Call for papers: L'Atalante 21 (English)


Memory, file and imaginary concerning World War I.

1914 is a key year in the history of cinema. It is the year when Charles Chaplin creates Charlot and when David W. Griffith shoots The Birth of a Nation, making official the narrative model of cinematographic expression. This is also the year when serials techniques are established and great international newscasts have the opportunity to inform the big screen about a conflict and its evolution.

June 28th, 1914, the attack against the archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian crown, marked the beginning of the World War I. Lots of European cities and seminars, congresses and publications have reminded since 2014 the beginning of a battle that meant for Europe the end of the big empires, the creation of a new geopolitics and a balance of millions of deaths over four years of conflict. The centenary of the conflict helps to carry out memory policies, in order to know the war that marked the beginning of the twentieth century and had irreversible consequences, as well as to revise the history in order to offer new and richer interpretations of what happened.

The Great War will also lead to a strong European industry recession, so that Hollywood will turn into the great factory of cinematographic dreams. As long as the cinema evolves, photographic reports will flourish greatly during the war, and other forms of image creation (medical, scientific or advertising images) will grow considerably in those years. It is from this point of view that the seminar The Great War 1914-1918. The first war of images offers a transverse consideration about the relationship between war and images, a relationship that Paul Virilio, in a text that became classic, formulated as a game of communicating vessels.

World War I did not only generate an important news image production, but also greatly changed the fiction, especially all the pacifist imaginary created in the twenties. Most depictions of war that were carried out during the golden years of silent films and early years of sound films attempted to recall the cruelty produced by the battle that marked the future of Europe. Today, on the occasion of its centenary, the matter of the Great War has produced a series of memorial policies, together with corresponding file policies that have roused reflections concerning its memory processes to which audiovisual discourses are inevitably close.

The current edition of L'Atalante sets itself the goal of thinking about the fictitious and documentary pictures of the Great War, from the historical memory of its centenary and from the consideration about the way the World War I holds a place in the imaginary of spectators.

This edition deals with some of the following central  topics:

-Current affairs and the Great War. Starting from 1908, the main european companies add the current events as key genre in the entertainment programmes. The Great War turns into a laboratory of creation of information pictures. What is the image of the war given by news? What do they show about the conflict? How do news and information pictures of the great european film-makers spread specific movie models of propaganda?

-Fictions of the time. Between 1914 and 1918, cinema starts to create the first fictions about the war. What is the imaginary created by these fictions? What is their origin? What is their political involvement?

-Fictions about the Great War during the silent film and the early thirties. How does the war mark and define the development of specific melodramas and comedies that have become classic elements of cinema? What military imaginary do these fictions set up? Was the World War I needed to create a pacifist consciousness against brutality?

-The documentary reconstructions. The files of pictures about the Great War compile plenty of films that reconstruct historical events with educational purpose and create a certain idea of fake documentaries. What is the condition of this great number of documentary reconstructios of that period?

-The compilation films. The pictures of the events filmed during the war enable to create compilation films with new plots taken from documentary pictures. What happens when a documentary picture turns into a file picture and creates new plots? Which file pictures make up the main representations of the war for the centenary?

-The policies of audiovisual file related to the World War I. New commemorative policies of file have been drawn up for the centenary. What imaginary of the war do these policies suggest, taking into account the abuses of memory exposed by Todorov?

Note: The works have to be transversal. The film analysis based just on one movie of the war will not be considered, unless they propose interesting contributions.

Acceptance of articles for the section Notebook: from 10th March to 15th May 2015.

L’Atalante. Revista de estudios cinematográficos accepts the publication of original essays on interdisciplinary or single-topic subjects related to theory and/or cinematographic praxis that stand out for their innovative nature. Some matters to be considered:

  • Only unpublished work will be accepted, it must also follow the journal’s style guidelines and fit the standards and rigour expected from an academic journal.
  • The originality of the topic will be valued, especially if it has already been issued in the journal. The repetition of subjects and themes may be a reason to dismiss a manuscript. The contents of previous issues can be consulted in our webpage.
  • The Executive Editorial Board will submit the articles to a process of external peer-evaluation, which will respect both the authors’ and evaluators’ anonymity (peer review system) in order to prevent potential bias. If the number of proposals received is too high, the Executive Editorial Board will first select the articles that will then be peer-reviewed, dismissing those considered as less adequate. If the initial conditions of originality and style are not fulfilled, the essay will be dismissed without a prior external consultation.
  • The acceptance of a manuscript will be communicated to the author within the following six months.
  • The manuscripts (whose length must be between 4000 and 45000 words) must be sent through the journal webpage (OJS), saved only in Rich Text Format (.rtf) and using the provided text template. The author’s statement (.pdf) and the images (.psd, .png, .jpg, .tiff) must be attached as complementary files. The detailed submissions guidelines and process can be found in our webpage. Those manuscripts which do not comply with these rules will be dismissed.
  • If it is decided that the manuscript is to be published in a bilingual issue, the author will cover the costs derived from translation and revision (in some cases, such as students and unemployed scholars who prove their situation, this cost will be zero).
  • L’Atalante does not offer any compensation for the published articles.

For further information, please contact