March 24-25, 2010 Symposium: Cinematic Representations of Racial Conflict in “Real Time”

Awarded a 2009 New Frontiers in the Arts & Humanities: New Perspectives grant, the Black Film Center/Archive will host a symposium entitled “Cinematic Representations of Racial Conflict in ‘Real Time’”.

The March 24-25, 2010 symposium will take in depth looks at two “classic” films of black cinema: Nothing But a Man (1964) and The Spook Who Sat by the Door (1973).

The symposium will address two concerns: the strategies deployed in film to signify modes of political address and mobilization in “real time,” during a period of intense racial conflict in the United States; and the utility of revisiting cinematic texts for ideological accounts of historical activity.

The films’ political project offers a distinctive (and competing) ideological stance about the means of resistance to racial oppression, which in actuality reflected the mobilizing strategies of black militants at the time of the films’ release. The two films also address labor and gender relations among African Americans, the social experience of rural life in the South, and the moral and physical decay of urban spaces, especially in the inner cities.

A tentative list of panelists include: Thomas Cripps (Professor Emeritus, Morgan State University),  Mark Reid (University of Florida), Ed Guerrero (New York University), Paula Massood (Brooklyn College), Terri Francis (Yale University), Fred McElroy (IUB), and Khalil Muhammad (IUB).

About BFC/A

The Black Film Center/Archive at Indiana University was established in 1981 as the first archival repository dedicated to collecting, preserving, and making available historically and culturally significant films by and about black people. The BFC/A's primary objectives are to promote scholarship on black film and to serve as an open resource for scholars, researchers, students, and the general public; to encourage creative film activity by independent black filmmakers; and to undertake and support research on the history, impact, theory, and aesthetics of black film traditions. View all posts by BFC/A

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