Interdisciplinary Strategies for Women's Film History

Women’s Film History Network – Workshop One

What Is Women’s Film History? Crossing Disciplines and Media Practices

University of Sunderland 12-13th February 2010

Workshop Participant Feedback/What Next? Click here for a page to add your comments on workshop 1

This workshop brings together experts in women’s history, literary and theatre studies, film history and media studies in order to benefit from interdisciplinary research, identifying new perspectives, sources and avenues of investigation.

Please add your presentation notes to the wiki. Just click on your title for a new page. You can cut and paste in your notes or add a file.

Workshop One was lucky to have Paul Benton - PhD scholar at University of Sunderland - as recorder of presentations and discussions. We are grateful for his comprehensive notes which are here workshop1notes.doc.

Session 1: From Women’s History to Women’s Film History

June Purvis: Representing Our Feminist Past - including the relation between feminism and women’s film history.

Penny Summerfield: Women's history, film history and the man problem

Sue Harper: Distinction between analysis of women’s role in production and representation of women in cultural texts.

Sally Alexander: Changing approaches to women and film history, work, audience, memory.

Session 2: Women’s Writing and History: Language, Forms and Institutions

Laura Marcus: On the language and modes of address of women film critics

Melanie Bell: Freelance journalism and historical ‘absence:’ the missing women film critics of the fifties.

Session 3: Cross Media Histories and Interdisciplinary Research

Sarah Street: Problems of diversified careers (or multi-tasking), not contained within any one field.

Viv Gardner: Issues re using multiple evidential sources (including film clips) in recreating performance and spectatorship in early 20C musical comedy chorus performance.

Ruth Barton: Writing women’s history as biography in relation to publishing house categories and demands

Alexis Weedon: Problems of Multi-disciplinarity– i.e. writing up research for different academic audiences so that it addresses - or recognises - the different questions which frame work in different disciplines. wfhnweedon.pdf

Session 4: Doing Women’s History on the Web

Nathalie Morris: Issues encountered in the construction of the ‘Women and Silent British Cinema’ website and future directions for development.

Julia Knight: Future Histories– making available and constructing post-70s women’s/feminist film histories and problems of digital media.

Linda Kaye: What do we want the technology to do? On the creation and use of digital resources and tools for research.

Teresa Doherty: Women’s history and the Genesis programme: examples from Women’s Library Projects. 2010WHFN Genesis Paper.ppt

Useful Reading

Kay Armatage, "The Women's Film History Project and Women and the Silent Screen." Screen, 48.4 (Winter 2008): 462-467
Jennifer Bean and Diane Negra (eds.), A Feminist Reader in Early Cinema (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2002)
Jane Gaines, “Film History and the Two Presents of Feminist Film Theory,” Cinema Journal 44.1, 2004: 113-19
Sue Harper, “The British Women’s Picture: Methodology, Agency and Performance in the 1970s,” in Melanie Bell and Melanie Williams (eds.), British Women’s Cinema (London: Rougledge), 124-137.
Jan-Christopher Horak, “The Gap Between 1 and 0: Digital Video and the Omissions of Film History,” Spectator 27.1 (Spring 2007): 29-41
Claire Johnston, "Feminist Politics and Film History." Screen, 16.3 (Autumn 1975): 115-124.
Antonia Lant w. Ingrid Periz, (ed.), Red Velvet Seat: Women’s Writing on the First Fifty Years of Cinema (especially AL’s introductions).
Rachel Moseley and Helen Wheatley, “Is Archiving a Feminist Issue? Historical Research and the Past, Present, and Future of Television Studies.” Cinema Journal 47:3, Spring 2008

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