September 13, 2018

Flickering Landscapes Conference – The Image of Migration: Landscapes and People

deadline for submissions:
November 1, 2018
contact email:

Flickering Landscapes Conference – “The Image of Migration: Landscapes and People”

Center for Emerging Media, University of Central Florida

Orlando, FL, United States, March 28-30, 2019


The Center for Humanities and Digital Research, The Nicholson School of Communications and Media, and The Texts and Technology Doctoral Program at the University of Central Florida


UCF Office of Research and Commercialization, UCF College of Graduate Studies, and The Texts and Technology Doctoral Program at the University of Central Florida

Conference website: 

Submission link: 

Abstract submission deadline: November 1, 2018


This conference aims to bring together scholars and filmmakers to address how moving images depict the relationship between place and human migration. We define migration in the broadest terms as any movement of peoples, including migration within nations or across national boundaries. We define place in the broadest terms, including air, land, and sea, and the built environment. Any screen experience relating to the interaction between migration and place is of interest — cinema, television, government and industry promotional films, training films, anthropological films, tourist experience videos, cell phone videos, home movies and non-professional videos, digital media, games, video installations, and other moving image technologies and genres.


To address the depiction of the migrant experience in varieties of moving images. It includes but is not limited to: topics relating to the moving images of migrants’ places of origin, their journeys, and the new locations in which they settle. We seek to relate these topics to two key components: the material lives and cultural identities of migrants as contrasted to the material lives and cultural identities of host societies, and the depiction of migration throughout the history of the moving image.


To continue an ongoing dialogue about how migrants and host societies perceive their environments and identities through the lenses of media and popular culture.

Target Audience:

Scholars and filmmakers from a broad range of disciplines and professionals working on the history, present, and future of the film and screen experience related to migrants and places. We welcome interdisciplinary/transdisciplinary and international approaches. We aim to produce an edited volume of papers and an online volume of media projects from the Flickering Landscapes Conference.

Research Questions:

  1. What films or television shows about migration and landscapes constitute key texts for investigation?
  2. Which stories of migration and landscapes are favored in screen media and which are not?
  3. What changes when migrants participate in the making of screen representations about their experiences?
  4. How do host attitudes about migrants’ place of origin, race, religion, class, and gender get represented in moving images?
  5. How do laws and the policing apparatus affect the people and places involved in migration?
  6. Do popular representations of migration and place in screen media align withstudies by scientists and agencies who work with migration issues?
  7. How have political media campaigns used the moving image to create or empower anti-immigrant movements based on fear and resentment? How successful have counter-efforts been at quelling anti-immigration movements?
  8. What do film and other genres of the moving image say about the role of landscape as a driving force in migration? For instance, how are the effects of climate change on landscapes represented in these images?
  9. How do moving image texts represent the sense of home and homelessness for immigrant communities?
  10. How has internet culture contributed to images of the migrant and the places associated with them? How do YouTube videos, memes, and multiplatform media influence popular perceptions of migrant groups?
  11. What is the historical legacy of efforts to document the experience of displaced peoples through motion pictures? How have landmark fiction films, documentaries, news reports, influenced the politics and cultural perceptions of mass migration?

Panel Keywords:

Below are a series of suggested key words for possible paper topics; they include but are not exclusively limited to the following:

  1. Movement and Mobility
  2. Documenting the Migrant Experience
  3. Migrants in Film History
  4. The Landscape of the Migrant’s Journey
  5. Climate Change and Migration
  6. War and Migration
  7. Portrayals of Home and Homelessness
  8. Migration as a Narrative Genre
  9. Laws and the policing apparatus
  10. Anti-Migration Propaganda
  11. The Migrant as a Witness/Storyteller
  12. Archetypes of Displaced Peoples
  13. Portrayals of Migrant Groups in News and Mass Media
  14. The Migrant Image in Non-Professional or Verité Style Filmmaking

Conference Details

Conference City Orlando, Florida

Location Center for Emerging Media: 500 W Livingston St, Orlando, FL 32801 (407) 235-3610

Dates of Conference March 28-30, 2019

Deadline for Abstracts November 1, 2018

Decisions Announced November 16, 2018

Proposal Guidelines:

1. Academic Papers

Abstracts should be 200 words and include complete contact information and institutional affiliations. Proposals for complete panels of three related presentations are welcome; panel proposals should include an abstract and contact information (including email) for each presenter. Abstracts must reference moving image texts, migration, and landscapes (all broadly defined).

2. Film / Video Works

Film / video submissions should be accompanied by a 200-word abstract and include complete contact information and institutional affiliations. Proposals for screenings of related works by multiple presenters are welcome; such grouped screening proposals should include an abstract and contact information (including email) for each presenter.

• We will entertain submissions of completed works and works in progress that are 75% complete. They should center on migration and landscapes with the idea that the definitions of these words for this conference are very broad. The filmmaker should be prepared to lead a discussion about her film with the audience afterward which centers around both theme and expression of the theme. We are not as interested in the technical aspects of the filmmaking unless they relate directly to the theme.

• The optimal duration of a film for this conference is 30 minutes or less. However, if the film is feature length then we would entertain submission of several scenes from the feature that exemplify the theme.

• If you intend to screen a film or film segments, a completed paper does not have to accompany the submission. However, a synopsis of the film and some indication of how you would like to lead the discussion afterward would be required.

3. Demos / Posters

Demo / poster submissions should be accompanied by a 200-word abstract and include complete contact information and institutional affiliations.

• Demos can include games, interactive media, video installations, and other works that involve the confluence of the moving image, migration, and landscape.

Questions? Contact Dr. Barry Mauer (UCF): [email protected]