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Animate Energies

It is with sadness that we announce the postponement of the Annual Conference that had been scheduled to take place at Tulane University, New Orleans, 15-18 June 2020. The conference will now take place at Tulane University in 2021, with the exact date to be confirmed. Information about the 2021 conference will be shared as it becomes available via the SAS email list and the current conference website. If you are not already a member, please consider joining the SAS to keep up to date on conference developments and to benefit from its global network of scholars and practitioners,

Conference registration fees will be refunded automatically by the Tulane conference team. If you do not see the refund in your account within the next few weeks, please contact:<>.

If you have booked to stay at the conference hotel (Marriott Courtyard New Orleans French Quarter/Iberville), you will be able to request your refund directly with the hotel. If you have any difficulties, please contact the Tulane conference team for assistance.

Presenters accepted in 2020 who wish to re-submit their accepted paper for the 2021 conference will be guaranteed a place. By not carrying papers automatically over for the 2021 conference, and imposing a re-submission process, we hope to create a situation where there is some natural evolution, with some presenters developing new research, and thereby providing space for new proposals to come through for consideration and acceptance. We have taken this approach to ensure that early career researchers, new practitioners, and grad students are not placed at a disadvantage due to the extreme circumstances that have led to this postponement.

We also welcome delegates who had proposals accepted, who already have their research completed and would like to share their findings this year, to consider submitting to the Animation Studies 2.0 blog. The blog will dedicate the month of June to posts of this type. A dedicated CFP with all submission information will be circulated next month to accepted conference presenters. For anyone reading this who is interested more generally in submitting work, the open call guidelines can be found here<;;sdata=MmP9H3rjEaOYOVsxegrYwAthROjltzfUsmWuLf1lOeQ%3D&amp;reserved=0>.

Additionally, we will be reaching out to individual SIG conveners to discuss their plans for 2020, especially exploring the potential to run some activities online. We see this as one way that we might overcome the need to physically isolate throughout 2020 (necessary to combat COVID-19), and thereby engage in meaningful exchanges around specific SIG themes.

We hope that you all stay safe and well.

The SAS Board and SAS 2021 Conference Team



“Animate Energies” evokes animation’s dialectical definitions and practices—animating the inanimate, endowing with life, making objects move, and, in many cases, the tedious work or mechanical labor concealed behind expressions of freedom and possibility. It also evokes forces, powers, and resources that can be exploited, overlooked, or taken for granted, and that can generate resistance, activism, and new possibilities. Furthermore, to measure energy is to describe action and transformation within a system, whether that be an apple, rock pile, person, animation studio, or global media network. This mode of thinking about the energy of systems complicates anthropocentric and agent-centered ideas about the experience of animating or viewing animation.

The conference theme “Animate Energies” invites inquiry into the various human and nonhuman elements motivating and mediating production, distribution, exhibition, and reception. This includes efforts to understand the forces holding together distinct media assemblages—national and transnational studios, distribution infrastructure, aesthetic traditions, fan communities, transmedia narratives, and combinations thereof. It encourages participants to consider how animation enhances thinking about media not in terms of agents and objects but movements, flows, and energies.

This mode of inquiry includes comparing theories of animation to theories of mediation. Are claims that media constitute conditions and situations, extend and shape the human, create worlds, and structure being also the claims of animation? How might animation, in its many forms and definitions, draw attention to the energies of media or the activity, agency, and vitality of background conditions, structures, and environments, whether technological, economic, political, social, or ecological?

This theme is particularly germane to the conference site, New Orleans, which is home to energy and media industries and a broad range of cultural and artistic currents. The city has endured much and continues to face political and environmental challenges. Given that the city’s resilient and vibrant artist, activist, minority, indigenous, and migrant communities live increasingly at risk, we welcome proposals that support these groups and address issues pertinent to New Orleans and the Global South.


This conference has been generously supported by the Maurice L. Silverstein Film Studies Fund.
Website management and design by: Chanell Robertson.
Audiovisual content has been adapted from Nathan Halverson’s Absolute Difference