Governing Genealogies of Film Education

Due Date: 10-15-2020

Contributions are sought for an edited scholarly collection, the purpose of which is to introduce readers to a nascent, critical historiographic approach to the formal study and deployment of cinema based on extensive archival research into the declassified governing paper trail located in government, university, and philanthropic foundation archives in the United States and other imperial locations, and of traces left behind in postcolonial and neocolonial state institutions. We invite research that dovetails investigation of production culture and the cinematic public sphere with exposure and analysis of governmental policy and bureaucratic processes. The primary objective of the volume is to shed light on the institution and institutionalization of film and, more broadly, audiovisual education as an international academic discipline, as well as of media governance through the governmentality of university and state programming at bureaucratic and aesthetic levels with complex and lasting implications for global cultures and subject positions. The volume’s secondary objective is to assess and reflect in this genealogical context on the precarious state of film studies today as an academic discipline, and hence on the crisis facing an increasingly disposable labor force of film scholars and teachers who have come of professional age at the very moment at which the serious study of cinematic and disciplinary articulations of race, colonialism, and transnationalism has achieved a certain institutional acceptance and legitimacy. We especially invite work that unearths previously unvisited collections and offers original research and theorization.

The volume aims to excavate the margins of archival inquiry regarding the history of  higher film education in the United States, revealing and applying findings not previously included in the scholarly literature—or in Foucault’s own Eurocentric works—in order to offer an immanent critique of the field, its history and discursive structuring, and the practices of cultural production in which it has concomitantly engaged—in unvarnished collaboration with United States and other imperial government agencies and with private philanthropic organizations working in close relation with them. The volume will in turn offer an interdisciplinary scope that positions the genealogy of film and media research into much-needed dialogue with scholarship outside the field that historicizes post-WWII liberal education and educational institutions within the context of Cold War liberal nationalism and capitalist global citizenship. While the volume invites detailed genealogical investigation, it is framed theoretically by contemporary readings of postcolonial, decolonial, and critical race theories with and against poststructuralist theories of epistemology, Marxist theories of imperialism, and emerging theories of the archive in order to problematize prevailing ways in which the historicization of cinema studies has been narrativized, its central theoretical paradigms maintained, and its sociocultural practices recognized and understood.

Please submit proposals, including affiliation and curriculum vitae, by 15 October 2020 to
Hadi Gharabaghi ( and Terri Ginsberg (