Call for Papers

Ekphrasis. Images, Cinema, Theory, Media

Vol. 27, issue 1/2022

Modern, Modernity and Modernism in Contemporary Romanian Cinema 


As Deleuze concluded his second volume about cinema thinking, his paradoxical observation described our society as it looked ”like a bad film”. Since the modern man no longer ”believed in this world”, Deleuze claimed, this particular world experience has produced a particular mode of cinematic expression. Many film theorists accepted the fact that cinema narrations, visual and cinematographic practices, and more broadly a distinctive cinema stylistic have rendered what we can call a typically modern worldview into a mode of filmmaking. The solutions provided by art cinema or arthouse cinema, as it was again Deleuze who advanced the concept of a "modernist film” linked with the several European cinema practices, are not exhausted as modernity and modernism have not exhausted their potential.

The answers provided by the modern cinema and the modernist filmmakers are still offering spectators access to an experience that enables a distinct form of thinking based on distinguishable forms of dealing with time, space and human thinking. Authors like András Bálint Kovács (in Screening Modernism: European Art Cinema, 1950–1980) have expanded on these links between ”art cinema” and European cinema, by identifying a visual style that can be attributed to modernist cinema. A mode of making movies based on long takes and a slow pace has created a specific form of expression in the Romanian contemporary film industry.

This issue of Ekphrasis is dedicated to the discussion of notions like modern, modernism, modernist, modernistic and even more broadly modernity as linked to the recent productions made by Romanian cinema makers. With modernity and modernization an ongoing social and political process in Romanian society, many recent films have exposed the limits and challenges of a world always in-between the past and the present. Considering that the films created by authors like Cristian Mungiu, Cristi Puiu and their fellow cinema makers today provide an opportunity to discuss the impact of the ”modernist turn” in cinema, this issue of our journal questions the theoretical and practical contribution of Romanian films to modern culture. Together wit the relationship between the principles of modernist art and modern cinema, storytelling practices and worldviews are integral to what can be described as the metaphysics of modernity.

Ultimately, together with Bruno Latour, we must ask if we have never even been modern at all, and search for the never-ending impulses of modernistic thinking.


Suggested Topics: (not limited to these examples)

Reflexive mode and modernist thinking

Slowness and silence in modern cinema

Interstice, interval and in-betweeness

Modernist narrative practices in cinema

Metaphysics, subjectivity and transcendental filmmaking

Trauma and memory as modern questions

Ethics, morality and modernity

Alienation and estrangement

Uncertainty and disquietude



Guide for authors:

We welcome proposals for papers from all theoretical approaches and also from practice-based researchers or artists.

Deadline proposals (150-200 words): 15 January 2022

Acceptance notice: 25 January 2022

Final submission deadline: (5,000-9,000 words for articles, including a 300 word abstract, 5-7 keywords, and a list of references; for book reviews 2,000-3,000 words): 1 March 2022.

Issue editor: Doru Pop, e-mail: or


Note to authors: Both the proposal and the final text should observe the submission guidelines to be found on our website: and the recommended MLA citation style.  











Ekphrasis. Images, Cinema, Theory, Media


Vol. 28, issue 2/2022


Science fiction sagas, popular culture and the political values of the 21st Century 

With Isaac Asimov's first Foundation novel published in 1951, and Frank Herbert’s first Dune novel published in 1965, the renewed interest in recent films and television series like Apple+ The Foundation and Denis Villeneuve's Dune indicate a return to classic science fiction storytelling. Yet these new versions of these big sci-fi sagas have also raised several questions concerning today's transformations in cinema and television production, narration, and overall cultural impact.

This issue of Ekphrasis is interested in contributions critically discussing the evolution of these epic forms of storytelling, with close critical attention to their social and political dimensions.

The last great science fiction saga, written by Isaac Asimov, one of the fathers of science fiction literature, is now adapted for popular culture consumption. In 2021 AppleTV+ has presented the viewers with an ambitious transformation of The Foundation Cycle. The first ten installments of the series were already aired and more recently the production team announced the filming of season 2, indicating the intent to continue a large-scale project that brings to screen one of the amplest narratives, which includes complex social and political references. Couple with fact that Frank Herbert's Dune, the other great science fiction saga making a comeback, with comic books, video games, and TV series developed, they are indications of a process with wide impact. After its first adaptation for cinema in 1982, then John Harrison’s television series aired by the Scifi channel, and now with Villeneuve's new version in 2021, the universe of Dune offers ample illustrations for the historical transformation. Last but not least, one of the most popular productions created by Netflix, Altered Carbon, which was the adaptation of the Takeshi Kovacs saga, created by Richard D. Morgan, is yet another example of a classic science fiction story recuperated.

All three examples have been popular and, at the same time, raised several controversies. In the reimagining of Isaac Asimov's seminal novel by Apple TV+ familiar characters were changed and new elements were added, pointing to major differences between the adaptation and the source material. The theatrical release of the first Dune made by Villeneuve, together with its HBO Max simultaneous distribution, also lead to criticism about distribution, production and directorial decissions. 

We invite contributions to examine issues of ideology, identity, race, and gender in these science-fiction narrations transformed from their classical form to the contemporary versions.


Key questions include (but are not limited to)

Science Fiction sagas in the 21st century

Classic science-fiction narratives and political engagement

Transformation of classic sci-fi tropes and characters

Critical theory and science-fiction sagas

Gender, sexuality, and empowerment in new science-fiction storytelling

Social norms transformations in sci-fi films and television series

Science-fiction sagas past and present paradigms

The evolution of sci-fi sagas in contemporary popular culture

The new production platforms and their impact on the sci-fi genre



Please use examples limited to the filmography and bibliography included in the call, only papers referring to the aforementioned works will be accepted.


Issue editor: Doru Pop

Deadline for proposals, between 150 and 200 words: March 25th, 2022.

Acceptance notice: April 5, 2022

The final submission is due July 31st, 2022.

Date of publication: December 15, 2022.

Both proposals and final texts should be in English and should follow the style sheet available on our website ( The final submission should include a 5,000-9,000-word article, including a 150-word abstract, 5-7 keywords, a list of references (only the cited works), and a 150-word author's bio. Proposals and final submissions should be formatted as Word documents and sent to: or

The articles should be original material not published in any other media before.

Ekphrasis is a peer-reviewed academic journal, edited by the Faculty of Theatre and Television, “Babes-Bolyai” University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Ekphrasis is indexed in Emerging Sources Citation Index (Clarivate Analytics), SCOPUS, ERIH PLUS, EBSCO, NSD, and CEEOL.