February 23–25,


Theory Now in Film and Media Studies

The organizing principle of the Carsey-Wolf Center’s 2023 annual conference is to explore the critical and ongoing work of theory in our field. Film Studies emerged as a discipline in the late 1960s and 1970s in the wake of an explosive interest in theory. This interest prompted robust discussion and debate about politics and textual analysis; spectatorship and psychoanalysis; feminist film theory; and fundamental questions regarding gender, race, and sexuality. More than fifty years later, how do we understand theory in our current moment? We are interested in probing this question from several angles: the relationship between film theory and media theory, the geopolitics of film and theory, the effort to move beyond European and U.S. intellectual genealogies, and various modes of engagement with the history of film theory. These modes of engagement involve a wide spectrum of approaches, including theories of representation; viewing, distribution, exhibition, and reception practices; and questions of ideology, politics, and technology. If theory was foundational to our once emergent discipline, what role does theory play now?

Conference participants:

Nicholas Baer (Media, Arts & Society, Utrecht University, Netherlands)

Courtney R. Baker (English, UC Riverside)

Timothy Corrigan (English, Cinema Studies, and History of Art, University of Pennsylvania)

Mary Ann Doane (Film & Media, UC Berkeley)

Doron Galili (Media Studies, Stockholm University)

Maggie Hennefeld (Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature, University of Minnesota)

Kara Keeling (American Studies and Ethnicity, Cinema and Media Studies, University of Southern California)

Debashree Mukherjee (Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies, Columbia University)

Lisa Parks (Film and Media Studies, UC Santa Barbara)

Constance Penley (Film and Media Studies, UC Santa Barbara)

Karen Redrobe (History of Art, University of Pennsylvania)

Bhaskar Sarkar (Film and Media Studies, UC Santa Barbara)

Jeff Scheible (Film Studies, Kings College, London)

Kyle Stevens (English, Appalachian State University)

Jocelyn Szczepaniak-Gillece (English and Film Studies, UW Milwaukee)

Amy Villarejo (Film, Television and Digital Media, UCLA)

Yiman Wang (Film & Digital Media, UC Santa Cruz)

Althea Wasow (Institute of the Arts and Sciences, UC Santa Cruz)

Patricia White (Film and Media Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Swarthmore College)

Naoki Yamamoto (Film and Media Studies, UC Santa Barbara)

“Theory Now” is sponsored by the Carsey-Wolf Center and the Department of Film and Media Studies.