Twisted Dreams of History Conference, 11-13/9: Call for Papers

Twisted Dreams of History Conference, 11-13/9: Call for Papers

The Twisted Dreams of History. Subversiveness and Deformation in Animated Film from V4 Countries  focuses on animation, psychoanalysis and post-modernism.

The academic conference on Animated Film takes place Bielsko-Biała, Poland, between 11 and 13. 09. 2015,  is  supported by Visegrad Fund, and organized by Bielska Gallery BWA (Bielsko-Biała).


In his influential lecture "Philosophy and Post-Modern Culture" Rick Roderick makes an inspiring remark on a margin of deliberations on Sigmund Freud's theory of 'self'. Roderick argues that what he calls mass simulational or telecommunication culture may be described as "psychoanalysis in reverse", or "enlightenment in reverse gear". In other words, if the goal of psychoanalysis is to broaden the scope of consciousness into the oblivion of the unconscious, the ultimate objective of mass culture is to anesthetize the anguish of critical reflection and to sink the masses into the void of collective vacuity.

Roderick refers to mainstream culture of postmodern capitalism, but his observation is equally adequate as a description of the official culture of 20th and 21st century authoritarian states. In contrast to typical manifestations of culture subjugated to political powers, the kind of cultural creation that could be described by adjectives like "subversive", "insubordinate" or "discontent" both on social and individual plain leans heavily towards threads and motives censored from the dominant discourse due to existence of various social, political or economical taboos. The researchers are invited to ponder over the subjects that have always been swept under the rug of the mainstream culture.

The dialectical tension between interweaving and mutually conditioned notions of architecture of individual 'self' on the one hand, and forces that drive social processes on the other, belongs to the most compelling subjects of modern and postmodern humanities. Faithful successors as well as fierce critics of Marx and Freud (just to mention Erich Fromm, Jacques Lacan, Michel Foucault or Paul Ricoeur) explored the dark abyss of solipsism in a quest for a key to understanding the grand intersubjectivity of global politics.

However, the discursive reflection of intellectuals would have been nothing but an empty shell if it had not been complemented by artists' intuitive attempts to transcend the ancient maze of myths and dogmas that structure individual psyche, determine social mechanisms, and in some cases trigger historical cataclysms. In the course of 20th century, the medium of animated film has become specialized in portraying the dissident realm of intimate obsessions, obscure perversions and mighty rebellions – motives which have always been stirring wheels of censorship and propaganda as well as sponsorship and media interest

Closely linked to the conceptions of psychoanalysis and ideological critique, those key themes inspired the avant-garde movements of 1920s and 1960s, but also Eastern European filmmakers who challenged oppressive systems, as well as contemporary authors of conceptual, intermedia works.


The presentations ought to be dedicated to animated film from V4 countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia).

The main subject will be complemented with the special panel devoted to Italian animated and experimental film.

Subjects listed below should be treated as exemplary standpoints for speakers, an invitation for further mapping of distinctive features of animated film from V4 countries.

  • History and politics of the region mirrored in animated film (cultural heritage of Austro-Hungarian Empire, World Wars and their influences, communist regimes and the Cold War, democratic transformations, tradition of liberation movements and threat of nationalisms, etc.).
  • "Artistic contraband" now and then (propaganda and censorship; animation in communist countries, animation and capitalism, etc.).
  • Subversivness and deformation with style and aesthetics.
  • vant-garde, modernist tendencies and their legacy (absurd and grotesque; intermedia; experimental animation etc.
  • Animated film as a medium of obsession, perversion, or rebellion.
  • Authorial subjectivity in animated film.
  • Psychoanalysis in reflection on animated film.
  • Categories of "suppression", "sublimation" or "counter-culture" in animation.
  • Limits of perception – surreal and rational factors that determine animated film reception.
  • Dangerous minds of animated film – provocateurs, visionaries and jokers.

Submit your paper by 15/08/2015 by sending submission form to email-address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. The results will be announced no later than 31/08/2015.

Presentation of paper on the conference should be no longer than 20 minutes, and preferred language of speech is English. Requested language of paper submitted to planned monograph: English Participation in the conference is free of charge.

Academic patron: Mediterraneum The International Center for Studies and Research (Pedagogical University in Krakow) in partnership with: Pastiche Filmz (Olomouc), Anca NGO (Bratislava), MANIFESZT – Professional & Interest Association of Hungarian Makers of Animated Films (Budapest) and Italian Culture Institute in Krakow.

Visit the official conference page.


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