Women in the Media Industries: Inputs & Influences

 Women in the Media Industries: Inputs & Influences

  10 April 2017

De Montfort University, Leicester

A Women’s Network Event organised by Dr Gamze Toylan, Lecturer in Media & Communication at De Montfort University.

Funded by MeCCSA Women’s Media Studies Network & Leicester Media School, De Montfort University.

This event focuses on women working in the media industries and how their inputs influence production processes and outputs – what we see on our screens and how they are made. We will be bringing together media professionals  and academics to talk about their professional roles and practices, as well as to discuss their research on media industries that focus on gender and inequalities in cultural production industries.

The event will revolve around panel discussions with the aim of developing exchange of ideas in a non-hierarchical set-up. Each panel (with 3 participants in each) will be an hour long with a Q&A session at the end. We have a wonderful group of speakers who are from a range of backgrounds (TV, radio, film and digital game design) and working in different capacities. The speakers include:

Anne Morrison: BAFTA Deputy Chair

Nainita Desai: Music Composer for Film & Television and one of 2016 BAFTA Breakthrough Brits

Judy Ducker: Established Prop/Production Buyer for Film & Television

Dr Kate Murphy: Former Senior Producer for Radio 4 Woman’s Hour and Senior Lecturer in History at Bournemouth University

Joanna Bostock: Broadcast Journalist, BBC Radio Leicester

Dr Bridget Conor: Senior Lecturer in Culture, Media and Creative Industries, King’s College London

Dr Alison Harvey: Lecturer in Media & Communication, University of Leicester

Dr Natalie Wreyford: Research Fellow at University of Southampton and Senior Development Executive in the British film industry

For more information and to book a place please go to the link below:


* This is a free event but a place needs to be booked.

Dr Gamze Toylan

Lecturer in Media & Communication

Leicester Media School, Faculty of Technology

De Montfort University


Remembering Annie Hall: A One Day Conference

Remembering Annie Hall: A One Day Conference
University of Sheffield
31st May 2017
Confirmed plenary speaker: Professor Annette Kuhn (Queen Mary, University of London)
Since its release on 27th April 1977, Annie Hall has established itself as a key film for Woody Allen’s career and the history of romantic comedy more generally. At the 1978 Academy Awards, it won Oscars for Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Actress. In addition to its central place in Allen’s oeuvre (film critic Roger Ebert called it “just about everyone’s favorite Woody Allen movie”), it is regularly cited as one of the greatest film comedies. In 2015 it was voted the funniest screenplay ever by the Writers Guild of America.
To mark the fortieth anniversary of the film’s release, the University of Sheffield is hosting a one-day conference to consider the importance of Annie Hall and its cultural influence. We are particularly interested in conversations stimulated by revisiting the film in the current political climate of President Trump’s government. To that end we welcome papers on all aspects of the film, including its reception and reputation. 
Suggested topics may include but are not limited to the following:
 Annie Hall and “New Hollywood”
 Annie Hall as an auteur film
 Annie Hall as (auto)biography
 Annie Hall and fashion
 Annie Hall and feminism
 Annie Hall and whiteness
 Annie Hall and film genre
 Annie Hall and film theory
 Annie Hall and psychoanalysis
 The role of art, transformation and performance
 Representations of the city
 Representations of migrant experience
 Representations (or non-representations) of race
 Romance and sex
 Music and voiceover
 The problem of the Hollywood ending
 Thinking about Annie Hall as (or as not) a Woody Allen film
 Thinking about Annie Hall as a Diane Keaton film
 Annie Hall in 1977 versus Annie Hall in 2017
 Allen’s influences in Annie Hall and/or the influence of Annie Hall today
 Thinking about Annie Hall in the age of Trump
Proposals for 20-minute papers (maximum 200 word abstracts, plus a short biographical note of no more than 50 words) are due by 31st March 2017, and should be sent to Annie.Hall@sheffield.ac.uk.
We encourage proposals from anyone with an interest in Annie Hall, including established academics, graduate students and independent scholars.
There is a conference website: anniehallat40.wordpress.com

CfP: A Tribute to Mary Tyler Moore

Women & Television Comedy: A Tribute to Mary Tyler Moore

From her roles as Laura Petrie to Mary Richards, Mary Tyler Moore brought a modern, sophisticated woman to the situation comedy who was educated, independent, and assertive. Not only were The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-1966) and The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-1977) critical and commercial successes, but they were also landmark series in the development of the U.S. sitcom. These series critically engaged with contemporary women’s issues and pushed the boundaries of female representation; Laurie Petrie presented a wife who was in many ways her husband’s partner and equal, while Mary Richards embodied the single, independent working woman of the 1970s. Through Moore’s iconic comedy, feminism found a home on primetime television, laying the groundwork for the future of funny women on television.

This Special Issue of Flow serves not only to reflect on the legacy of Mary Tyler Moore as a producer, star, and icon, but also to consider the continuing role, influence, and politics of women in sitcoms, and in comedy more broadly. In the Age of Trump, we might also think about the power of comedy to serve as a vibrant space for feminist discourse and activism. We welcome submissions that consider any of the following topics related to Moore and her legacy:

– The Dick Van Dyke Show, its importance and its influence
– The Mary Tyler Moore Show, its importance and its influence
– Television wives and mothers
– Family sitcoms
– Gender in workplace comedies and workplace families
– Quality television and the MTM Style
– Women in situation comedies or comedy more broadly
– Feminism and primetime television
– Moore and stardom
– The politics of TV comedy
– Women’s TV roles and Women’s Movements
– Domesticity and Domestic TV Spaces/Roles
– Clothing, style, and feminism

To be considered for inclusion in this Special Issue, please send completed short essays of 1000-1500 words, along with at least three image (.png) or video files and a short author bio, to Selena Dickey at flowjournaleditors@gmail.com by Monday February 13.  The Special Issue will be published at flowjournal.org on Monday February 20.

CfP: Women-in-Peril or Final Girls?

Gothic Feminism presents:

Women-in-Peril or Final Girls? Representing Women in Gothic and Horror Cinema

25th – 26th May 2017

University of Kent

Keynote speaker: Dr Xavier Aldana Reyes (Manchester Metropolitan University)

The representation of female protagonists has been a central tenant in both Gothic and Horror cinema. In the Hollywood Gothic films of the 1940s, the heroine is the primary focus as she navigates key tropes of the genre, including the exploration of the old dark house and the investigating of sinister marital secrets. These melodramas and noir films, as they have also been called, re-work the Bluebeard story and establish a ‘woman-in-peril’ character archetype which features in films such as Rebecca (1940), Gaslight (1944) and Secret Beyond the Door(1947) (Waldman, 1983; Doane, 1987; Tartar, 2004). These Gothic conventions have been revived and reworked recently in contemporary cinema with the release of Crimson Peak(2015).

 Horror cinema has also been characterised by the portrayal of its female protagonists. The 1930s Universal horror films typically feature the endangered woman who is terrorised by the monster or villain. Indeed, as Rhona J. Berenstein notes, the image of a woman whose ‘mouth is open as if in midscream’ with ‘fear chiselled into her features’ is so familiar that one can argue it ‘succinctly signifies the American horror film’ (Berenstein, 1996, 1). Later permutations of the genre sustain this focus on gender representations, as with the transgressive qualities of ‘postmodern horror’ (Pinedo, 1997) or, more specifically, the ‘slasher’ film which focuses on the brutal murder of several victims at the hands of a serial killer, with particular attention paid to the killing and/or survival of female character(s). Black Christmas (1974), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and Halloween (1978) exemplify these conventions and theorists have observed the centrality of the horror heroine within this genre: Carol Clover’s seminal work on the topic highlights the importance of the ‘female victim-hero’ and the complex gender representations inherent in this figure when she becomes the film’s sole survivor or ‘Final Girl’ (Clover, 1992).

When comparing these historic representations of female protagonists in Gothic and horror cinema, one can identify many similarities between the two genres or modes in respect to their portrayal of women. In the examples above, Gothic and horror both privilege the depiction of the woman’s experience within a narrative arc which exposes her to a danger emanating from an initially unknown or misunderstood threat. This risk – which is normally made against her life – comes from the villain or antagonist conventionally gendered as male. This correlation between Gothic and horror could be argued to stem from their shared heritage: it has been noted how the horror genre ‘has its roots in the English gothic novels of the 18th and 19th centuries’ (Penner and Schneider, 2012). This lineage is further evident by the way the terms ‘Gothic’ and ‘horror’ have been applied interchangeably as delineating categories. Horror has been labelled as Gothic: both David Pirie and Jonathan Rigby write of the ‘English Gothic Cinema’ which includes Hammer’s films, whilst Bernice M. Murphy studies US horror from the perspective of ‘Rural Gothic’ (Pirie, 2008; Murphy, 2013; Rigby, 2015). And Gothic has been called horror: Mark Jancovich points out how the 1940s Hollywood Gothics were also understood as horror films at their time of release (Jancovich, 2013). Both Gothic and horror have also attracted considerable attention concerning their depiction of women and whether such texts are ‘feminist’ (see, for example, Pinedo, 1997; Freeland, 2000).

Yet there are also significant differences between Gothic and horror. The two modes or genres can be distinguished by variations in how the central female protagonist is depicted. The Gothics of the 1940s focus on the representation of the heroine within the intimidating space of the ancestral mansion, but the 1970’s slasher horrors emphasise the ‘Terrible Place’ (Clover, 1992) where extreme violence is executed. Where the Gothic emphasises suspicion, suspense and mystery, the horror film showcases blood, torture and gore. Berenstein notes how the contrast between Gothic and horror is also present in ‘classic horror’ – pre-dating the slasher – where ‘[unlike] the Gothic novel, however, heroines are not confronted by the men closest to them … Instead, women are attacked or seduced by foreign male (and, sometimes, female) fiends’ (Berenstein, 1996, 12). Gothic and horror also differ in their presumed target audience. The Gothic – an integral part of melodrama and the ‘woman’s picture’ – has traditionally been analysed in terms of the Female Gothic and its appeal to female audiences (Waldman, 1983; Doane, 1987; Modleski, 2008). Conversely, the spectatorship for horror has been characterised as adolescent and male (Williams, 1984; Clover, 1992; Creed, 1993).

This conference seeks to re-engage with these discussions of gender within Gothic and horror cinema by directly comparing the two. What relationship does Gothic have to horror – or horror to the Gothic – in respect to female representation? What makes a Gothic heroine different from (or, indeed, similar to) female victims/protagonists in horror films? What can we say about the centrality given to female performance in both these genres/modes? Where does one draw the line between Gothic and horror in film? 2017 will mark 30 years since Mary Ann Doane published The Desire to Desire and 25 years since Carol Clover published Men, Women and Chainsaws. This conference will also reflect upon the impact of seminal works on Gothic, horror and gender such as these within film theory. What do these works tell us about the relationship between Gothic and horror in respect to female representation? How do theories of the ‘woman’s film’ and the ‘Final Girl’ relate to contemporary film theory and feminist criticism? Are these ideas still applicable to recent Gothic and horror films, and their heroines?

In addressing these questions this conference will underline the importance of female protagonists in Gothic and horror, within film history and contemporary cinema, and ask: are these characters women-in-peril or Final Girls, or both?

 Topics can include but are not limited to:

– Comparisons between the genre conventions and tropes within Gothic and horror films and their representation of female protagonists

– Close textual analysis of a single film or series of films which blur the lines between Gothic and horror, or an analysis of film/s which reinforce the differences between the Gothic and horror traditions through the depiction of women characters

– The connection between the Gothic or horror heroine and other characters within the narrative, such as the love interest, male villain, other victims, etc.

– How the Gothic and horror heroine relate to archetypal roles, such as the victim, the mother or the monstrous-feminine

– Representations of space and how this impacts upon the portrayal of the Gothic or horror female characters

– Film theory and the distinction between Gothic and horror in cinema

 – How Gothic and horror women characters engage with feminist discourse and theories of gender representation

 – Female spectators of Gothic and horror and fandom

Please submit proposals of 500 words, along with a short biographical note (250 words) to gothicfeminism2016@gmail.com by 14th February 2017 (please note the extended deadline).

 We welcome 20-minute conference papers as well as submissions for creative work or practice-as-research including, but not limited to, short films and video essays.

Conference organisers: Frances A. Kamm and Tamar Jeffers McDonald 


Call for contributions: Věra Chytilová

Studies in Eastern European Cinema 

Věra Chytilová 

Guest Editor:

Peter Hames (Staffordshire University, UK)

Věra Chytilová (1929-2014) was frequently described as the ‘first lady’ of Czech film. Yet her long career was also one of struggle and opposition. Internationally, she is best known for her work on Sedmikrásky (Daisies, 1966), one of the most inventive films of the 1960s. But while this led to a number of major essays from both feminist and avant-garde perspectives, her work as a whole has largely been ignored in English language criticism. Her film making career spanned the years 1961-2011 with the exception of a six-year hiatus following the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, when it seemed unlikely that she would be able to resume her career. As the sole female director of the Czech ‘New Wave’, her early work did not find favour with the authorities, who condemned it as negative and incomprehensible.  

Returning to work in 1976, she continued to provoke controversy in a reformed cinema that favoured conventional forms and sanitised criticism.  Films such as Hra o jablko (The Apple Game, 1976) and Panelstory (Prefab Story, 1979) were to prove particularly controversial in a domestic context. Nevertheless, she was able to complete seven features before the fall of communism in 1989. A defender of the concept of a nationalised industry, she once noted that she and her colleagues had been accused of giving credence to the regime when their work had in fact been ‘critical and avant-garde’. The difficulties that followed the denationalisation of the industry led to production problems more generally and Chytilová was only able to complete five features in the final years of her career. However, during this period, she considerably increased her production of documentaries and also worked as head of direction at FAMU (the Prague Film School).

This special issue of SEEC is designed to look at her career overall and in this sense, is intended as a tribute, but it should also provide a critical assessment of her work under different socio-political circumstances, and open up discussion in previously neglected areas. While it is assumed that some articles may be written from feminist theoretical perspectives, other approaches can also be adopted. As a number of major critical articles have already been written about Sedmikrásky, we would welcome work embracing a broader perspective and, in particular, a consideration of both her work under ‘normalisation’ (1968-89) and subsequent to the ‘Velvet Revolution’ of 1989 (1989-2011).

Proposals are welcome along the following lines:

  • Chytilová’s stylistic and thematic significance for the development of the Czechoslovak ‘New Wave’.
  • her collaboration with cinematographers and the use of differing visual strategies in her post-1969 films.
  • the impact of theatrical collaboration on her work (e.g. Studio Ypsilon, Bolek Polívka’s mime theatre, Sklep /The Cellar).
  • Chytilová’s collaboration with Ester Krumbachová.
  • Chytilová’s declared commitment to ‘morality’ in different social and political frameworks.
  • aspects of her work in documentary film
  • Chytilová’s work as an ‘avant-garde’ and/or feminist filmmaker and its international and national influence.
  • Chytilová’s work in the context of European new waves.
  • her influence as a director and teacher.

Full articles of up to 7,000 words are expected.  The deadline for submitting abstracts of 200-300 words is 30 April2017.  Full articles are expected in November 2017.

 Please send the abstracts to peter.hames@ntlworld.com or Ewa Mazierska at EHMazierska@uclan.ac.uk