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Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film:  Special Issue on Early Film


Early film provides a wealth of information about Victorian performance practices, and Victorian theatre greatly influenced the development of film.  Both points have been well documented by David Mayer, among others, as exciting new work continues to demonstrate.  But there is much more to be learned and said about the reciprocal relationship between early cinema and nineteenth-century performance. Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film seeks submissions for a special issue on early film and its antecedents, including optical and narrative forms such as magic lantern shows, panoramas, silent films, and other visual or theatrical illusions.  All approaches to this capacious topic are welcomed (theoretical, technical, archival, historical, or hermeneutic), including considerations of the connections between early film and other arts (theatre, music, visual art, literature) as well as its links to print culture, history, philosophy and politics. 


Essays should be approximately 6,000 to 8,000 words, formatted according to the submission guidelines available on our website:  Submit online by 30 November, 2015 via the Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film ScholarOne website:  Essays not selected for this special issue will be considered for future issues of NCTF.  Questions may be addressed to one of the NCTF’s four Editors:  Jim Davis, University of Warwick; Janice Norwood, University of Hertfordshire; Patricia Smyth, University of Warwick; Sharon Aronofsky Weltman, Louisiana State University.


For nearly half a century, Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film has stood at the forefront of research in nineteenth-century performance of all kinds, construing theatre and film comprehensively. The journal welcomes discussion on any topic within the wide variety of theatrical arts that emerged from the Age of Revolution to the advent of sound motion pictures, as well as all ‘pre-cinema’ optical and narrative forms, ‘silent’ motion pictures and illusions. Considering narrative or variety entertainments from all countries and regions, Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film embraces not only drama and film but also dance, opera, music hall, circus, fairground entertainment, puppetry and other forms which implicate live audiences (actual, potential or imaginary). The journal regularly publishes essays, book reviews and review essays. Documents in photographic or critical facsimile and in annotated critical editions are also published, providing valuable primary material for the working scholar.