Foreign Language Film Conference VII


"The Great War: Illusions and Disillusions"

University of Alabama at Birmingham

30 October - 2 November 2014

Submissions are invited for the Seventh Foreign Language Film Conference, themed around the centennial of the First World War (1914-1918). Scholars from all disciplines are invited to consider questions about “the Great War” in cinematic traditions. How do films articulate the complexities, conflicts, and repercussions of warfare on such a vast scale? One hundred years on, what do films from or about the First World War contribute to our understanding of empire, language, technology, trauma, and the shifting borders of “the old world”?

Topics include (but are not limited to) the following general areas:

  • Geography of war: borders, terrains, territories
  • Spaces of warfare: trenches, fields, woods, cities, waters
  • Displacement, relocation, exile
  • Parallels: land, men
  • The technologies of warfare: military inventions and advances
  • (Re)defining the “Enemy”: The Christmas truce of 1914, e.g., Pacifists
  • Empires at war
  • Fronts: Eastern, Western, Oriental
  • Official State histories and censored or banned films
  • Fictions and Histories onscreen
  • The poetry of cinema, the cinema of poetry
  • Verbal warfare: language as weaponry
  • “The Battle of the Somme”: film in the trenches
  • Film as propaganda, the camera as a weapon
  • Colonial troops: Africans, Indians, Vietnamese, Arabs, fighting for homeland.
  • Racism in the military
  • The music of war, the war in music
  • La Grande Illusion; La Grande Guerra; Westfront 1918
  • War horses
  • Bodies at war: trauma, medicine, recovery
  • Shell-shock, handicap, gueules cassées
  • Other conflicts: Russian Revolution, Armenian genocide, Free Corps, uprisings in the Middle East …
  • Women: Nurses, Workforce, Auxiliary forces, "escort," etc.
  • Occupations, annexes, allegiances
  • Armistice
  • Veterans: the Lost Generation onscreen
  • Looking back: commemorations and monuments

Please submit an abstract of 250 words by August 31, 2014; the organizers anticipate sending a response by the end of September. All submissions should be in English, including citations. Abstract should include presenter’s name, contact address and telephone number, email address, professional affiliation and status. Presentations should be no longer than 20 minutes, including any media support.

For questions or further information, please contact Rosemary Peters ( and Serge Bokobza (

The Foreign Language Film Conference VII is sponsored by the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (205) 934-4652.

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures
407 Humanities Building, 900 13th Street South, Birmingham AL 35294-1260
205 934 4651/205 934 8902