematic formation in Paris and primarily rely on European financing in order to produce their films that are typically distributed through international film festivals rather than in Senegal. Reports from the last five years have lamented the slow death of Senegalese cinema, noting the futility of recent efforts by the government and filmmakers to stem the tide.

A focus on the rise and fall of Senegal’s national cinema, and the filmmakers who are innovatively persisting after the fall, reveals a number of issues relevant to African Cinema’s production, distribution, and reception. We propose to consider contemporary Senegalese filmmakers within the dual context of the country’s deep filmic heritage and its current cinematic impoverishment, as well as to reconsider classic Senegalese filmmakers and films in light of the present disastrous state of the national cinema. This Close-Up will survey innovative contemporary filmmakers and their work, emphasizing the original production, technical, and thematic contributions they are making to Senegal’s rich cinematic tradition and the manner in which those innovations are pointing a way out of the present tenuous cinematic conditions. In addition, the collection of essays will consider the social and cultural function of the rising generation of Senegalese and African cineastes.

The guest editors welcome submissions exploring Senegalese cinema from a variety of disciplinary and analytical perspectives. Essays, film reviews, and commentaries will be considered for publication. Essays should be 4,000 – 6,000 words, commentaries 1,000 – 2,000, and film reviews 500 – 1,500 words.

Suggested topics include an analysis of contemporary Senegalese filmmakers within the dual context of the country’s deep filmic heritage and its current cinematic impoverishment, as well as a reconsideration of classic Senegalese filmmakers in light of the present state of the national cinema, both foregrounded within the larger context of African cinema. Other topics might include but are not limited to:

  • social and cultural function of the rising generation of Senegalese cineastes
  • emerging filmmakers who promote change through their works and oppose a monolithic view of African cinema
  • role of “engaged cinema” in revealing social, political, and cultural issues
  • technical, topical, and cultural innovations in Senegalese cinema
  • challenges regarding funding and distribution of Senegalese and African films
  • cross-cultural comparisons of cinemas across West Africa and their respective challenges and innovations
  • current filmmakers’ navigation of filmic heritage and tradition

Please submit completed essays, a 150-word abstract, and a 50 – 100 word biography by December 30, 2016. Submissions should conform to The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition. Please see journal guidelines below for more submission policy details. Direct all questions, correspondence, and submissions to guest editors Devin Bryson (devin.bryson@mail.ic.edu) and Molly Krueger Enz (molly.enz@sdstate.edu).

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Close-Up: Selma: The Historical Record and the American Imaginary

The 2015 release of the Oscar-nominated film Selma, directed by Ava DuVernay, offers the opportunity to revisit not only the significance of the historical figures and events depicted on screen, but also the cultural impact of cinema and its capacity to both reflect upon and critique historical activity. Indeed, Selma and the considerable press it has received become an index to gage both the legacy of the civil rights movement and the status of race relations in the fraught contemporary moment.

As with many works in the historical film genre, Selma has won acclaim and generated controversy in equal measure. The film has been applauded for its powerful historical reenactments, characterizations of Martin Luther King Jr., Coretta Scott King, and other protagonists of the period, and its depiction of the protest movement spawned by the violence and injustice of Jim Crow. Conversely, Selma has been criticized for its alleged historical misrepresentations, particularly the depictions of Lyndon Baines Johnson and of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

We welcome submissions exploring Selma from a variety of disciplinary and analytical perspectives for publication consideration. Essays, film reviews, and commentaries will be considered. Essays should be 4,000–6,000 words, commentaries 1,000–2,000, and film reviews 500–1,500 words.

Suggested topics include Selma’s production, exhibition, and reception histories, as well as formal and conceptual analyses of the film as a text. Other suggested lines of inquiry are Selma’s relevance to

  • contemporary U.S. race relations
  • mediations of posterity, memory, and history
  • historical accuracy and “truth” in relation to revisionist history or ideological motivation
  • the filmmaker’s intentionality and project of recovery
  • interrogation of the notion of the “postracial”
  • African American women filmmakers in Hollywood
  • the biopic and/or the historical film as genres transnationalism

Please submit completed essays, a 150-word abstract, and a 50–100 word biography by September 30, 2016. Submissions should conform to the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition. Please see journal guidelines for more on the submission policy.

Direct all questions, correspondence, and submissions to co-editor Rachelle Pavelko (blackcam@indiana.edu).

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Close-Up: Beyoncé: Media and Cultural Icon

Black Camera invites submissions for a Close-Up devoted to Beyoncé as a media and cultural icon. With the release of the song and music video, “Formation,” on the eve of the 50th Super Bowl, Beyoncé dramatically shifted national conversations on blackness, politics, and race in our fraught post-Katrina moment. How does this song relate to other post-Ferguson protest songs while also staking out new political ground for a musician with broad crossover appeal? In what ways do Lemonade and its accompanying genre-defying video merge the personal with the political, feminist empowerment with the endemic violence targeting young black men? This Close-Up seeks to explore such questions and more by probing Beyoncé’s changing media persona since her introduction as a member of Destiny’s Child, to the birth of her alter ego, Sasha Fierce, and her evolution as the most important pop star of our time. How does her work advance or disrupt a feminist critique invested in issues of sexuality, performance, and the male gaze? In what ways might we theorize a relationship between Beyoncé’s songs and the arresting images offered in her videos? And how may we understand her as a political figure as evidenced by her performances (at events from Black Lives Matter rallies to Super Bowl shows), as well as her philanthropic work and close relationship to the Obamas?

We welcome submissions exploring Beyoncé’s music, videos, films, and public persona from a variety of disciplinary and analytical perspectives. Essays, interviews, and commentaries will be considered. Essays should be 4,000–6,000 words and commentaries 1,000–2,000 words.

Suggested topics include studies of Beyoncé’s songs, videos, product endorsements, live performances, as well as formal and conceptual analyses of her work in films. Other lines of inquiry may consider

  • Beyoncé’s racial identity and intersectionality
  • marketing and self-promotion
  • black female sexuality
  • feminism
  • beauty, hair, and image
  • marriage, motherhood, and family
  • Beyoncé’s relationship to other pop stars and musicians
  • performance and dance
  • politics, activism, and philanthropy

Please submit completed essays, a 150-word abstract, and a 50–100 word biography by January 1, 2017. Submissions should conform to The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition. Please see journal guidelines for more on submission policy:

http://www.indiana.edu/~blackcam/call/#guidelines

Direct all questions, correspondence, and submissions to guest editor Stephanie Li (stephli@indiana.edu).

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General Call for Submissions

In conjunction with Indiana University Press, the Black Film Center/Archive (BFC/A) at Indiana University, Bloomington, is pleased to announce the publication of Black Camera, an academic and peer-reviewed international journal.

Devoted to the study and documentation of the black cinematic experience, Black Camera is published biannually and is the only scholarly film journal of its kind in the United States.

It features essays and interviews that engage film in social as well as political contexts and in relation to historical and economic forces that bear on the reception, distribution, and production of film in local, regional, national, and transnational settings and environments.

The journal also comprises research and archival notes, editorials, reports, and book and film reviews, and addresses a wide range of genres, including documentary, experimental film and video, diasporic cinema, animation, musicals, comedy, and so on.

The Editor invites submissions by prospective contributors relevant to the following areas:

  • Reconsideration of key black “classic” films
  • Black (and other related postcolonial and Third World) programmatic film statements and manifestos
  • Black sexuality in film
  • Black filmmaking and cinematic formations in Europe
  • Archival film documents
  • Slavery and anticolonial struggles in the historical film
  • Lusophone and francophone African cinemas
  • Sub-Saharan African cinema
  • Cinemas of the Maghreb
  • Black Hollywood
  • Black animation
  • Women filmmakers of the African diaspora
  • Caribbean cinemas
  • Reception studies
  • Film directors, screenwriters, actors
  • Black independent filmmaking
  • Other moving image media (television, new media, etc.)

The Editor gratefully acknowledges the support of the Department of Communication and Culture, and the College of Arts and Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington.

Please direct questions and submissions to:

blackcam@indiana.edu
(812) 856-7664

Black Camera
c/o Black Film Center/Archive
Wells Library, Room 044
1320 East Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47405

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Submission Guidelines

  • Feature articles, essays, and interviews can be 8,000-10,000 words.
  • Commentaries can be 1,000-2,000 words.
  • Book and film reviews can be 500-1,500 words (exceptions will be considered for review essays).
  • All submissions should be double-spaced, use 12-point Times New Roman font, and have page numbers in the upper right corner.
  • Authors must provide any illustrations and captions and are responsible for obtaining all permissions required to publish an illustration. Illustrations should be submitted as JPG, TIF, or EPS files, preferably of at least 300 pixels per inch.
  • Authors submitting images should be sure to indicate within the text where the image should be placed by inserting the designation “(fig. 1),” “(fig. 2),” etc. at the end of the sentence referencing the image. Please also provide any caption text in a separate document.
  • Submissions should be submitted either electronically by e-mail attachment as a Microsoft Word document. Please complete and include the Black Camera Contributor form with any submission:
    Black Camera Contributor form (PDF)
  • An endnote citation format is required for scholarly essays. Contributors should consult the latest edition of The Chicago Manual of Style.
  • An abstract of 150-250 words must be included.
  • Please include brief biographical statement, affiliation, and contact information.
  • Regrettably, we can neither respond to, nor guarantee publication of, nor return unsolicited manuscripts.
  • We reserve the right to make editorial and stylistic changes.
  • If a submission is selected for publication, a signed Memorandum of Agreement will be sent and must be signed before publication.

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