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Poetic Insurrection – Romantic Legacies in Modern and Contemporary Film Aesthetics

January 10, 2022 - January 11, 2022

Two-day international film studies conference organized by the Research Centre for Visual Poetics at the University of Antwerp.

  • When: 20-21 January 2022
  • Venue: Stadscampus, Prinsstraat 13, Antwerp

Confirmed Keynote Speakers

  • Marco Grosoli (Habib University, Karachi)
  • Richard Suchenski (Bard College, New York)

Call For Papers

The ‘return’ to Romanticism in the recent consideration of modernist cinemas (see Richard Suchenski, Projections of Memory: Romanticism, Modernism, and the Aesthetics of Film; Daniel Morgan, Late Godard and the Possibilities of Cinema) can be taken as a way to frame the apparent contradictions in the work of a number of key figures: the revolutionary cinema of Jean-Luc Godard seems at odds with the seeming reactionism of a sanctification of natural beauty in his ‘late’ works. The strict materialism of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, in its turn, gave way to reflections on the necessity of myth and utopian ideals in the politicization of art. And although the cinema of Marguerite Duras is characterized by a destructive negativity, her films exhibit a minute attention to material presence. We believe that the same contradictions that characterize these works can be found in the films of a number of contemporary filmmakers – Chantal Akerman, Abbas Kiarostami, Hong Sang-soo, Wang Bing, Lav Diaz, Albert Serra etc. – allowing us to align them with the project of aesthetic modernism. It is our contention (one we share with Nancy, Lacoue-Labarthe, Rancière, J.M. Schaeffer and others) that this project can indeed best be approached by considering its romantic undercurrent.

Focal points

We invite papers that address these romantic legacies according to these three axes or focal points: totality, infinity, negativity.

These correspond to what we feel to be three key genealogical lines in the history of modern cinema:

  1. reductive aesthetics and negativity;
  2. revelationist aesthetics and mysticism;
  3. the aspiration towards totality and the persistence of myth.

We encourage contributions that take an interdisciplinary and genealogical approach to film aesthetics.


January 10, 2022
January 11, 2022


Universiteit Antwerpen
Prinsstraat 13
Antwerpen, 2000 Belgium
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