Welcome to Women's Film History Network - UK/Ireland
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(British women at work in the studios, 1930s-40s)

AHRC Funding Success

We are a small, informal Women’s Film History group and are pleased to announce the successful outcome of our application for funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council to set up a Women’s Film History Network – UK/Ireland. The AHRC gave our proposal its highest grade and we gratefully acknowledge its recognition of this neglected area of women’s history. Equally we are grateful to the Centre for Research in Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Sunderland and in giving this award an institutional home.

Although funds are limited, they will support four interdisciplinary Workshops. These will draw on Network members according to expertise to form small working parties to address the conceptual and organisational issues involved in establishing the Network's longterm function and infrastructure. However, while the Workshops involve limited numbers, dissemination activities, including this Wiki and a Conference planned for April 2011, will enable participation by all interested in the development of Women's Film History.


Traditionally film history has paid little attention to the contribution of women to film history – other than as actresses. But from its beginning women have been active in and around cinema as directors, scriptwriters, designers, cinema owners, distributors, publicists, reviewers, audiences, campaigners and so on. Consequently in the late 1990s an International Women Film Pioneers Project was initiated in America to address this gap in historical knowledge. Now based in the Film Division at Columbia University, New York, it is paralleled by biennial conference ‘Women and Silent Screen Congresses,’ staged in different countries since 2000. These initiatives are supported by the umbrella organisation, Women and Film History International.

Till recently this work has had little impact in Britain. The Women’s Film History Network – UK/Ireland was therefore initiated to promote and support research into women’s filmmaking history in Britain and Ireland, from the silent period to the present. The Network collaborates with the American based initiatives in order both to draw from their worldwide connections, research sources, and expertise – especially Columbia University’s Center for Digital Research and Scholarship – and to contribute to the internationalising of research.

By such means the Network aims to extend knowledge gained through its research activities to educators, women’s professional media organisations, and film season and festival programmers in order to enhance the visibility of women’s film and media work, raise the aspirations of girls and young women as potential entrants to screen media professions and increase the availability of women’s films and television programming for general public enjoyment.

Further details concerning the Workshops and 2011 Conference will be posted on this site as soon as they become available. To make contact with the Steering Group please email christine.gledhill at gmail.com

Click here to download file Case4support.pdf

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