LFA 2024: Recognition and Empathy




SEPTEMBER 26-28, 2024 


Film screening and Conversation: Dina Amer, director of You Resemble Me (2021)

Keynote: Elsie Walker, Salisbury University, author of Life 24x A Second: Cinema, Selfhood, and Society (Oxford UP, 2023)

In many ways, our current social and political moment has been marked by the challenges of recognizing and empathizing with others: an increasingly polarized US electorate is set to (re)litigate a divisive election that never really left the news; the rapid advances in generative AI have everyone scrutinizing the differences between human and non-human intelligences; and numerous political and climate crises challenge our conceptual divisions between recognition and responsibility, action and empathy, “us” and “them.”

Adaptations, in addition to being based in the comparative act of recognizing and reconciling one text with another time, place, or medium, may also promote empathy with unfamiliar characters and contexts. How can adaptations act as a bridge between nations, subcultures, and generations? How does the act of adapting theorize the act of (mis)recognition and the practice of empathy? Are adaptations, in other words, empathetic media?

While we welcome papers on any aspect of film and media studies, we are especially interested in papers exploring one or more of the following topics concerning otherness, recognitions, and adaptation:

  • Depictions of otherness across verbal, visual, and interactive modes of art
  • Politically-motivated reimaginings of cultural touchstones
  • Uncanny resemblances and (mis)recognitions in adaptation
  • Reception of texts with transgenerational and/or international appeal
  • Adaptations of non-fiction works or legal documents
  • Nostalgia and empathy in film and media
  • Recognition of and identification with characters
  • Encounters with AI and nonhuman intelligences
  • Affect studies and adaptation
  • The failures of or potential for adaptations as empathetic media

We also have significant interest in general studies of American and international cinema, film and technology, television, new media, and other cultural or political issues connected to the moving image. In addition to academic papers and pre-constituted panels, presentation proposals about pedagogy or from creative writers, artists, video essayists, and filmmakers are also welcome.

The conference registration fee is $200 ($150 for students and retirees) before September 1, 2024 and $225 ($175 for students and retirees) thereafter. All conference attendees must also be current members of the Literature/Film Association. Annual dues are $20.

Presenters will be invited to submit their work to the Literature/Film Quarterly for potential publication. For details on the journal’s submission requirements, visit their website here.

To register for the conference and pay dues following acceptance of your proposal, select your registration and click on the PayPal “Buy Now” button below that will take you to where you can sign in to your PayPal account and complete the transaction. If you aren’t registering for the conference but want to join or renew as a member, you may just pay membership dues ($20).


Conference Registration