October 24, 2013
CFP: International Conference: "Soviet Film Studios at War, 1939-1949"
Deadline: December 15, 2013
onference "Soviet Film Studios at War, 1939-1949"
12-13 June 2014, Eisenstein Library, Moscow
Call for Papers
The organizers are pleased to announce the International Conference on "Soviet Film
Studios at War, 1939-1949" which will take place in Moscow between June 12th and 13th
There is a consensus among historians that if is difficult to write about WWI and
WWII without touching upon the war of images. However, Soviet history remains marginal in
research on this aspect of the visual turn. It is necessary to renew the traditional vision of the
propaganda art and go beyond the films representing Stalin and great historic events and explore
the full spectrum of the production. Feature films, cartoons, educational pictures, newsreels
and documentaries can be studied not only in themselves but also in terms of the public
they addressed and their role in the mobilization for the war effort. Even though the cinema
occupied a central place in Soviet propaganda, films must be compared to the news coverage,
press photography, posters, literature and theater. A total history of the cinema should embrace
issues which scholars usually study separately such as the institutions (the organization
of new control agencies, the reorganization of the production far behind the frontline), the industry
(technologies and economic problems), aesthetics and the social context (life in the
The conference takes stock of the first results of the project CINESOV financed by the
Agence Nationale de la Recherche (France). The project explores Soviet cinema not only as
art but also as social sphere, production process, industrial establishment, business and as a
problem of marketing and consuming images between 1939 and 1949. The main focus is on
the first stage of filmmaking, the production process, and more precisely on the functioning of
the studios in the USSR and the territories it controlled in the immediate [prewar and?]
postwar years. The aim of the conference is to study ways the Soviet structures of film production
dealt with thee requirements and constraints of the war.
The main questions are:
- methods, sources, the results of previous research: how to seize the singularities of the
studios in the context of the war, which are their common features?
- institutional issues: the Sovietization of the studios in the territories annexed on the eve of
the war; changes in legal statuses, organization and internal structures; censorship; shifts in
the relationships between center and periphery; evacuation and return; the fate of studios in
territories under nazi occupation; the Sovietization of nazified studios and the purge of collaborators.
- economic and financial issues: the economic efficiency of the studios and their evaluation
by moviemakers and decision makers; how we can draw the balance sheet today? what is the
impact of the evacuation of the industry at large on the film industry and the production targets
of the studios? how studios manage the scarcity of financial resources? how decides the
- technological issues: which technologies are employed? what sort of technological changes
are helped by the challenges of wartime cinema and the exchanges and seizures of material?
how many equipments are at the disposal of the moviemakers? how is allocated the equipment
acquired through the Lend-Lease operations and through the seizures? how technologies function
at the studios transferred to Central Asia?
- international issues: how to evaluate the comparison [?], the imitation, the collaboration
and competition with allied and enemy industries? what is the production of the enemy in occupied
Soviet territories, how it is organized? how knowhow is transferred in Soviet-occupied
territories? how the Soviets establish control?
- human resources: how is personnel allocated in the wake of the evacuation and the reorganization?
who are the new managers of the studios? how the mobilization takes place, what
role women play in it? how is organized the training of the newly recruited personnel? how
are decided the salaries and other forms of payment? how daily life looks like in the evacuation,
during the siege of Leningrad and other cities and after the return?
The conference is open to anyone doing research related to the main themes. The contributions
must be unpublished and founded on original sources.
The conference languages are Russian, English and French.
The deadline for sending the proposals is
December 15, 2013. Authors of the selected
projects will be informed in late January 2014.
The proposals must be in Russian, English or French. They must include
1./ the name, the home institution and the position of the applicant with his/her electronic address
2./ a short presentation of the applicant's researches with emphasis of their relevance to the
themes of the conference
3./ a vita
4./ a résumé of maximum 500 words of the proposed paper.
The proposals must be addressed to Vanessa Voisin (firstname.lastname@example.org). They
can be formulated individually and as members of a projected panel.
The organizers will help participants to obtain Russian visa. They finance the stay, the
meals of the participants and travel expenses if it proves possible.
Posted by jmkirsch at October 24, 2013 02:49 PM