Author Topic: Boris Karloff: The Many Faces of a Film Icon - Deadline: 2020-05-29  (Read 124 times)

nicholasdiak

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Boris Karloff: The Many Faces of a Film Icon – A Critical Symposium
30th October 2020
Plymouth College of Art, UK

Boris Karloff was born William Henry Pratt in 1887, in the then-small village of Camberwell, Surrey (now part of South London). Most often remembered as the star of Frankenstein (dir. James Whale, 1931) and two of its sequels (Bride of Frankenstein in 1935 and Son of Frankenstein in 1939), Karloff’s career spanned more than half a century, from the silent era to New Hollywood where he worked with Peter Bogdanovich on the highly experimental film Targets (1968), in what proved to be one of his final feature performances. In addition to Whale and Bogdanovich, Karloff worked under a number of significant directors over the course of his career, including Mario Bava, Roger Corman, Michael Curtiz, John Ford, Howard Hawks, Michael Reeves, Douglas Sirk, Jacques Tourneur, and Robert Wise. For many, Karloff was and remains “one of the screen’s greatest madmen” (Darryl Jones, 2002). While Karloff’s star image is mostly intertwined with the horror genre, this dedicated symposium hopes to invite both new perspectives on some of the actor’s most iconic roles, as well as draw attention to the many other faces of Boris Karloff, both on- and off-screen. It is our aim to demonstrate that Karloff was more than the sum of his most famous parts; that the mercurial man who gave a “profoundly sympathetic performance” (Jones) as Frankenstein’s infamous monster was an actor with impressive range that is demonstrated by a rich and expansive filmography.

Boris Karloff: The Many Faces of a Film Icon will take place at Plymouth College of Art on 30 October 2020 where we hope to draw together a range of speakers and attendees all interested in various aspects of Karloff’s life and career.

In correspondence with this event, we will showcase archival materials hitherto unseen that relate to Karloff’s career. The event is being organised in collaboration with the Plymouth Arts Cinema who will be providing an evening programme which includes screenings of some of Karloff’s feature films. More information regarding the event, as well as the keynote speakers, will be announced in due course.
Boris Karloff: The Many Faces of a Film Icon has already attracted the attention of a publisher. Our hope is that this symposium will lead to a peer-reviewed publication, providing an opportunity for some of the speakers to expand their work into full chapters in an edited collection.
Topics for chapters may include, but are not limited to:

Any of Karloff’s feature films
Karloff and his collaborators (co-stars, directors, producers, etc.)
Karloff in Hollywood
Marketing Karloff
Karloff and film stardom, or uses of his star image
Karloff’s performances, including as a silent film star through to his late-career performances
Karloff and franchises
Karloff as a horror icon
Karloff as a transnational star
Karloff and masculinity
Karloff and race
Karloff and monstrosity
Archival work on Karloff
Writing on Karloff, including biographies
Your own suggested idea

Submission details

We would like to invite abstracts for 20 minute papers of approximately 250 words, accompanied by a short biographical statement. The deadline for proposals is Friday 29th May 2020 (with confirmation to follow in the weeks following that). Please address any inquiries to Dr Eddie Falvey at efalvey@pca.ac.uk who will reply on behalf of the organising panel. Abstracts should be emailed to boriskarloff@pca.ac.uk.