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Call for Papers: Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) Annual Conference

Martial Arts in the Movies Call for Papers: Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) Annual Conference March 17-21, 2021 Chicago, IL, USA Panel Organizer: Dr. Christina Hodel (Bridgewater State University) Binge-watching Cobra Kai, live streaming UFC fighters in an empty arena, and counting down the days until Nicolas Cage fights off aliens using jiu-jitsu means the martial arts are still taking over media.

This broadly conceived panel for the SCMS annual conference welcomes papers concerned with representations of martial arts and violence in films or other media forms.

Papers in this panel will consider the ways in which silver screen martial arts propels a story, enhances character development, provides insight into cultural discourse, or shapes our viewpoints about violence as a social problem.

Other topics or modes of inquiry include, but are not limited to:

  • Exploration of how martial arts or violence functions as an aesthetic element of a film.

  • The role of the cinematic martial artist’s body.

  • The pursuit of authenticity in filmic fight sequences.

  • Gender-based violence or racial themes in martial arts or action films.

  • Western vs. Eastern films’ representations of martial arts.

  • Exoticizing, feminizing, or appropriating aspects of filmic martial arts.

  • Approaches to filming or choreographing fight sequences for the camera.

Please email paper proposals, including a title, 300-word abstract, 3-5 bibliographic sources, and a short bio to Dr. Christina Hodel ( by Wednesday, August 19.

Potential panelists will be informed of decisions by Tuesday, August 28.

Contact Info:  Christina Hodel, Ph.D. Assistant Professor  Department of Communication Studies Bridgewater State University 10 Shaw Road Maxwell Library, Room 215QBridgewater, MA 02325 T. (508) 531-6503 F. (508) 531-1425


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