In creative response to Hollywood’s continued domination of the global film market, many alternate industrial practices have taken shape over the past couple decades, destabilizing certain entrenched assumptions about not only the process of filmmaking, but also the very nature of film itself. As a result contemporary cinema has come to be characterized by a fluidity that is unaccounted for in studies that take the conventions of classical cinema as normative; that is, with increasing frequency people and/or products are moving between venues (gallery, theater, on-line, television, festival, and classroom), materials (celluloid and digital video), locales (including those in both the “First” and “Third” Worlds), modes of production (studio-financed and “independent”, auteurist and collaborative), and artistic roles (actor, director, producer, and writer). Given the extent to which such fluid practices have resulted from or been influenced by those women who, fuelled by economic and political imperatives, have struggled historically for access to cinematic means of production, they are implicated in a feminist practice defined by ongoing and contingent negotiation with and between a diverse range of theoretical models.
(Un)Making the Cut: Feminism, Filmmaking, Fluidity will be an anthology dedicated to the myriad ways in which women around the world are currently participating in the production process outside Hollywood, thereby contributing to these flows, and the fruits that their labors are yielding aesthetically, commercially, and politically. Rather than assert isolation or ostracism, this volume looks to subvert the constant erasure of women’s engagement with cinema by investigating working relations (as well) as textual relations of affiliation and community. Thus it has two methodological priorities. The first is to forge a middle ground that militates against closure between, on the one hand, a critical practice grounded in close textual analysis that severs a film from the conditions of its production and circulation, often denying a film’s engagement with feminist and other politics, and, on the other, an auteurist approach that reads film, particularly that made by women, in terms of autobiography. The second is concomitantly to expand discussions of the filmmaking process to incorporate the creative contributions of all involved and thus to broaden the definition of what it means to be a woman in film beyond the masculinist director-centric model.
In the process, we seek to recognize and encourage definitions of “woman” that are equally fluid and demonstrate the emergence of trans/Two-Spirit cinema(s) and trans/Two-Spirit filmmakers, as well as others who trouble gender distinctions and identity formations, for such definitions are an integral part of the contemporary incarnation of feminism in practice.
• those working in a transnational context and/or with an interstitial (å la Naficy) mode of production
• women artists moving between multiple roles within filmmaking, and between filmmaking and other cultural forms (dance, photography, creative writing)
• collaborative relationships
• fluid boundaries between documentary and feature film, in both formal and production/distribution terms
• prominent producers and writers working in the “independent” sector or the context of a national cinema
• the new opportunities that have emerged in television, particularly due to specialty channels like HBO and Showtime
• women’s participation in the political economy of film festivals
• the ways women have negotiated the tension between the gallery and the cineplex, aesthetic/political imperatives and commercial ones
• women’s presence in on-line forums
• the ways that women’s work with moving images is contributing to, engaging with, and/or revisioning feminism and imbricated political movements (anti-racism, anti homophobia)
• a consideration of whether reading practices based in identity politics are still valid
Submit: paper proposals of 500 words (max.) with brief C.V., and a cover letter including institutional affiliation and postal and email contact details.
Deadline: 31 August 2005
Notification of acceptance: 31 October 2005
Send proposals (as attachments) and CFP-related queries to: Corinn Columpar <firstname.lastname@example.org> and Sophie Mayer <email@example.com>
Proposals may also be mailed to:
University of Toronto
2 Sussex Avenue
Toronto ON M5S 1J5
Please include an SASE or IRC if you would like a postal response.
University of Toronto
2 Sussex Ave.
Toronto, ON M5S 1J5
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