CFP: Embodied Film Language

We invite paper proposals for a symposium on

Embodied Film Language – Filmic narration as a biocultural phenomenon

Time and date: University of Helsinki, Friday to Saturday 4-5 December 2015
Organizing parties:

  • Helsinki University Film and Television Studies
  • Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies (Lyuba Bugaeva)
  • Helsinki University Theatre Studies post-graduate seminar
  • Helsinki University Doctoral School in Humanities and Social Sciences
  • University of the Arts, Helsinki
  • Finnish Society for Cinema Studies

Core approaches: Cognitive science, formalist film analysis, phenomenology and hermeneutics

Keynote speakers:

  • Eija-Liisa Ahtila (Finnish Academy of Fine Arts)
  • Lyuba Bugayeva (St Petersburg State University)
  • Aaron Taylor (Lethbridge University)


How film narration on different levels of perception and understanding

  •  is based on mechanisms of perception and cognition that have developed through our evolution
  • builds on our ability to infer on the basis of body language what other people are doing and why (embodied proto-narratives)
  • emerges through acting in relation to what has been referred to as ”intentional visual behaviour of film” (Sobchack)
  • models simultaneously both our biological and social being-in-the-word and our orientation towards it
  • adapts other arts particularly as regards the narrativization of body language (facial expressions, gestures, prosodic features)
  • calibrates verbal and nonverbal expressions by stylistic means
  • participates in the construction of both collective and individual identities
  • creates, echoes and negotiates selfhood vs. otherness patterns and encounter related scenarios
  • expresses cultural differences related to body language

Proposals of max. 400 words on these or closely related topics should be sent to Henry Bacon ( by 31. August 2015. Symposium organizers will assist in making bookings for accommodation, but basically participants will have to make their own arrangements.



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