- The Editor's Reflections and Reports
- Film & History: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Film and Television Studies
- Center for the Study of Film and History
- Volume 30, Number 1, March, 2000
- pp. 1-5
- View Citation
- Additional Information
Special Editor's Introduction | Editor's Corner Peter C. Rollins Editor-in-Chief The Editor's Reflections and Reports First-ever Film & HistoryConference: The Presidency on Film and Television Although our journal has been in existence since 1970, we have never conducted our own conferences, preferring over the last 30 years to sit comfortably under the aegis of the American Historical Association where—since the John E. O'Connor and Martin Jackson days—the journal has conducted workshops, screenings, and panels as an affiliated society ofthe AHA. In the last four years, the journal has mounted panels at the national meetings ofthe Popular Culture Association and the American Culture Association—most recently with the leadership of RobertJ. Fyne of Kean University ofNew Jersey, our bon vivant and book review editor. What we have never done is enjoy our own conference. Susan Rollins, along with the new Film and History League, has coordinated a meeting for us in the shadow of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, some 45 minutes from the Los Angeles Airport (LAX). This is an election year and the conference will take place just after the Presidential elections. Entitled THE PRESIDENCY ON FILM AND TV: HOLLYWOOD VIEWS THE WHITE HOUSE, this meeting will be the very first opportunity for subscribers to Film & Historyto meet, greet, and create a community of scholars and enthusiasts . As citizens, we will have just voted in a major election and the conference will be a wonderful opportunity for us to reflect on the significance of the event as it has reverberated in our chosen areas of study—film and history. We have reserved meeting and hotel rooms at the Westlake Hyatt since the Reagan Presidential Library is out on a high point ofland removed from hotels, restaurants, etc and will be better visited during the meeting than used as a site for all-day activities. Naturally, we will be provided access to the Reagan Library where participants have been promised VIP treatment. Currently approved papers run the gamut from cinematic treatments ofWashington and Jefferson to an analysis ofthe Bill Clinton video for the May, 2000 dinner ofthe White House Correspondents Association. Did you know that William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt used film to promote their presidential images? We certainly didn't until proposals on these topics were submitted. And what about Presidential wives and mistresses (first and second Ladies) as treated in film and television? Very recently, there has been a spate offilms about fictional Presidents—most noticeably The American President, Air Force One, MyFellowAmericans, Wag the Dog, and Primary Colors. In one case, the film generated a television series, West Wing, which has deserved much of the attention it has received as a shining exception to the drivel in TV's prime time. We are working very hard to bring in a director ofone ofthe major Presidential films plus cast and writers for West Wing. (We are still in negotiations on the details.) Finally, over the last three years PBS has broadcast a number ofexcellent documentaries on the Presidency. At least one major director ofsuch films will be in attendance. Most of the meeting will consist of traditional academic panels—three or four speakers in a 90-minute format. There will also be screenings offilms from the various Presidential libraries , there will be a "gift shop" established with Presidential items, and book displays by publishers who have a special interest in the Presidency. (One such publisher has promised to consider a collection ofour essays for publication.) The cast of NBCs West 1/1% Vol. 30.1 (March, 2000) | 1 Rollins I The Editor's Reflections and Reports We are delighted to announce that our Founder, John E. O'Connor, will attend to share his expertise and wisdom in this our chosen field of study. Over the years, John has been an inspiration to us all and we treasure his continued influence and leadership. Please check the ads within this journal and, to register, go to our web site and fill in the electronic registration form. At this stage, some of our readers will have an idea in mind, but not a full paper ready to go .... That is fine .... We will try...