Journeys, Detours, Breakdowns
The 2015 Film & History Conference

CFP: Journeys of Inquiry: Exploitation Cinema Revisited

Trans-historical, international, and ever shifting, the tradition of exploitation cinema is notoriously difficult to pin down and oftentimes difficult to research, with little institutional support and few archival collections devoted to films of such low cultural status. Many approaches to exploitation cinema remain underserved, including but not limited to aesthetic analysis, international exploitation, studies of distribution, feminist perspectives, and work on pornography and sexploitation.

In keeping with the conference theme of "Journeys, Detours, and Breakdowns," this area especially welcomes papers that investigate the often circuitous and complicated histories of production, distribution, and exhibition within the exploitation tradition. Papers might examine a single film or exploitation filmmaker, but might also address sub-genres, film cycles, or studios. We also welcome reception studies that trace the 'journey' of a film that unexpectedly develops 'cult' status among a particular set of fans or taste cultures. Finally, papers might investigate career 'detours' that have taken unlikely producers, directors, and stars into the exploitation mode of filmmaking.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

* case studies of production, distribution, and exhibition

* women in exploitation

* sexploitation, pornography, and the adults-only audience

* exploitation blockbusters (e.g. Fifty Shades of Grey, The Passion of the Christ)

* race, class, and gender in exploitation cinema

* censorship, self-regulation, and institutional contexts

* art cinema and exploitation

* global exploitation cinema

* textual, narrative, and/or formal analysis

* exploitation auteurs (e.g. Al Adamson, Radley Metzger, Doris Wishman)

* exploitation cinema during 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 (

Please e-mail your 200-word proposal by June 1, 2015, to the area chair:

Maureen Rogers
University of Wisconsin-Madison


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