Gender Studies | Graduate Topics in Gender Studies: Feminist Film Theory
G701 | 10923 | Doty


Feminist film theory and criticism began in the mid-1970s with the
rise of the psychoanalytic and materialist schools, and was perhaps
most widely promoted in the journals Screen, Camera Obscura, and
Jump Cut.  Women’s filmmaking, however, began just about at the time
cinema itself did.   Along with examining the development of
feminist academic writing about film, this course will secondarily
consider women’s filmmaking from the 1900s through the present, from
Alice Guy-Blache to Kathryn Bigelow.  Questions of particular
interest here would be to what extent is women’s filmmaking
recognizably “films by women” or even “feminine” filmmaking, and to
what extent is women’s filmmaking “feminist” filmmaking?  On the
theory and criticism side of things, the course will study the
contributions of key figures such as Laura Mulvey, Claire Johnston,
Mary Ann Doane, Julia Lesage, B. Ruby Rich, Judith Mayne, Linda
Williams, bell hooks, Jane Gaines, Patricia White, Tania Modleski,
Carol Clover, and Robin Wood.  Films examined in the course include
Christopher Strong, The Devil is a Woman, Daughters of the Dust, A
Question of Silence, Born in Flames, Je Tu Il Elle, The Bigamist,
Maedchen in Uniform, Hurt Locker, and Watermelon Woman.

There is a weekly film viewing required, as well as a seminar
presentation, two short papers, and a final long essay.