Cfp - The Literary Image and the Screen

Martina Morabito's picture
Call for Papers
May 30, 2019
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Film and Film History, Literature, Russian or Soviet History / Studies

The Literary Image and the Screen

An International Conference, University of Genoa, 5-6  September 2019.

Call for Papers


The dialogue between literature and film has been crucial in their respective developments from the birth of cinema at the end of the 19th century to the present, in which the forms of both arts and, more generally, the modes of narration (in the widest sense of storytelling) are radically transformed by the emergence of new media. Besides, various moments, texts and authors in the literature of the pre-cinematic era can be analysed through film techniques and be regarded as, in some ways, anticipating them.


This conference aims at exploring the connections and relationships between literature and the screen, from pre-cinema to television and digital media. Our general assumption is that a cross-media approach, aimed at understanding the reciprocal influences between them from the point of view of representation techniques, theoretical exchanges and the circulation of works might shed new light on ideas and theories on cinema and might suggest new approaches to the literary text.


Innovation – in the field of literary studies very much as elsewhere – often involves asking unusual questions. Is it possible, for example, to perceive elements in Dante which can be assimilated to, and understood in terms of, film-editing? How and why does Flaubert use close-ups in his novels and can cinematic theory offer further insight into his techniques? Could the study of light and colour in cinema be useful in discussing poetry or surrealist prose? How do digital media, 3 and 4D, virtual reality or computer-generated images trigger neo-modernist definitions of space in twenty-first century novels? To what extent new forms of serial narrative reproduce early forms of serial fiction?


Besides trying to answer questions like these, we will consider cinematographic adaptations of literary texts and their circulation, also exploring the interactions between screenwriters, directors and writers, and how these have influenced the moving image.


Announced keynote speakers: Prof Laura Marcus and Prof Nikolaj Lübecker, University of Oxford.


We welcome proposals on papers pertaining to the following lines of enquiry:


  • literary anticipations of cinematographic techniques;
  • the relationship between literature and pre-cinema experimentations (such as, for example, the diorama and the magic lantern);
  • literary techniques that influence film narration and, conversely, cinematographic techniques that influence writing;
  • filmic adaptations of literary works and their circulation;
  • today's film theories that shed new light on literary techniques;
  • how do cinema and literature differ in quality, timing and forms of response to societal, political and cultural change?
  • theoretical exchanges between the two disciplines (e.g. S. Eisenstein, F. Jameson); spatial approaches (e.g. film and urbanism; cognitive mapping);
  • writers’ reflection on the cinematic (e.g. Virginia Woolf essay on cinema).


The official language of the conference is English.


We particularly welcome proposals from PhD and early-career researchers.

This will be the opening event of a series co-organised by the University of Genoa and the University of Oxford.


Please send your proposals as a pdf attachment to:


Proposals should include your name, university, academic status, and the title of your paper. Papers should not exceed 20 minutes in length.

The deadline for abstract submissions is May 30, 2019. Notification of acceptance will take place June 15, 2017.


Organizing Committee


Martina Morabito, Natalia Osis, Daniele Franzoni (University of Genoa)

Petr Budrin, Pany Xenophontos (University of Oxford)


Scientific Committee


Luisa Villa, Laura Salmon,

Laura Colombino, Anna Viola Sborgi

(University of Genoa)

Contact Info: 


The Organizing Committee


Martina Morabito, Natalia Osis, Daniele Franzoni (The University of Genoa)

Petr Budrin, Pany Xenophontos (The University of Oxford)