The theme of the Society for Animation Studies 33rd Annual Conference is ‘Animation unlocked’ and will celebrate all aspects of the animated. The pandemic has required us to stop and consider, as well as innovate and isolate, as we start to reanimate our everyday lives and Teesside University hopes to gather together animation scholars and practitioners from around the world in celebration of all things animated.

Under the theme ‘Animation Unlocked’ we invite proposals that look outside the traditional boundaries of animation. Through the theme we seek metaphorically unlock the form, to explore all things animated from the ontological and philosophical aspects of animation to the innovative practices that work to expand and develop animation approaches. As well as proposals that explore working across boundaries, genres, forms, and borders. Expanded practices of animation as well as the emerging roles of machine learning and AI in animation.

All animation related proposals will be considered but we encourage you to consider the following topics:

  • Philosophy and animation dialogues
  • Expanded animation practices, formats, and approaches
  • Real-time animation
  • The Metaphysical and animation
  • Nostalgia, the homely and the haptic
  • Reflections of identity and culture
  • Expanded histories of animation
  • (Post-)pandemic practices and innovations
  • Procedural approaches to animation
  • Machine Learning and AI in animation
  • Crossing boundaries (games, moving image-gallery based animation/installation forms of animation/moving image)
  • Disembodied Animation (such as performance, rotoscoping, sound and dialogue)
  • Animation practice as research
  • Experimental approaches and practices
  • Animation vaults, histories, and archives
  • Inclusive, interactive, participatory, and immersive animation


We are accepting proposals for individual 20-minute conference papers (including practice-based research), pre-defined panels (containing three 20-minute conference papers maximum), curated reels, round table discussions, as well as ideas/works in progress in the form of 6-minute micro papers.

  • 20-minute conference papers: 300-word abstract and 100-word biographical statement
  • 6- minute micro talks: 150-word abstract and 100-word biographical statement
  • Specialist panels: 300-word panel summary and 300-word abstract per paper and 100-word biographical statement per panel member.
  • Curated reels
    These will be screened as part of Animex Fringe. Reels should express one of the themes. Run time must be no more than 80mins. A play list and copy of the reel suitable for broadcast (.Mp4 or .Mov format) will need to be provided prior to the conference for technical checks. Proposals for reels should be approximately 500-words and should include some intended films (subject to permissions). We request that any rights to screen works be secured prior to screening by yourselves for a single screening event.
  • Roundtables, proposals should be around 500-words with a description of the roundtable. Please indicate the duration of the event.


Submission for proposals open mid-November 2021 and closes 17th January 2022. Notification of acceptance will be sent by the end of April 2022. Curated reels will need to be submitted for screening by the end of May 2022 to allow for technical testing prior to screening.

Please note: whilst you are encouraged to present in person, there will be the option to attend/present remotely if you are unable to attend in person due to travel restrictions.

For more information about the conference, visit the conference website here!