18 December 2013

Wizard of Oz Movie Conference in Brighton, 21-22 Nov 2014

On 21-22 Nov 2014 the University of Brighton in Britain is hosting a conference on The Wizard of Oz and the Western Cultural Imagination.” It’s aimed at “celebrating and interrogating 75 years of the MGM Musical.”

Here’s the call for proposals:
The Wizard of Oz has received sustained interest from audiences, sparking numerous spinoff films (Return to Oz; Oz: The Great and Powerful, Yellowbrickroad), musicals (Wicked; The Wiz), and TV Programmes and documentaries (The Tin Man; The Secret of Oz). Baum’s original tale has been reanimated and illustrated numerous times (most recently by Graham Rawle) and the book and film has inspired and featured in pop music albums by the likes of Elton John (Yellow Brick Road) and Robbie Williams (Swings Both Ways). The music to MGM’s Wizard of Oz also contributed to the public responses to the death of Margaret Thatcher in 2013.

Despite being firmly embedded in the Western cultural imagination, the legacy of The Wizard of Oz has received rather sparse critical reception. Taking place in the same month that saw the release of the film in the UK, this conference seeks to fill this void and explore the film and its legacy through a series of innovative presentations that explores ideas such as:
  • The Wizard of Oz within American and UK television programming;
  • young women’s agency;
  • representations of twisters, tornados, and hurricanes;
  • Technicolor and the emergence of colour film;
  • the Hollywood musical;
  • stardom and fandom;
  • intermedial history and the story’s migration to other media;
  • paratexts, advertising and memorabilia;
  • music, magic, witches and myth;
  • representations of the American rural landscape and the Depression;
  • gender and sexuality;
  • the Wizard of Oz and cultural capital;
  • carnivals, travelling shows, and fairgrounds;
  • costume and the iconography of shoes.
Proposals are welcomed from all academic disciplines and can take the form of a paper, performance, artwork or poster presentation. Innovative presentation formats are encouraged. The conference will include a fancy dress, sing-along screening of the film.
The conference organizers are Dr. Frank Gray and Dr. Louise Fitzgerald of the University of Brighton and Dr. Kieran Fenby-Hulse of Bath Spa University. People interested in presenting papers 15-20 minutes long can send proposals consisting of a 300-word abstract to ozat75@gmail.com by 1 Mar 2014. The conference already has a web address and a Twitter account and hashtag of “ozat75.”

No comments: