CFP: The 21st-century Disaster Film: Now It Gets Real NeMLA 2020 Deadline 9/30/2019

Rebecca Romanow's picture
Call for Papers
March 5, 2020 to March 8, 2020
Massachusetts, United States
Subject Fields: 
Film and Film History, Cultural History / Studies, Popular Culture Studies

The 21st-century Disaster Film: Now It Gets Real

In the 21st century, the disaster film has undergone a radical transformation; the changing nature and scope of what we understand as disaster has caused the formulaic genre conventions to dislodge, disrupt, and disappear. “Disaster” now addresses natural, climactic, human, economic, and war- and political-related disasters. This panel focuses on representations of the apocalypse, migration/immigration, extreme weather, terrorism, dystopia, hunger, poverty, genocide, and other 21st century disaster narratives. We will explore how we define and understand the term "disaster" in the 21st century, and how we are telling and historicizing the difficult stories of these human, natural, and global events through film and televised media.


As Gilbey points out “one of the timeless functions of cinematic storytelling is the way it allows us to explore in safety the fears that impinge occasionally on our daily lives. But that dynamic alters when reality itself is saturated into dread and anxiety.”  This panel will examine the seismic shifts in the conventions of the disaster film and explore the ways in which current filmmakers on all platforms attempt to address this genre.


Northeast Modern Language Association Conference, Boston, MA  March 5th-8th, 2020


Submissions are due: September 30, 2019 at

Please submit abstracts of no more than 300 words by September 30, 2019, using the NeMLA link:

Contact Info: 

Rebecca Fine Romanow  


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