Edited Collection: Cinema Liberation Theology

Anthony Ballas's picture
Call for Papers
April 15, 2018 to June 1, 2018
Colorado, United States
Subject Fields: 
African American History / Studies, Black History / Studies, Film and Film History, Race Studies, Religious Studies and Theology

I am looking for 7-10 additional 4,000-5,000 word chapters on cinema and liberation theology for an edited collection which a major academic publisher is interested in.

This collection focuses on liberation narratives which are in some way related to or inspired by religious traditions/literatures/practices/discourses from around the world. The films and analyses need not be explicitly religious in content, but need only to be argued in the context of liberation with theology, spirituality, or divinity.

Chapters that focus on the works of James Cone and Daniel M. Bell Jr. will be considered with priority. 

Although authors are invited to propose their own topics, here are a few suggestions:

-Cinema and Transcendence: how may the cinema be used toward liberatory ends either culturally, or socially? Can cinema, like many religious narratives, suspend oppressive regimes of thought and modulate spatial, social, political relations?

-Jacques Ranciere claims that the cinema presents a unique merger of the image and the flesh, “the image made flesh.” How might Ranciere’s idea apply to a specific film or cluster of films? How might the revelatory potential of film inspire transcendence?

-The Birth of a Nation (2016) and Black Liberation Theology: How might Nate Parker’s recent remake demonstrate the emerging discourse of liberation into cinema in general, and/or African American cinema in particular?

-Lars Von Trier and Divinity: although Von Trier is not a politically motivated director, how might his films - specifically those with religious or religious-inspired narratives such as Breaking the Waves - rethink and reimagine liberation in terms of sexuality and divinity?

-Cinema and Sacred Space: how does the cinematic apparatus change the way sacred spaces function, or the way we perceive sacred space?

-How might cinema enable us to rethink resurrection narratives? For instance, Ryan Coogler’s debut film Fruitvale Station (2013) depicts the last day in the life of Oscar Grant, who was murdered by Transit Police in San Francisco in 2009. Although Grant was killed, the film cinematically resurrects him through images at the end of the film.

Authors are encouraged to write on any cinematic and religious tradition without cultural, ethnic, or regional boundaries. 

Please submit a 300-400 word abstract along with a tentative title. Please send either your CV or a brief biography along with your abstracts by April 15, 2018. Authors will be informed by the end of April whether or not their proposals have been selected. Drafts will be due around mid June 2018, although this deadline is a bit flexible. I hope to get manuscripts to the publisher by July or early August 2018.

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