Special issue of CLCWeb

Deadline: June 15, 2024

Cineture: Cultural Negotiation between Iran and the US
through Intermediality and Transmediality

Amid the current global pandemic, literature and film continue to serve as influential socio-cultural mediums connecting nations and their cultures. This special issue aims to foster cultural exchange between Iran and the United States, highlighting their enduring sociocultural affinity rather than politically driven narratives. As such the focus is on emphasizing the lasting cultural ties between the two nations, rather than narratives that are predominantly shaped by political agenda. It underscores the importance of understanding the depth of sociocultural relationships and the enduring cultural connections between Iran and the US beyond the immediate political context. Despite existing research on Iranian-American relations, limited attention has been given to what Hamid Dabashi terms the “circulation of ideas” within Iranian and American society and culture. This issue’s focus centers on the examination of cultural products, specifically literature and film, through the lenses of intermediality and transmediality. It explores how cineture, a term coined to denote the fusion of cinema and literature, serves as a vehicle for cross-cultural dialogue. Cineture encompasses the mobility of cultures through the blending of literary and cinematic works, elucidating the connections between diverse cultures and various media forms. As a transmedial genre, cineture illuminates the intricate relationships between circulation, context, and meaning in the domains of film and literature, achieved
through a process referred to as “film-text-transmediation.” In essence, this concept underscores the complex dynamics of transformative circulation between films and literature and its profound impact on the interpretation and reception of texts and films across different cultural contexts. Additionally, it can also address moments of contradiction, unevenness, or inequity presented in films and texts in different cultures. It covers, on the one hand, filmmakers’ use of literary techniques such as irony, interior monologue or aside, metaphor, and metafiction. On the other hand, it demonstrates how authors use cinematic techniques like cut-scenes, flash-back and flash-forward, and cinematic dialogue form as well as different filmic references to describe their characters’ philosophy, state of mind, and experiences.

The aim of this special issue is to address how the gap in both Iranian-American studies and approaches to cultural globalization can be filled by studying “the processes that circulate people, objects and information at various spatial ranges and speeds,” through cineture as a transmedial genre. Transmediality is a term initiated by Henry Jenkins (2007), and it refers to the fabrication of narratives in relation to or interwoven with multiple media forms. While traditional narratives are based on one medium, transmedial narratives move from one medium to another through the act of extension (Jenkins 2011) and expansion (Marie-Laure Ryan 2013). This feature provides this opportunity to
combine genres and mediums in order to study inter-transnational cultural interactions and mobility. While cultural mobility studies have primarily centered on direct interactions between countries, cineture uniquely emphasizes the dynamic and evolving indirect cultural mobility between nations through their literary and film productions. Hence, cineture centers on dialectical interactions, negotiations, and counteractions between cultures and nations by conducting comparative analyses of the intermediality within literary and filmic works. As a result, in the intricate dynamic of cineture as a new genre, cultural dialectics are negotiatory in which “the relationship between the individual, the producer, and the cultural world, the product, is and remains a dialectical one.” This approach, as Arshin Adib-Moghaddam argues, fosters a form of interaction (in our case, between Iran and the United States) wherein cultural products (namely literature and film), cultural actors (such as authors and artists), and cultural institutions, from disparate regions in the world engage in a meaningful dialogue. In the evolving realm of cineture, a fusion of cinema and literature, cultural dialectics serve as the negotiation points where diverse cultural perspectives intersect and interact. This dynamic interaction within cineture allows for the exploration, critique, and reconciliation of diverse cultural perspectives, fostering a nuanced understanding of cultural interactions within the complex framework
of cineture as an emerging genre. The editors are interested in papers that study how Iranian and American literature and cinema act against or for, propagate or negate either nation’s role in cultural negotiation (/circulation) through “the spreading of culture-defining stories across media.” Potential topics for contributions to the call for papers may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Comparative analysis of Iranian and American literary and cinematic works.
  • The nuance (intersection) of literary and cinematic techniques in (Iranian and American)
    cultural productions.
  • The fusion of literature and film in cineture in creating a cross-cultural dialogue between Iran
    and the US.
  • Intermediality and transmediality at the service of conveying sociopolitical interactions and
  • The reception and interpretation of Iranian and American in the context of cultural
  • Interact, counteract, and influence of Iranian and American cultural products within their
    respective country of origin.
  • The circulation of Iranian and American cultural products through various media platforms, and
    its implications for cultural diplomacy and soft power.
  • How cineture challenges or reinforces stereotypes and representations of Iran and the US in
    global media and popular culture.
  • The reception and impact of Iranian-American cineture on diasporic communities and
    transnational audiences, and its role in fostering cross-cultural understanding and solidarity.

Please submit your abstract (300 words) together with a short bio (100 words) including your full name and institutional affiliation until June 15, 2024, to the guests’ editor:

Naghmeh Esmaeilpour: naghmeh.esmaeilpour@gmail.com
Behnam M. Fomeshi: behnam.mirzababazadeh@gmail.com

Prospective authors will be notified about proposals until July 15, 2024. The submission deadline for full articles (6000-9000 including abstract, works cited, endnote, and the bio of the author) is October 31, 2024.

Hamid, Dabashi. Persophilia: Persian Culture on the Global Scene. Cambridge, HUP, 2015. P, 18. John Urry, Mobilities, UK: Polity Press, 2007. P, 52.
Arshin Adib-Moghaddam.The International Politics of the Persian Gulf, A cultural genealogy. UK: Routledge, 2006. P. 8.
Marie-Laure Ryan, “Transmedial Storytelling and Transfictionality.” Poetics Today. 34:3 (Fall 2013). P, 362.