The Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies is calling for proposals of contributions to a special issue, Documentary Film and Migration in Twentieth-century Italy, guest-edited by Gaoheng Zhang (Department of Italian Studies, University of Toronto). Long before the 2015 refugee and migrant crisis captured international attention, Italy was at the forefront of the European management of post-Cold War mass immigration from around the globe. Only thirty years earlier the country was itself undergoing a large-scale internal migration from the South to the North, and from countryside to city. Still earlier, between the late 19th and mid-20th centuries, Italians had emigrated to the Americas, Northern Europe, Australia, and elsewhere, constituting one of the most significant labor diasporas in modern history. These events have been decisive for Italy as a nation, a people and a cultural entity. How did the only new major art form developed in the twentieth century—the cinema—represent and influence these migrations? In particular, how did documentary cinema—arguably contemporary Italy’s most versatile and prolific film genre—respond to and reflect on the migratory flows?
This special issue of the JICMS will focus on the place of documentary and nonfiction film in articulating migration issues in Italy. The editor invites contributions that examine three migrations in particular: Italian emigration worldwide, migration from Southern and peasant Italy to Northern and urban Italy, and foreign immigration to Italy. Comparisons between these migrations and forms of transnationalism are encouraged. Analyses can also focus on films about migration made by non Italian-identified filmmakers. The editor welcomes proposals that consider films on other individuals whose mobilities are related to migration, such as refugees, tourists, and businessmen. The editor is also particularly interested in soliciting contributions on state migrant management, social incorporation and cultural assimilation, public security, the roles of NGOs, gendered and racialized lives of migrants, and diasporic and transnational practices of migrants as addressed in documentary films.
Topics related to documentary film as a genre are also welcome, including film ethics and techniques. Films made for the big screen, for television, and for distribution on the internet will be considered. The editor seeks contributions that can speak to the latest technologies in making and screening documentaries, such as digital cinema. Proposals focusing on documentary films’ interactions with other art forms such as fiction film, and on hybrid genres such as docudrama and mockumentary are also encouraged. Further, the editor seeks academic articles and review essays on Italian and transnational documentary film industry, festivals, archives, and scholarship, as well as interviews with filmmakers in relation to migration.
Instructions for proposal submission
Proposals for contributions should be emailed to the editor, Gaoheng Zhang, by 25 November 2015. Authors will be informed of the acceptance of their proposal by 1 December 2015 and will be asked to submit their articles within 60 days from that date. Articles should be no more than 8,000 words each and must be in English. Inclusion in the special issue will then be determined by an anonymous peer-review process.
Authors should avoid submitting abstracts and articles that deal with only one film or are close readings of a character’s psychological process. Authors should limit the scope of their discussion to 3 or 4 films and few directors.
Articles submitted to JICMS should be entirely original and unpublished, should not be under consideration by any other publisher, and should not have been published previously even in part by any other publication.
Proposals for English translations or edited versions of previously published works will not be considered.
For details of the rationale and requirements of the Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies, see the journal’s webpage.
Information to be included in the proposal
1) A clear title
2) A 500-word abstract outlining the topic, the critical approach taken and the theoretical basis of the contribution. The abstract should state clearly the goals of the article and indicate the objective of the argument. In addition to the 500-word abstract, authors should send:
3) Relevant bibliography and filmography
4) 200-word biographical note followed by a detailed list of academic publications