Decentring the Avant-garde: Landscape, Travel and the Gaze in Experimental Film and Video

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Papers on Language and Literature Special Issue

Decentring the Avant-garde: Landscape, Travel and the Gaze in Experimental Film and Video


The special issue of Papers on Language and Literature (vol. 57) aims to highlight the work of filmmakers working on the margins of the avant-garde, including those using traditional (8 mm or 16 mm) and new (hybrid) media formats, and the ways they (re)address the questions of landscape, travel and the gaze. Although certain avant-garde films, including those made by Vertov, Bolotowsky, Kubelka, Winkler, Lehman, Welsby, Snow, Fischinger, Dutta, Rashidi, Takahiko, Frampton, Brakhage and others, have received some attention from researchers, there exists a number of underrepresented works, which use landscape and travelogue forms to challenge the hegemonic master narratives and undermine the image of majority groups and interests, continuously breaking the taboos and censorship of the mainstream (film) culture. Likewise, this issue will hopefully extend the use of some recent revisionist theories, which have moved beyond structuralist-formalist thinking to incorporate intermediality and heterogeneity (Branden), spectatorship and (gendered) body politics (Lambert-Beatty), corporeal turn in avant-garde film (Osterweil), expanded cinema practices (Sutton), materialism (Walley) or personal registers (Kase), to the study of landscape and travelogue films, many of which clearly de-center formalist strategies.

To fill this gap, the proposed special issue of Papers on Language and Literature seeks contributions that discuss works of both renowned and less known experimental filmmakers, including those working on the periphery of the avant-garde film practice.


Submission details

Please send a paper proposal of approx 250 words and CV (including the list of publications) to the editor, Dr. Kornelia Boczkowska, at The deadline for abstract submissions is June 1, 2020. Accepted contributors will be expected to submit the complete articles of 5000 words (including the works cited section) by July 15, 2020.


Papers on Language and Literature is published quarterly at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. It is indexed in Arts and Humanities Citation Index, Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, Periodicals Index Online, Art Abstracts, Art Source, Humanities Abstracts, Art Index, Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, DIALNET.


Tentative timeline:

June 1, 2020: deadline for proposals (approx 250 word abstracts)

June 5, 2020: the editor makes selections and sends notifications which proposals have been accepted/rejected

July 15, 2020: complete articles due (5000 words)

August 31, 2020: comments and suggested revisions due back to authors

September 21, 2020: completed/revised articles due

Oct 1, 2020: the editor sends copy for publication