Call for papers: Cinema, soft power and geo-political change

The international conference takes place on 19-21 June 2017 at The Carriageworks in Leeds.

This international conference seeks to bring together scholars of soft power and audiovisual culture in the context of both emerging nations and geo-political shifts more broadly in the 21st century. It will explore the implications for global film culture of the apparent shift in power relations between the developed and developing world, along with the increasing emphasis national and transnational organisations place on the role of ‘soft power’ in global foreign policy. The diverse, and often competing ways nations engage with film as a medium of artistic expression, on the one hand, and a soft power/cultural diplomacy/nation-branding ‘resource’ on the other, along with the wider implications for world cinemas of these nations’ very different, and dynamic, positions within the global media landscape, remain to be investigated comparatively. Thus the time is clearly ripe to explore in greater detail the employment of soft-power strategies by emerging nations, and how developed nations are adjusting their presence in the global media landscape, in order to nuance discussions on what successful soft power ‘looks like’ in different parts of the globe, and by providing analysis from the perspective of film culture.

The conference programme will include film-related events - screenings, Q&As with directors and round-table discussions with festival organisers.  

Confirmed speakers:
Daya Thussu, Westminster;
Ying Zhu, CUNY, Staten Island;
Stephen Norris, Miami University of Ohio;
Stephanie Dennison, Leeds;
Rachel Dwyer, SOAS (London);
Paul Cooke, Leeds;
Vlad Strukov, Leeds;
Chris Homewood, Leeds;
Alessandra Meleiro, UFSCar, Brazil;
Song Hwee Lim, Chinese University of Hong Kong;
Will Massa, Senior Film Programmer, British Council.

Abstracts (300 words, plus short biography and bibliography) that engage with these ideas are welcomed.
Deadline for receipt of abstracts: 9 January 2017, with confirmation of acceptance within two weeks of deadline. Please send abstracts to