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Words & Images: Screenwriting Conference

For the past several years, I’ve presented papers at the annual conference of the International Screenwriting Network. It’s an exciting event, and one I look forward to each year. Noted film scholar David Bordwell gave a keynote address at the recent conference in Brussels this past September, which also featured Jean-Claude Carrière. On his popular blog, Observations on film art, which he maintains with Kristin Thompson, David wrote two lengthy entries about the conference. The first was about the conference talks and career of  the great screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière, while the second, entitled “Scriptography” focused on other presentations at the conference.

Here is a “call for papers” and information about next year’s conference:

Call for Papers

Words & Images: Screenwriting Research

5th Screenwriting Research Network International Conference

September 14th-16th, 2012

Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

This is a call for papers for the annual international conference on screenwriting research, this year organised by the Department of Media, Music, Communication & Cultural Studies at Macquarie University. The Screenwriting Research Network is a research group that commenced in 2006 within the Louis Le Prince Research Centre, at the Institute of Communication Studies (ICS), University of Leeds. The network has achieved a critical mass in recent years with conferences taking place in Leeds (2008), Helsinki (2009), Copenhagen (2010) and Brussels (2011). The fifth conference widens the geographic spread of the network to the Asia-Pacific, taking place in Sydney, Australia (2012).

The international Screenwriting Research Network is comprised of scholars, writers  and practice-based researchers devoted to rethinking the screenplay in relation to its histories, theories, values and creative practices. The aim of the conference is to continue, and expand, discussions around the screenplay and to strengthen a rapidly emerging, and global, research network. The Journal of Screenwriting, since 2009, stands testament to the vitality of the screenwriting network across traditional and practice-based research. This is in addition to growth in publication of screenwriting monographs by scholars in the network, for example screenwriting books by Stephen Price, Steven Maras, JJ Murphy and Jill Nelmes to name a few.

The key theme of the conference is ‘Words & Images’. This speaks to the complex, intertwined, and ephemeral relationships between words and images that screenwriters negotiate.  Alain Robbe-Grillet claimed  ‘conceiving of a screen story would mean already conceiving of it in images’ (1961). While Gary Davis suggested that a screenplay is a ‘story told with word-pictures’ (Price: 2010).   In the age of media convergence, screenwriting forms and practices intersect, in new and unpredictable ways, with other forms that unite words and images:  the graphic novel, the comic, illustration, the graphic essay, visual arts and interactive media.

Confirmed keynote speakers will be confirmed in the new year, 2012.

We would like to invite abstracts for research presentations on (but not limited to) the following topics:

  • The history of screenwriting around the globe
  • Screenwriting archival research
  • Theorising screenwriting and the screenplay
  • Reflections on narrative theory and dramaturgy
  • Pedagogy of screenwriting
  • Practice-based research
  • Process-based investigations of creative screenwriting
  • Scripting and digital scripting processes
  • Screenwriting as research
  • Authorship frameworks in screenwriting
  • Screen adaptation and the nexus of adaptation studies and screenwriting
  • The question of the auteur in screenwriting
  • Case studies on individual writers or texts
  • Collaborative modes of writing for the screen
  • Screenwriting manifestos
  • Screenwriting for Independent cinema
  • Cinematic writing
  • Questions of intermediality in the digital age
  • Cross-fertilisation between screenwriting and other media
  • Screenwriting for interactive and online media (games, webisodes)
  • Transmedial screenwriting
  • The role of writing in non-fiction film
  • Screenwriting for animation
  • Writing for episodic television: are we  experiencing a new ‘golden age’?
  • Genre-orientated considerations of screenwriting and the screenplay

Call for Papers

Time allotted to each paper is 20 minutes plus discussion. Abstracts (250-300 words) may be submitted until December 12, 2011.  Earlier submissions are welcome. Please remember to state your name, affiliation and contact information. Include a brief statement (100 words) detailing your publications and/or screenwriting practice.

Please send your abstract to Alex Munt: alex.munt@mq.edu.au

More information on the program as well as cost, travelling and accommodation details will be available on the conference website at http://www.mmccs.mq.edu.au/wordsandimages

The conference is supported by the Faculty of Arts at Macquarie University, Sydney and is organised with assistance from the Screenwriting Research Network.

For further information, please contact Kathryn Millard, kathryn.millard@mq.edu.au or
Alex Munt, alex.munt@mq.edu.au at the Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies, Macquarie University.

Conference Co-Directors:

Professor Kathryn Millard, Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Arts, Macquarie University

Dr Alex Munt, Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Arts, Macquarie University

Posted 7 November, 2011