Arne Lunde, Associate Professor of Scandinavian Studies and Cinema & Media Studies, UCLA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Anna Stenport, Professor and Chair of the School of Modern Languages at Georgia Tech, effective August 16, 2016. email@example.com
Cinemas of Elsewhere: A Globalized History of Nordic Film Cultures offers a groundbreaking new approach to Nordic film studies and to other national and transnational film traditions. The book re-imagines the canon of Nordic cinemas as international, cosmopolitan, and transnational from its beginnings in the early silent period through its present dynamic over a century later. Cinemas of Elsewhere identifies the unknown or overlooked stories of movement, mobility, interaction, and engagement that have shaped not only the Nordic film traditions, but which also reframes Global Hollywood and World Cinemas. Cinemas of Elsewhere thereby intersects with and expands other interpretive traditions such as diasporic cinemas, exile cinemas, and transnational cinemas. Thus, this is not only a study of Nordic cinemas, or a study of Nordic film in isolation, but a book that mobilizes the term “Cinemas of Elsewhere,” which will contribute to expanding the study of other national cinemas in international contexts. Cinemas of Elsewhere draws on the specificity of Scandinavian cinema production, circulation, and influence to tell an alternative history of global film studies. Cinemas of Elsewhere articulates models to rethink dominant categories of film history, especially valuable for traditions that have been constituted as small, national, or regional. Any ‘national cinema’ is potentially an international one, through the circulation of films themselves as well as through bodies, practitioners, stars, styles, criticism, and capital. Cinemas of Elsewhere foregrounds these kinds of circulation as a central part of Nordic film history.
Cinemas of Elsewhere responds to a current global interest in the Nordic region. Scandinavian moving images have reached increasingly large audiences and received critical distinction outside their home countries during the last decade, including Nordic Noir, award-winning documentaries, auteur films, adaptations of Scandinavian TV-series and films in America and the UK, and music videos and video games. Cinemas of Elsewhere demonstrates how this kind of transnational movement has been a component of Scandinavian cinema since its inception. Most historical surveys have valorized certain periods and directors as high points of Nordic cinema: the golden ages of Danish and Swedish silent cinema in the 1910s and early 1920s, the emergence of the Swedish art cinema in the 1950s and 1960s, the revolutionary impact of the Danish Dogme 95 movement, etc. And although national framings have been convenient ways of historicizing this narrative, Cinemas of Elsewhere counter-argues that a great deal of Nordic cinema resists such categorizations and seeks to open up possibilities to tell complementary and alternative stories of Nordic cinemas elsewhere that have previously been overlooked.
Aspects and Approaches
Cinemas of Elsewhere foregrounds three analytical and interpretive strategies:
1) Practitioner mobility, sites of interaction, and filmic circulation. The book shows how practitioner movement shows the instability of the national cinema paradigm. Practitioner movement impacts all aspects of the cinematic production chain–from script development and casting to cinematography and distribution. The book also emphasizes the significance of a range of film production sites in the constitution of Nordic cinemas of Elsewhere, including Hollywood, Berlin, London, Paris, and Rome. Nordic Elsewheres in the documentary tradition, for example, is an important part of this global production and circulation, especially beyond Europe and North America.
2) Rethinking the directorial canon and star personae of Scandinavian cinema (Dreyer, Sjöström, Ingmar Bergman, Lars von Trier, Greta Garbo, Ingrid Bergman, the Skarsgård family, among others). This book finds reframes familiar films and personae through global and transnational approaches. This includes exploring art cinema through paradigms outside of auteurism and through materialist approaches, such as industrial practices, genre, markets/funding, studio systems, as well as through circulation and reception of canonized films.
3) The visual and the aural. The book seeks to discuss characteristics of Nordic cinemas in terms of both hybridity in style and production. Through a focus on the transnational heterogeneity in Nordic Cinemas of Elsewhere of both visual and spatial categories, the book addresses location and landscape representation or substitution, cinematographic visualization styles, aural or voiced articulations of Elsewheres (multivarious uses of language, accent, dubbing, and multilingual productions), and scores and soundtracks.
The Shape and Scope of the Book
This expansive book seeks to demonstrate a “Cinemas of Elsewhere” by Nordic filmmakers and performers outside their homelands, whether the contexts are trans-Scandinavian, trans-European, trans-Atlantic, trans-Oceanic, or global. This approach complements the rich and comprehensive previous scholarship on Nordic cinemas currently in the field. Cinemas of Elsewhere: A Globalized History of Nordic Film Cultures thereby seeks to write a history of Nordic cinemas beyond the conventional boundaries and definitions of the concept to date. The book follows a loose temporal progression, by force of its conceptual framework (i.e., explicitly globalized, transnational, and heterogeneous), but it is not a generic chronological survey. Instead, each chapter will function as a stand-alone case study, providing context and argument in relation to a defined set of examples. Cinemas of Elsewhere carefully identifies and links case studies over roughly two dozen chapters, providing rich connections between them. This ambitious project draws upon cinema and media scholars based in North America, Europe, Scandinavia, and beyond. It builds on new intellectual currents and paradigms from a range of subfields in cinema studies, and incorporates expertise from a wide range of methodologies and approaches.
Potential Topics (we welcome additional suggestions)
*Early Cinema Exhibition and Circulation Practices (actualitiés, distribution, pre-narrative cinema circulation)
*Greta Garbo in circulation
*Nordic Stars in German silent cinema (e.g., Asta Nielsen, Valdemar Psilander, Gösta Ekman)
*Scandinavian Directors in Silent and Classical Hollywood (e.g., Sjöström/Seastrom; Benjamin Christensen; Mauritz Stiller; Tancred Ibsen; Douglas Sirk)
* Nordic Stars in Silent Hollywood (e.g., Nils Asther, Lars Hanson, Karin Molander, Anna Q. Nilsson, Warner Oland, Anders Randolf)
*Carl Th. Dreyer as a pan-European filmmaker (e.g., France, Germany, Norway, Sweden)
*Jean Hersholt as a humanitarian and democratic welfare-state advocate in Hollywood
*Swedish stars in Nazi Germany (e.g., Zarah Leander and Kristina Söderbaum)
* Film circulation during the Second World War — The Nordic region straddling occupation, neutrality, and resistance
* 1950s: Opening up the World in Technicolor (fiction and documentary)
* Anita Ekberg and Ingrid Bergman in Italy
* Scandinavian art cinema canonized by and through the French New Wave, Cahiers du Cinéma, and la cinémathèque française
* Lesser-known Nordic actors, directors, and producers abroad
* Underground and cult classics with international reach
* I Am Curious Yellow and American censorship laws
* The international circulation of Scandinavian sex mythology
* Cold War cinemas
* Solidarity documentary filmmaking of the 1970s: “going abroad to do good”
* Nordic cinema and international film festivals
* The many facets, faces, and phases of Mai Zetterling
* Arne Sucksdorff in India and/or Brazil
* Ingmar Bergman in exile
* Experimental Art Cinema
* Male stars as Euro-villains (e.g., Max von Sydow; Alf Kjellin; Stellan Skarsgård; Dolph Lundgren; Mads Mikkelsen)
* Foreign art cinema filmmakers in Scandinavia (e.g., Andrei Tarkovsky, Susan Sontag)
* The “Amerika” of Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg
* The Nordic Western abroad (e.g., Zandy’s Bride, The Salvation)
* Stylized Assimilationists and European Art Cinema in Hollywood (e.g., Lasse Hallström; Bille August)
* The postmodernist Americanized style of Aki Kaurismäki (e.g., Leningrad Cowboys)
* Post-colonial Nordic cinema (e.g., Danish West Indies; Africa)
* Polar and Arctic film
* The wave of Award-winning 21st century internationalist Nordic Documentaries (could include Joshua Oppenheimer in Copenhagen)
* Transnational Suzanne Bier/Suzanne Bier in Europe and Hollywood
* Otherworldly Iceland and runaway productions
* The International Sami Film Institute and global indigenous film cultures
* Nordic Noir traveling the world
* Nordic TV-drama in global circulation (especially with a focus on women TV practitioners)
* Animation (classical, CGI, new developments)
* Gaming (e.g., Minecraft)
* Music industry and music videos (e.g., Jonas Åkerlund)
* Scandinavian Directors Making Global Hollywood Action Film (e.g., Nicolas Winding Refn)
* Contemporary Nordic Directors and Stars in Hollywood
* The missing topic: yours to propose!
Timeline and Production Specifics
We invite contributions in two categories: short subject (2,000 words, max) and chapters (5,500 words, max). Short subjects can have one image; chapters two.
August 1, 2016: 300-word abstracts with a five-item bibliography and 100-word author biography due
April 1, 2017: final manuscript with images due. Please follow the Chicago 16th system (in-text parenthetical citation with bibliography at the end. No footnotes or endnotes) and standard American spelling.
August 15, 2017: complete manuscript submitted to press for peer-review
January 1, 2018: contributions returned to authors for revisions
May 1, 2018: final manuscript to press
December 2018: publication
Dr. Arne Lunde
Associate Professor of Scandinavian Studies and Cinema & Media Studies
212 Royce Hall, Box 951539
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1539
Dr. Anna Westerståhl Stenport
Professor of Scandinavian and Media and Cinema Studies
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2090 FLB, 707 S Mathews Ave, Urbana IL 61801 (until August 15, 2016)
Professor and Chair of the School of Modern Languages at Georgia Tech (effective August 16, 2016)