November theme: Animation and Philosophy

Guest curated by: Eric Herhuth

Deadline: October 26th, 2018


What are the intersections between animation and philosophy? How have these discourses influenced each other and evolved together? Today we are witnessing the growing popularity of film-philosophy. This is largely a response to criticisms of film theory by David Bordwell and Noël Carroll and more recent interventions by D.N. Rodowick (especially in the U.S.). And yet, animation studies too has been critical of film theory and its neglect of animation techniques, concepts, aesthetics, and terminology. What, then, is the relation between the study of animation and film-philosophy? Do the same philosophers/ies inspire animation scholars (i.e., Deleuze, Cavell, phenomenology, cognitivism)?

In an effort to map, historicize, and mobilize the relationship between animation and philosophy and to think animation as philosophy, Animation Studies 2.0 invites posts exploring this topic from diverse perspectives and methodological approaches. We are open to any definition and form of animation (whether technical, aesthetic, or conceptual). Given the brevity of each post, contributors should consider how they might provoke generative discussion and open up lines of inquiry and spaces for collaboration.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Animation that does philosophy;
  • Contemporary animation technologies that raise/shape philosophical questions (e.g. issues about time and space, definitions of life, human experience and subject formation);
  • Philosophical ideas and traditions that have influenced animators/films or theories of animation (e.g. dialectics and Eisenstein’s work on Disney, deconstruction and the work of Alan Cholodenko);
  • Animation concepts, techniques, figures, and tropes (e.g. puppets, drawing movement, mimesis, performance, world-building, etc.) that have influenced particular philosophers/schools of philosophy;
  • Recent philosophical publications/movements that address animation;
  • Representations or depictions of philosophy within an animated film or series;
  • Discussions of animated media within a philosophical work;
  • The relation between the study of animation and film-philosophy.

Posts between 600 and 900 words, which discuss any aspect of the above topic are welcome. Contributors are encouraged to include clips and images to support their posts. Please also include a short bio and 3 keywords. All permissions are the responsibility of the contributor. Please contact the guest curator Eric Herhuth ( and the editors Nichola Dobson ( and Cristina Formenti ( with submissions or questions.