North! Mapping Cinematic Norths

Friday May 2nd 10-6, Showroom Cinema Sheffield

This event, hosted by the Sheffield Centre for Research in Film, invites exploration of the representation, construction and function of North in film.

The North retains a singularity and certitude in its magnetic signaling of trajectory, route, and direction (home) yet, as Peter Davidson’ reminds us in The Idea of North (2005), ‘Everyone has a different north, their own private map of the emotional – indeed the moral – geography of north and south.’

remains an important relational positioning, a loaded projection, an
emphatic somewhere and a powerful elsewhere. Such relational sites are
imbued with cultural, economic and political geographies, epitomized by the defiant signage of Sheffield’s Designers Republic which proclaims their place as ‘North of Nowhere’ TM.

evoke topographical and meteorological challenge, landscapes of harsh
remoteness, austere beauty and meditative emptiness. Constructions of
space and place characterized by both passionate solidarities and
haunting solitudes, sparkling utopias and dark nostalgias, industrial
heartland, badland, borderland, no man’s land.

plotting of these myriad Norths, which bewitch compasses and confound
maps in their elusive, shifting and relational natures can be explored
and traced in moving images.

Suggested areas for discussion include:

– the construction of different relational Norths
– the role of north-ness in constructions of star identity (auteurs and actors)
– Romantic ethnographies and Northern-ness
– landscapes and soundscapes of the North
– national and transnational constructions of Norths
– genre and North
– the role of national / regional policies for funding film production

We invite proposals for 20 minute papers. Please send proposals (200 words) to – Deadline: Friday 21st March