From soap opera to Scottish identity

Thursday 9 November 2006

Experts in film from Asian cinema to British costume drama will gather for a one-day conference organised by students at the Universities of St Andrews.

The all day event, which will take place at the Byre Theatre in St Andrews tomorrow (Friday 10th November 2006) is a collaboration with students at the University of Glasgow and will involve over fifty academics and students of film studies. It will focus on aspects of society, culture and identity in film, in a range of genres from action movies to German documentaries. Papers will be given on cinematic subjects including Scottish identity, young Palestinian filmmaking, Thai horror movies, Turkish popular cinema, the Coen Brothers and nationalism and war.

The event, “Cinemas, Identities and Beyond”, is the first postgraduate conference of the Centre for Film Studies at St Andrews and Glasgow’s Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies. The conference, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), is an interdisciplinary, collaborative conference between students at the universities.

The conference will include the participation of postgraduates of film, television, cultural studies, comparative literature and anthropology, among other disciplines drawn from Scotland and throughout the UK.

Organiser Ruby Cheung, a postgraduate student at St Andrews, said, “This event aims to foreground the investigation of cinematic depiction of identities and marks another collaborative project between the film departments at St Andrews and Glasgow. Both share a strength in researching identity-related issues of representation and film, ranging from the cinemas of Scotland, Europe, and the Balkan states to the Middle East and Asia- Pacific regions, and covering topics from national and transnational identity. In this manner the two universities form a vibrant hub for film studies within Scotland.”

The conference will be convened by film studies academics, renowned for their expertise in subjects as diverse as British and Irish cinema, soap opera and gypsies in film. They are: Dr Dimitris Eleftheriotis (University of Glasgow), Professor Christine Geraghty (University of Glasgow), Professor Andrew Higson (University of East Anglia), Dr Laura Rascaroli (National University of Ireland, Cork) and Professor Dina Iordanova (University of St Andrews). Chair of the AHRC Research Committee, Professor John Caughie (University of Glasgow), is guest of honour and will open the event.

Professor Iordanova, Director of the Centre for Film Studies at St Andrews, said, “I am delighted to see the great success of this conference. AHRC’s funding enabled our postgraduates to organise a stimulating event which allows intellectual exchanges between scholars and students on their specific projects. Most importantly, the meeting of academics who work in different disciplines yet all explore the issues of identity through the medium of film is likely to result in exciting interdisciplinary outputs in the sphere of modern humanities at large.”




Issued by Beattie Media – on behalf of the University of St Andrews

Contact Gayle Cook, Press Officer on 01334 467227 / 462529, mobile 07900 050 103, or email gec3@st-

Ref: Identites in Cinema 091106.doc

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