The Studio System
Golden Ages: Styles and Personalities, Genres and Histories
The 2014 Film & History Conference
DEADLINE for abstracts: 1 July 2014
The Hollywood Studio System was a well-oiled machine that produced some of the most important films in history, creating big business out of popular culture. Decades after its collapse, film historians and movie buffs are still fascinated with this period of Hollywood history. The System was incredibly dynamic, regularly sparked creativity and ingenuity, was often times oppressive, and always widely influential. From the 1920s until their gradual demise in the late 1950s, the Hollywood Studios were a major force in terms of entertainment, art, and mass communication.What can be said today about Hollywood Studios as agents of innovation and change, on screen and in society? In what ways did the Studio System place limits on creativity and vision, even as its vast resources made anything seem possible? How do we understand the role of the Studio System in creating or inhibiting careers on both sides of the camera? This area invites 20-minute papers offering unique perspectives that continue the discussion of the Studio System and further its academic study.
Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The production of popular genres of the Studio Era (Warner gangsters, Universal monsters, MGM musicals, etc.)
- The evolution of film genre during the Studio Era, how did the Studio System influence genre change?
- Examinations of how Hollywood studio films presented history (past or contemporary to the time)
- Issues involving the battle between censorship and the studios
- Cultural history analyses of the studios (Universal of the 1930s, Postwar MGM, etc.)
- The role of the producer during the Studio Era
- That Barton Fink Feeling: The plight of writers during the Studio Era
- Outside the Studio System – the influence of Poverty Row companies on evolving Hollywood production during this era
- Rise and Fall: The origins and/or decline of the Studio System
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 (www.filmandhistory.org).
Please e-mail your 200-word proposal by 1 June 2014, to the area chair:Chris Yogerst
University of Wisconsin-Washington County