Call for Chapters. Film Stock: Histories, Technologies, Aesthetics

Edited by Alice Lovejoy, Kirsty Sinclair Dootson and Pansy Duncan

Contributions are sought for Film Stock: Histories, Technologies, Aesthetics, a volume that aims to offer a critical overview of the history of film stock in its multiple material, technical, social, political, industrial, and aesthetic dimensions. The scope of the book is conceived in truly global terms: we particularly welcome contributions that address non-Western contexts, as well as contributions that work between national or regional contexts. The book’s focus on film stock as a form of material culture is animated by a host of recent and emergent trends in the discipline of film and media studies, and we anticipate that contributions will critically engage with film stock’s many material components, its ecological and environmental aspects, its economic and industrial histories, and the ideological underpinnings of its material and technical bases. We welcome contributions not only from film scholars but also from archivists, preservationists, and practitioners; proposals for contributions of various lengths are welcome.

Because this volume aims to be a sourcebook, we seek contributions that are based in particular historical and industrial contexts, but also address broader questions pertaining to the materiality of media, the history of cinema, etc. Essays should explore the production, distribution, and use of film stock from the 1890s to the present and may address, but are by no means limited to, the following topics:

  • corporate histories of film manufacturers: Fuji, Ilford, Gevaert, Glanzfilm, Ferrania, etc.
  • connections between film aesthetics and new film stock technologies
  • the impact of sound, color, widescreen, and stereoscopy on film stock manufacturing and processing
  • film stock manufacturing processes and components; labor histories of stock manufacturing and processing
  • laboratory histories and/or cultures
  • the management and control of film stock under different political regimes
  • the relationship between film stock and other materials (e.g., plastics) and other industries
  • social and cultural histories of film stock addressing issues of representation and identity; e.g., race, ethnicity, gender, etc.
  • the effect of new stocks on adjacent technologies such as lighting and make-up
  • questions of climate, environment, and travel upon the production and use of stock
  • the ecological impacts of film stock (extraction, production, waste)
  • the movement of stock between different national contexts
  • comparisons of different stocks: e.g., nitrate and acetate

Please send 500-word abstracts, including an indication of expected essay length, and short contributor bios to Alice Lovejoy (, Kirsty Sinclair Dootson ( and Pansy Duncan ( by July 30, 2019. Contributors will be notified in August/September 2019, and finished essays will be due in August/September 2020. Queries may also be addressed to the editors at the above email addresses.