The Journeys Across Media (JAM) Postgraduate Conference, run by postgraduate students for postgraduate students, is back for 2017 and will be taking place on Tuesday 11th April in Minghella Studios. This year, the theme of the conference is worldhood and world-making in film, theatre, television and beyond.
Worldhood and World-making
In his essay ‘Where is the World?’ film critic V.F. Perkins (1936-2016) laments the lack of attention paid to the ‘fictional world’ and invites a new engagement by way of what he terms as worldhood — i.e. the qualities and aspects that make a fictional world a ‘world’, rather than what makes it ‘fictional’ (2005: 22). For Perkins, ‘understanding the events of a movie as taking place in a world is a prerequisite of the intelligibility not only of plot, but also of tone, viewpoint, rhetoric, style and meaning’ (39). Theatre critic Gay McAuley asserts that, ‘the spatial organisation of the fictional world is always to be perceived in terms of ideology’. (Gay McAuley, Space in Performance, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 1999, p18) suggesting that the world of the stage or the performance, however realistic, is always negotiable and provisional.
In memory and honour of Perkins, but also in keeping with the interdisciplinary spirit of JAM, this conference shall bring together emerging postgraduate researchers and practitioners to investigate this malleable concept of worldhood in works of film, theatre, television and other art forms. What are the strategies that govern the conjuring of fictional worlds? What are their devices and mechanical underpinnings, and how can we best understand them? Do their boundaries extend beyond the film frame and performance space? How do film and theatre makers and performance artists reconcile the challenges of instilling ‘suspension of disbelief’ in their audiences? What discrepancies are there between the fictional world of the artist and the real world of the spectator? And to what extent is the imagination of the spectator complicit in the completion of these ‘worlds’?
Confirmed Keynote speaker
We are pleased to announce that the keynote for JAM 2017 shall be delivered by Dr. Daniel Yacavone, Lecturer in Film Studies and acting Director of the Postgraduate Programme in Film Studies at the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of Film Worlds: A Philosophical Aesthetics of Cinema (Columbia University Press, 2014) and a forthcoming monograph on the concept and practice of self-reflexivity as a narrative and aesthetic strategy in modern and contemporary cinema.
More details to be announced soon.