May 5-6, 2023 | İstanbul, Turkey

Department of Cinema, Istanbul Bilgi University
Location: Santralistanbul
Submission Deadline is postponed due to the earthquake disaster: March 15, 2023

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:​
Gillian Rose (University of Oxford)
Giuliana Bruno (Harvard University)

Call for Submissions

The concept of border crossing and conquest, or the acquisition of territory, has widely been cast as patriarchal, whereas the ocean’s fluidity, the darkness, and the endless immensity of the sea are often considered ‘dangerously feminine’. The mythological assumptions that operate in many ancient philosophical writings qualify the feminine with formlessness, wetness and darkness, qualities that indicate non-governability, unpredictability and monstrosity, qualities ascribed to the ocean.

Hester Blum suggests that, “in its geophysical, historical, and imaginative properties, the sea […] provides a new epistemology – a new dimension – for thinking about surfaces, depths, and the extra-terrestrial dimensions of planetary resources and relations”. With a special interest in the relationships between the oceanic, the moving image and the feminine, the fifth annual conference of İstanbul Bilgi University, Department of Film and Television, follows the call of ‘oceanic studies’ for a new epistemology that thinks with water and from water so as to explore the possibility of an oceanic flux in films and film studies. After all, moving image arts offers a great potential to think with the waves, currents and tides of water so as to narrate alternative stories. Highlighting this potential, the conference focuses on artistic imaginings of land and sea in moving image arts – film, video, video essay and etcetera, aspiring to seek new topographical vantage points for viewing the internal and the external worlds. We would like to invite contributors to contemplate on artistic and scholarly acts of leaving the static and solid ground of the terrestrial lands and diving into the intangible, unknowable, inhabitable, unpredictable oceans.

Besides traditional academic papers and roundtables, the conference welcomes non-traditional papers and workshop proposals, video essays, films, and videos. Individual paper presentations will be limited to 15 minutes. We will also consider pre-constituted, 30-minute roundtable discussions with 3-5 designated participants. For films, videos and video essays, the conference presentation will consist of up to 10 minutes for screening the work (an excerpt may be selected if the full video essay exceeds this limit), followed by 10 minutes of commentary from the creator.

Please submit an abstract (max 300 words), 3-5 bibliographical sources, 3-5 keywords, and a short CV by February 15, 2023. The selected abstracts for the symposium will be announced by March 5, 2023.

Abstracts selected for presentation will be published online prior to the conference. Full papers selected for publication will be announced after the conference. The conference language is English and no simultaneous translation will be provided.

Contact person: Nilüfer Neslihan Arslan,

Submission Topics

Possible topics for papers, roundtables, video essays, films and videos include, but are not limited to:

  • Feminist geographies in film and media
  • Fluidity as a cinematic aesthetic
  • Unstructured, unfixed, fluid, instable, mutant narrative forms
  • Ocean, place and space in film
  • Male/female/queer gaze, queering spaces at land and sea
  • Non-human perspectives/gaze/aesthetics in film/media
  • Ecocinema and the more-than-human world
  • Utopian and dystopian portraits of land and sea
  • Global movements, migration routes and transnational interactions across the oceans
  • Seascapes, islands, islanders, beaches and tales of voyage
  • Liminal space of the shorelines and its inhabitants
  • Maritime imagery, maritime communities and spaces in film/media
  • Spatial thinking as transdisciplinary paradigm
  • Reflections on ‘fieldwork’ at land and sea
  • The ‘oceanic archives’

Organizing Committee

Dr. Feride Çiçekoğlu | Istanbul Bilgi University

Dr. Ebru Thwaites Diken | Istanbul Bilgi University

Dr. Ayça Çiftçi | Istanbul Bilgi University

Dr. Ayşegül Kesirli Unur | Istanbul Bilgi University

Dr. Beth Tsai | University of California, Santa Barbara

Dr. Katie Bird | The University of Texas at El Paso

Dr. Gökçen Erkılıç | Harvard University

Dr. Diğdem Sezen | Teesside University

Dr. Şirin Erensoy | Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF

Res. Assist. Nilüfer Neslihan Arslan | Istanbul Bilgi University