[KineJapan] Call for Papers: Kinema Club XIX in A2—20 Years On

Markus Nornes nornes at umich.edu
Mon May 27 10:30:39 EDT 2019

*Call for Proposals: Kinema Club XIX A2—20 Years On*

*Place: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor*

*Dates: November 1-3, 2019*

*Deadline for Proposals: June 30, 2019*

*Organizer: Markus Nornes *(nornes at umich.edu)

In 1999, Kinema Club members met in Ann Arbor for their first gathering to
talk about how Japanese film studies developed, where it was, and where we
should aim for moving forward. This fall we will meet once again to take
stock of the field 20 years on and discuss our bright future. In the spirit
of the original Kinema Club, we will discuss our past precisely to forge a
collective path ahead.

1)   Silence=Sound (Michael Raine & Daisuke Miyao)

2)   Theories Histories (Aaron Gerow)

3)   Media+ (Stephanie DeBoer & Yuki Nakayama)

4)   Animating (Christine Marran & Tom Lamarre)

5)   Imperium (Kate Taylor-Jones & Irhe Sohn)

6)   Embodied ⚧Desired (Jennifer Coates & Sharon Hayashi)

7)   Possible Futures→[and Pedagogies] (Alex Zahlten & Chika Kinoshita)

8)   〆:*Onward* (Anne McKnight & Markus Nornes)

*XIX A2 will take a novel form based entirely on discussion.*There will be
no papers delivered. We invite *phantom papers, *proposals for topics of
discussion under the rubrics above and led by the listed scholars.

While there will be no presentations or speeches allowed; this Kinema Club
will be a precious opportunity for dialogue. The discussions will last 90
minutes, will be consecutive and not simultaneous. They will be kickstarted
by free-format, pre-circulated position papers, *which**may be listed on
people’s CVs as any other conference paper.*These will be collected three
weeks before the gathering, and can be of any length. Two weeks before, we
will distribute the entire collection. At UM, discussions will be led by
the colleagues above, but everyone will freely participate. Again, *no
presentations allowed. *

Additionally,*we are soliciting two graduate students*to act as social
media secretaries and blog the discussions as we go along. They will be
paid for their efforts. Contact Markus if you are interested in this role.

*Please send a proposal to Markus Nornes (nornes at umich.edu
<nornes at umich.edu>), with a position paper title and a short, one-paragraph
abstract that proposes a topic of discussion by June 30, 2019. *


*Some historical background…*

Younger scholars and students may not be aware of Kinema Club’s origin
story (a full version is on our website:
https://kinemaclub.org/about-us/history). We coalesced in the early 1990s,
mostly graduate students interested in Japanese cinema and vaguely aware
there were like-minded people out there. Somewhere.

As we found each other, we shared some of the same practical problems,
starting with the paucity of bibliographic information on film. Our first
collaborative effort was to split up major film journals to copy and share
the tables of contents; new people could become “members” by copying a new
journal and adding it to the packet. Eventually it was a couple inches

Along the way, the Japanese bibliographer at OSU, Maureen Donovan,
encouraged us to go digital and exploit this new thing called the internet
to expand our collaboration. We gave ourselves the name Kinema Club—after a
Taisho era movie theater—and went online in January 1995.

Four years later, we met in person at a workshop on the campus of
University of Michigan. The idea was to get together and talk about how
Japanese film studies came about. Ask what is *was.*And think about where
we might take it from there. This was all happening at an interesting
moment. Japanese film had been a space for the discipline of film studies
to work out many basic theoretical issues over the years, thanks to the
work of stellar scholars like Noël Burch, Stephen Heath, Dudley Andrew,
David Desser, Kristin Thompson, Maureen Turim, Robin Wood, Peter Lehman,
Dana Polan, Scott Nygren, Philip Rosen, David Bordwell, Paul Willemen,
Edward Branigan and others. Just as Kinema Club appeared as if by nature,
the discipline of film studies was pushing Japanese film to the margins
while Japanese studies, broadly construed, opened new spaces for it.

Mitsuhiro Yoshimoto and Markus Nornes organized the first Kinema Club
workshop on this morphing disciplinary landscape to take stock of the
situation and chart a course into an unknown future. You can find the
original announcement and a summary of the meeting on the Kinema Club
website (https://kinemaclub.org/conference/kinema-club-workshop). After the
workshop was over, we concluded,

We are, in a certain sense, “euphoric.” We face multiple possibilities and
that’s good. We don’t mourn the passing of that old field and its sense of
institutional comfort. And despite the fact that it has left us groping to
comprehend the consequences for our lives as teachers, intellectuals and as
intellectual workers, we sense something very interesting on the horizon in
a decade or so. The senior scholars who have already done a lot of research
on Japanese film will be publishing the best work of their careers. Many
newly arriving people will have published books and secured tenure. We will
have read and engaged each other’s work. It will not configure itself in a
discipline, but we will have a much easier time talking to each other.

Twenty years after this first meeting, Kinema Club has gathered 18 times
and taken many different forms in just as many far-flung places. This fall,
let us gather again to look into the rear-view mirror as we barrel toward
KCXXXVI in 2039, 20 years on from now!
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