CFP: A Peaceful Place to Lay My Weary Body: Race, Ethnicity, and the Home (6/1/17; 11/1-5/17)

Cynthia Miller Discussion


CFP: A Peaceful Place to Lay My Weary Body: Race, Ethnicity, and the Home

An area of multiple panels for the 2017 Film & History Conference:

Representing Home: The Real and Imagined Spaces of Belonging

November 1-November 5, 2017

The Milwaukee Hilton

Milwaukee, WI (USA)

DEADLINE for abstracts: June 1, 2017 (early decision) July 1, 2017 (general decision)

If the outside world can be considered a battleground where people engage in social, economic, and political struggles, then the home can be thought of as a safe space where persons can escape such pressures.  However, such a black and white dichotomy is reductive, particularly in the case of ethnic minorities, who in addition to potentially facing racial discrimination on the outside landscape, must also grapple with the very real implications of life, love, and family in the confines of their own homes. 

But what happens to the notion of home when we consider that historically, the best job opportunities for some people of color have been as domestics/laborers in the homes of others?  How do we continue to extend our thinking about the meaning of home as multi-dimensional, as we read filmic texts presenting minorities in such spaces?

This area invites 20-minute papers (inclusive of visual presentations) considering the portrayal, function, and the meaning of home for ethnic minorities. Topics include, but are not limited to:

* Colorblind Outside, Discrimination Inside?: Examining the manner in which ethnic characters navigate and address racial politics in the outside world versus how they regard such issues in their homes and other spaces that they deem safe (e.g. Dear White People, The Only Good Indian). 

* Family Dynamics: The presentation of familial units in film with emphasis on intra-racial politics, loving relationships, intimacy, and dysfunction (e.g. Real Women Have Curves, Antwone Fisher).

* Their Home, Not Mine: Depictions of minorities working in or attending social events in other people’s homes (e.g. Babel, Get Out).

*They All Look Alike to Me: Considering Ethnic Stereotyping in TV and film (narrative & non-narrative) depictions of the home (e.g. Fresh Off the Boat, The Night Of).

*These Are the People in Your Neighborhood: Examining cinema’s depictions of how minorities are treated in the communities in which they reside, be they suburban, rural, or urban spaces, by neighbors and law enforcement, among others (e.g. Dance Me Outside, Towelhead).  

Proposals for complete panels (three related presentations) are also welcome, but they must include an abstract and contact information, including an e-mail address, for each presenter. For updates and registration information about the upcoming meeting, see the Film & History website (

Please e-mail your 200-word proposal to the area chair:

Novotny Lawrence

Southern Illinois University