The 2019 Conference

The 2019 Film & History  Conference

November 14-16, The Madison Concourse Hotel, Madison, WI (USA)

Keynote Speaker: David Bordwell

Introductory Notes and Reminders 

On behalf of the Editorial Staff and the Advisory Board of Film & History, we welcome you to Madison, and we hope you enjoy this year’s conference. 

• REGISTRATION opens on Thursday morning (at 10 AM) and continues throughout the conference. Sunday is reserved for travel and special meetings.

• Please WEAR YOUR BADGE to all conference-related activities, including the banquet on Saturday, which is included in your registration fee.

• COFFEE AND TEA will be provided in the morning and afternoon on the conference floor. Apart from the Saturday-evening banquet, meals are on your own.

• Film & History conferences give panelists adequate time to make presentations. Each panel (of 2-3 colleagues) is a full 90 minutes. However, each presenter should aim for 20 minutes for the formal presentation itself. In this way, 15-30 minutes will remain for questions and answers at the end. The panel chair should signal the presenter to finish immediately after 20 minutes. If the presenter does not stop within a minute or two of this notice, the chair must STOP the presentation and begin the next one (or must begin the Q&A). Please do not infringe upon a colleague’s time or upon Q&A time for the audience.

• The plenary banquet and keynote presentation will be held on Saturday evening, on the second floor. The event is COMPLIMENTARY for all registered participants and book exhibitors. 

• Collegiality is paramount at F&H. During all meetings, please match your perspicuity about films and texts with your courtesy and generosity toward your colleagues. The point of a “conference” is to collaborate with them; it is neither to compete with them nor to condemn them. Although critiquing an argument is still vital to open academic exchanges, collegial support is also vital; the ethos of a conference should encourage the intelligence, not inhibit it. Above all, then, ATTEND PANELS OTHER THAN YOUR OWN. 

Finally, the city of Madison has exceptional food, art, and entertainment, as well as spectacular views of the lakes, so we hope you’ll spend an evening or two relishing them, just as we hope that you will immerse yourself in the scholarship and conversations here at the 2019 Film & History Conference. 

Loren Baybrook, Editor-in-Chief and Conference Director 

Cindy Miller, Program Coordinator and Director of Communications 

Preparing and Attending Presentations 

You may load your media through any USB port or the SD slot on the back of the Mac mini or through the optical-disc tray of the attached DVD/Blu-ray drive (Region 1/A), or you may download media from an online source. The computers have Microsoft Office, including PowerPoint and Word. The TVs do not have cameras (for Skype or any other video exchanges). All presenter data will be wiped after the conference. 


If you intend to use your own laptop computer to present, you will need to connect the HDMI cable (attached to the F&H computer) and then “mirror” or “duplicate” the display on your laptop computer (available through “Display” in Apple’s “System Preferences” or, in Windows, through the “Display” icon in “Settings” or “Control Panel”) so that its display will appear on the TV. We’ll have some adapters on hand (e.g., DisplayPort-HDMI, mini-DisplayPort-DisplayPort, mini-HDMI-HDMI, mini-DVI-HDMI, VGA, etc.), all of which should accommodate most Apple MacBooks and PC laptops, but we can’t guarantee compatibility. 

Please remember that a standard VGA connection (DB-15) does not transmit certain protected content (HDCP) on many video discs. (You might need to download and install a software decrypter, such as’s free HD Decrypter or PassKey Lite, to display protected material through the VGA port on your laptop.) If you must use your own laptop computer, you should set the screen resolution to no higher than 1920×1080 for output to the monitor.

In all of this, please remember that even the best technology can fail. Well-prepared panelists should be ready to deliver their presentations even if the electricity cuts out or the machine malfunctions. It happens. The minimum requirement for a presentation is you. It helps to have your paper, sure, but even the technology of paper can fail or get misplaced, and sometimes reading a paper aloud can itself throw off your audience if you’ve not practiced reading it for clarity and flow. So, if your USB drive or optical disc or video clip or PowerPoint doesn’t work, don’t panic. Don’t waste the precious time. Move directly to the oral version of your presentation that includes concise descriptions of any audio or visual examples indispensable to your argument. You know your material; you can walk us through it. Most likely, in fact, your presentation will be all the stronger for your having practiced this language-only version. Don’t mistake your audio/visual aids for your argument, which is what matters at an academic conference.

Panel numbers are encoded with the datesession, and room. Use the last numeral in the four-digit panel number to find your room. 

For example:

Panel 1521 = Nov. 15, Session 2, Conference Room I (1)

Panel 1644 = Nov. 16, Session 4, Conference Room IV (4)

THURSDAY, November 14

Registration (Opens at 10 AM)

FRIDAY, November 15

Session 1: 8:00-9:30 AM

PANEL 1511 Race and Ethnicity I: IT, Space, and Place

Chair: Danyelle Greene, University of Kansas

Interaction in Interactive Spaces Through Media

Abimbola Iyun, Southern Illinois University

Trouble in Paradise: Class, Caste, and the Undoing of Family in Made in Heaven

            Namrata Sathe, Southern Illinois University

“With My Ancestors”: Afrofuturistic Imaginings of Past and Present in Black Panther

Danyelle Greene, University of Kansas

PANEL 1512 Antiqui-tech I: Time travel, real and virtual                 

Chair: Matthew Taylor, Beloit College

Fixed Points in Time: Doctor Who, the TARDIS, and Roman History

Alicia Matz, Boston University

Iaponia Capta Cepit: Roman Technological Syncretism and Modern Tourism in Thermae Romae (2012).

Natalie Swain, University of Bristol, UK

Classics goes retro: Okhlos (2016) and 8-bit aesthetics

Matthew Taylor, Beloit College

PANEL 1513 The (Post-)Human Future

Chair: Jenny Mor, Tel Aviv University, Israel

Troublesome Tech: Genetic Manipulation in Marvel’s X-Men

Cynthia Porter, Vanderbilt University

Aged Not Obsolete: Moving Towards the Utopian Posthuman 

Gwendolyn Asbury, University of Kansas

The Eternal Return of the Singularity: Advanced Technology in TV and Film

Jenny Mor, Tel Aviv University, Israel

PANEL 151The Industry I: Stories

Chair: Lala Palupi Santyaputri, Universitas Pelita Harapan, Indonesia

“Comedy is the Bane of His Existence”: The Struggles of Feature Comedy, 1913-1916

Megan Boyd, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Identification and Robert Montgomery’s Lady in the Lake

Macy Todd, SUNY, Buffalo State

Film Remakes in Indonesian Film Industry

Lala Palupi Santyaputri, Universitas Pelita Harapan, Indonesia

Session 2: 9:45-11:15 AM

PANEL 1521 Technology in the Western I: Guns, Killing Contraptions, and Cars in the Western

Chair: Timothy Scheie, University of Rochester

Clocks, Guns, and Lost Innocence in The Stranger (1946) and High Noon (1952)

Valerie H. Pennanen, Calumet College of St. Joseph

Killing Contraptions in Spaghetti Westerns

Frank Fucile, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Oldsmobiles, Rock-n-Roll, and Le Far-West: The Mythic West as Modern Consumer Product in the French Camargue Western

Timothy Scheie, University of Rochester

PANEL 1522 Antiqui-tech II: Humanity and its discontents                         

Chair: David J. Wright, Fordham University

 Technological Humanity in Blade Runner 2049 (2017)”

Rocki Wentzel, Augustana University

“…it was good to be human”: Representations of Classical Space and Thought in The Talos Principle (2014)

Jessie Wells, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

Folly of Man: Cosmic Destruction in the Godzilla Film Series and the Gigantomachy Myth

David J. Wright, Fordham University

PANEL 1523 Technology and the Filmmaker  

Chair: Peter Falanga, Independent Scholar

Technology & Beauty: Madam CJ Walker as Filmmaker

            Carol Bentley, North Dakota State University

Remembering the Trains: Coping with Trauma and Dispossession in the Works of the Polish Film School 

Peter Falanga, Independent Scholar

Lunch Break: 11:30 AM-12:30 PM

Session 3: 12:45-2:15 PM

PANEL 1531 Rage Against the Machine I: Tech Before the 2000s: Historical Perspectives on Technology and Independent Cinema

Chairs: Matt Connolly, Minnesota State University, Mankato, and 
Chelsea McCracken, State University of New York at Oneonta

Odorama and the Camping of Exhibition Technology in John Waters’s Polyester

Matt Connolly, Minnesota State University, Mankato

Unless a Triple A: On Walter Wanger’s Attempted Independent Adaptation of Steve Canyon

JJ Bersch, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Making Lists and Building Markets: Queer Home Video Sales Tactics

Chelsea McCracken, State University of New York at Oneonta

PANEL 1532 Antiqui-tech III: (Re)-engineering inventions and inventors

Chair: Roger Macfarlane, Brigham Young University

A Horse of a Different Color: Depictions of the Trojan Horse on Screen

            Kirsten Day, Augustana College

The Mechanics of Myth: The Trojan Horse on Film

Gregory Daugherty, Randolph-Macon College

A Portrait of the Engineer as a Young Man: Recovery of Talos in the Daedalus Myth by Jim Henson’s Storyteller (2005)

Roger Macfarlane, Brigham Young University

PANEL 1533 Gender, Technology, and Emotion in Horror and Science Fiction: Fembots and Fantasies of Compliance

Chair: Cary Elza, University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point

Bodied and Disembodied Minds in Her and “Be Right Back”

            Rebecca Bell-Metereau, Texas State University, San Marcos

Techno Fairy Tales, Female Posthumans, and the Gendered Gaze

            Nina K. Martin, Connecticut College

“Do you feel held?”: Gender, Community, and Affective Design in Midsommar

            Cary Elza, University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point

PANEL 153Real Places in Futuristic Fictions: How Filmmakers Use Actual Buildings as Settings for Science Fiction Futures

Chair: Vincent Casaregola, Saint Louis University

Urban Planning and the Road to Dystopia: How Planning Failures Are Echoed in Dystopic Film Visions

Robert Cropf, Saint Louis University

Machines for Living: Modernist Architecture as the Setting for Science Fiction

Vincent Casaregola, Saint Louis University

Session 4: 2:30-4:00 PM

PANEL 1541 Hardwired to the Grid IMore Human than Human: The Plight of the Transhumanism in Cyberpunk in Film, Television and New Media 

Chair: Benjamin Franz, Medgar Evers College

Tron: Legacy and the death of the Transhuman Utopia

Graham J. Murphy, Seneca College, Ontario, Canada

From Westworld (1973) to Westworld (2016): From Humanist to Post Humanist Science Fiction, or Cyberpunk redux

Mehdi Achouche, Jean Moulin University, Lyon, France

Star Trek, Reality and Life: A Window into Ontology, Consciousness and Humanity

Sarah Schiffman-Ackerman, Hunter College

PANEL 1542 Antiqui-tech IV: Harnessing technological force

Chair: Jennifer A. Rea, University of Florida

Atom Age Gladiator: The Curse of the Faceless Man (1958)

            Robert White, The Beaumont School (OH)

Archimedes and the Cold War: Soviet animation film ‘Kolya, Olya, and Archimedes’ (1972) and its political context

            Ekaterina But, The Ohio State University

From Cyclopes to Coagula: Allusions to Vergilian Invention in Jordan Peele’s Get Out (2017)

            Jennifer A. Rea, University of Florida

PANEL 1543 Form and Format 

Chair: Ido Lewit, Yale University

“A Return to Form:” Mutability of Format in the Superego Podcast

Megan Fariello, Independent Scholar

The Insta-Girl Next Door: Sexuality, Innocence and Technological Savvy in the Age of Social Media

Sara Ross, Sacred Heart University

Video Technology as Creating Discourse: Caché Once Again

Ido Lewit, Yale University

PANEL 1544 Technology and Gender 

Chair: John Alberti, Northern Kentucky University

“Trust Me, I’m a Doctor”: Debating Reproductive Rights in 1960s Medical Dramas

Caryn Murphy, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh

From Remington to IBM: The Gendered Relationship Between Women and the Typewriter

Lynne Byall Benson, University of Massachusetts, Boston

The Technology of Gender: Romcoms at the Edge of Chaos

John Alberti, Northern Kentucky University

Break: 4:00-4:30 PM 

Session 5: 4:30-6:00 PM

PANEL 1551 Antiqui-tech Roundtable

Chair: Meredith Safran, Trinity College

PANEL 1552 Technology in the Western: Roundtable

Chair: Sue Matheson, University College of the North, Manitoba, Canada

David Blanke, Texas A & M University, Corpus Christi

Christopher Minz, Georgia State University

Sue Matheson, University College of the North, Manitoba, Canada

PANEL 1553 Technology and Truth on Screen

Chair: Jo Ann Oravec, University of Wisconsin

Technology Towards Truth: The Sewol Ferry Disaster of South Korea and Intention

Hyo-Jeong Lee, Southern Illinois University

Polygraphs, AI Truth Machines, and Brain Scanning: Lie Detection Technologies and Ubiquitous Honesty Themes in Film 

Jo Ann Oravec, University of Wisconsin

7:00 PM  Special Screening and Panel Discussion: They Shall Not Grow Old

Chair: Gary Edgerton, Butler University

Peter Jackson: Documentarian as Historian

Chris Yogerst, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Digital Restoration as Historical Spectacle 

Tanine Allison, Emory University

Restoration, Revision or Enhancement: Colorization and Moving Image Archives

Mary K. Huelsbeck, Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research

What Is Old Is New Again: They Shall Not Grow Old, History, and Popular Memory

Gary R. Edgerton, Butler University

SATURDAY, November 16

Session 1: 8:00-9:30 AM

PANEL 1611 Rage Against the Machine II: Crafting Identities, Creating Communities: Social Media and Digital Connectivity in Independent Film and Media

Chairs: Matt Connolly, Minnesota State University, Mankato, and

Chelsea McCracken, State University of New York at Oneonta

From the Red Carpet to Cardboard Cutouts: The Promotion of Faces Places and the Auteur on Social Media

Matt St. John, University of Wisconsin, Madison

#Mompreneurs: Evangelicals, Latter-day Saints, and Network Marketing in the Age of Social Media

Victoria Le-Sweatman, University of Iowa

Visible Pirates: The Proliferation of Independent Film Communities with Digital Piracy

Hamidreza Nassiri, University of Wisconsin, Madison

PANEL 1612 Technology and the Visual

Chair: Richard Voeltz, Cameron University

Blended: The Digital Long Take 

Brian Brems, College of DuPage

Before the Boom: Early Zooms From 1927-1935 and Their Stylistic Legacy

Zachary Zahos, University of Wisconsin, Madison

They Shall Not Grow Old and Mimesis: African Soldier: Technology and Remembrance 

Richard Voeltz, Cameron University

PANEL 1613 The Industry II: Business

Chair: Kevin Hagopian, Pennsylvania State University

How exhibition technology affects film production

Mark Kerins, Southern Methodist University 

 “An Essential Industry”: Institutional Self-Reflexivity in the Wartime Motion Picture Industry, 1942-1945

Kevin Hagopian, Pennsylvania State University

Session 2: 9:45-11:15 AM

PANEL 1621    Hardwired to the Grid II: The Political Tech of Cyberpunk in Film, Television and New Media

Chair: Benjamin Franz, Medgar Evers College

Cyberpunk and the Problem of Dualism: Akira and Battle Angel: Alita

Jeffrey Ventola, Independent Scholar

A Fight on Two Fronts: On Jean Luc Godard’s La Chinoise

Shalon van Tine, Ohio University and Douglas Greene, Salem State University

Anatomy of Cyber-Torture: The Enhanced Interrogation of Altered Carbon Episode 1.4

Benjamin Franz, Medgar Evers College

PANEL 1622 Antiqui-tech VI: Narrative technologies                                                          

Chair: Janice Siegel, Hampden-Sydney College

Technology of the Double: Confronting the Dead through Archaeological Excavation

            Emma Scioli, University of Kansas

The Scholiast’s Dream: DVD Featurettes and Commentaries

Jon Solomon, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Gospel Truth: Ekphrasis and Narrative in Disney’s Hercules (1997)

            Dan Curley, Skidmore College

PANEL 1623 Film, Technology, Context

Chair: Tomer Fischer, Tel Aviv University, Israel

The Light of Day:  Discovering a Jam Handy Organization animated “orphan” film (industrial animation)

Brian Oakes, Kean University

 “It’s Just an Old Story”: Microform and Database Research in Horror Films 

Erin Hvizdak, Washington State University

It Was A Hit: Media Technologies as Experiences of Historicity in the Period Film Musical 

Tomer Fischer, Tel Aviv University, Israel

PANEL 1624 Mind Games: Technology, Psychology, and Identity

Chair: Gail Sheehan, Salem State University

Framing Ghost/Ghosts Framing: Reading Ghost with Mark BN Hansen’s New Philosophy for New Media

Myrna Moretti, Northwestern University

Hybridism in Cyberia:  Serial Experiments, Lain (1997-1998) as a Reflection of Hybridism in Japan and the Web

Ryan Freels, Southern Illinois University

A Trickster Psychic and a Psychic Trickster: The Technology of “Mentalism” in Two Films from the 1930s.

Gail Sheehan, Salem State University

Lunch Break: 11:30 AM-12:30 PM

Session 3: 12:45- 2:15 PM

PANEL 1631 Race and Ethnicity II: Harnessing IT for the Greater Good: Technology and Marginalized Voices 

Chair: Novotny Lawrence, Iowa State University

How Minority Women use Digital Media in American Comedy: 2 Dope Queens, Broad City and Tiffany Haddish

            Alex Symons, LIM College

Fix It Black Jesus!: The Iconography of Christ in Good Times

Novotny Lawrence, Iowa State University

PANEL 1632 Technology in the Western II:  Frontier Tech

Chair: Sue Matheson, University College of the North, Manitoba, Canada

DeMille’s Women in Westerns

David Blanke, Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi

Westworld’s Outlaw in the Age of Simulation

Erin Lee Mock, University of West Georgia

Stagecoaches and Coffeegrinders in John Ford’s Westerns

Sue Matheson, University College of the North, Manitoba, Canada

PANEL 1633 Antiqui-tech VII: Technology refigures the divine

Chair: Polly Hoover, Wilbur Wright College

Phones Are Fickle Gods: The Odyssey of Booksmart (2019)

Katie Cantwell, Independent Scholar

Pandora’s Effect: The Destructive Power of Technology and Hope in Jung-woo’s Pandora (2016)

Anastasia Pantazopoulou, University of Florida

The Technology of Memory: Park’s Oldboy (2003), Oedipus the King, and the Construction of Identity

Polly Hoover, Wilbur Wright College

PANEL 1634 The Industry III: Technology and Innovation

Chair: Caleb Allison, Indiana University

Sound recording practice in 1930s Hollywood: The ‘female’ voice at 165-255 Hz 

Casey Long, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Homemade and Jerry-Rigged: The Amateur Cinema Gadget during WWII

Caleb Allison, Indiana University

Session 4: 2:30-4:00 PM

PANEL 1641 Rage Against the Machine III: Streaming Independence: Platforms and Politics in Contemporary Digital Distribution

Chairs: Matt Connolly, Minnesota State University, Mankato, and

Chelsea McCracken, State University of New York at Oneonta

Harmonizing the Indie Niche: Data-Driven Independent Filmmaking and Censorship in China 

Hao Zhou, University of Iowa; Tyler Hill, University of Michigan

“Are You Still Watching?:” The Promise and Peril of Netflix’s “Streaming-Only” Model

Dora Valkanova, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Her Story: Building a Trans Network

Laura Stamm, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire

PANEL 1642 Antiqui-tech VIII: Technologies of desire

Chair: Stacie Raucci, Union College

Unlocking the Underworld: Golden Keys in the Aeneid and Battlestar Galactica (2003-2009)

Meredith E. Safran, Trinity College

Oh, Lambent Flame(r)!: Queer Pleasure and the Technicolor Sex Drive in Quo Vadis (1951)

Thomas J. West, Independent Scholar

Coiffures and Cosmetics: Crafting the Ancient Roman Woman on Screen

Stacie Raucci, Union College

PANEL 1643 Processing Trauma on Screen

Chair: Caroline Guthrie, College of Charleston

Safety Last on a Clock Tower: Interrogating Nuclear Trauma in Back to the Future

Khara Lukancic, Southern Illinois University

“My Father Died Before He Taught Me to Care:” The Trauma of Technology’s Failed Promise in The Venture Bros.

Caroline Guthrie, College of Charleston

PANEL 1644 Playing with Technology

Chair: A. Bowdoin Van Riper, Martha’s Vineyard Museum

Computer Gagged Imagery: Special Effects and Gag Construction in Contemporary Comedy

Luke Holmaas, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Licensed Merchandise: Technology Gadgets from Film and Television to Toy Store

David Sedman, Southern Methodist University

Cartoon Engineering: Fantastic Transportation in 1960s Film and Television

  1. Bowdoin Van Riper, Martha’s Vineyard Museum

Break: 4:00-4:30 PM

Session 5: 4:30-6:00 PM

PANEL 1651 Antiqui-tech IX: Worldbuilding in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey             

Chair: Hamish Cameron, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Pericles, Medusa, and Aliens? Using Science Fiction to Escape from History in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey

            Ky Merkley, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

 Resynchronizing Atlantis: Herodotos & Conspiratorial Euhemerism in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey

Hamish Cameron, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Pixelomachy: Battling the Gods in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey

Kira Jones, Emory University

PANEL 1652 Visions of the Technological Future

Chair: Christine Sprengler, Western University

The Shape of Things to Come: Mission: Impossible (1988-90) and Technology of the Future

Erwin Erhardt, University of Cincinnati

“For We Have Stomachs”: Future Food and Physical Instrumentality in Forbidden Planet (1956)

Thomas Prasch, Washburn University

Futuristic Fifties: The Postwar Imaginary in Last Man on Earth (1924), High Treason (1929), and Transatlantic Tunnel (1935)

            Christine Sprengler, Western University

6:30 PM Banquet and Keynote Address

An Interdisciplinary Journal