EVENT: Advancing Gender Equal Media: Challenges, Strategies and DIY Culture

On behalf of Karen Ross, an event of interest to WFTHN members:

Advancing Gender Equal Media: Challenges, Strategies and DIY Culture26 February 2019 | 1430-1730 | Press Club Brussels 

The problem of women’s unequal access to and representation in mainstream media is not new and research studies focused on the European media industry over at least the past 30 years, including work commissioned by EU institutions, have demonstrated the challenges women face in developing a career in the media and being represented in ways which reflect their lived experience. In 1995, the UN’s Fourth World Conference on Women took place in Beijing and from that gathering, the Beijing Platform for Action emerged as a global call to eradicate gender equality from society: one of the critical areas of concern identified was the media. In the same year, the first Global Media Monitoring Project took place which monitored how women and men appeared in news media around the globe. Every five years since the BPfA, reviews have been undertaken to see how far the original ambitions have been met, along with various ad hoc studies undertaken by NGOs, EU institutions and civil society organisations.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, each review and new piece of research finds that although there has been progress, it is slow and uncoordinated, so further indicators are developed, further strategies written. Both the European Parliament and the Council of Europe have produced research and recommendations around gender equality and the media: media organisations have been active in developing internal initiatives to support women’s careers or designed actions to monitor gender-bias in content, but they rarely tell anyone else about them. Civil society organisations and individuals have also been active over the past few years and, impatient for a gender-equal future, have been working hard to bring the issue to public attention through the use of digital platforms and hashtag activism such as #metoo and #timesup. However, despite all this good work, the goal of achieving gender equality in the media remains elusive, not least because there are no mechanisms through which to promote the good practices which have been initiated.

That is, no mechanisms until now!

We are pleased to invite you to the launch of the AGEMI  (Advancing Gender Equality in Media Industries) project and web platform where you can find a range of useful resources focused on aspects of gender equality, including a Resources Bank of (around 100) Good Practices and learning resources which include mini-lectures and filmed interviews with media practitioners on topics such as representation, culture, policy, advocacy and leadership. Gender issues are rarely included as a specific aspect of journalism training so AGEMI is addressing this absence. AGEMI has also piloted two activities to build links between students and the world of work through its summer school and internships. We believe that including such activities as part of media education encourages gender-sensitivity amongst the next generation of journalists and thus has the potential to influence the wider media landscape.

As well as demonstrating the AGEMI platform, we will also hear from a range of stakeholders about the work they are doing to challenge gender inequality in the media.We believe this kind of knowledge exchange is both necessary and timely, particularly in advance of the Beijing+25 review which will take place in 2020 with the aim of informing the implementation and raising awareness of the gender-media dimensions of the 2030 gender-equality agenda. We hope you can join us to celebrate the launch of this much-needed new resource and engage in a productive dialogue and we hope to see you in Brussels.

The event is free but please register here by 19 February 2019.

For further information, please contact Karen Ross

DRAFT SCHEDULE for the launch (subject to change)

14:30 – welcome refreshments
14:40 – welcome and brief background to AGEMI
14:50 – policy discussion #1 – European Parliament (speaker tbc)
15:10 – media industry discussion #1 – Safia Kessas, RTBF (Belgian public service broadcaster)
15:30 – policy discussion #2 – Council of Europe, Gender Equality Division (speaker tbc)
15:50 – break
16:10 – demonstration of AGEMI platform
16:40 – researching gender equality and media – Maria Edstrom, University of Gothenburg
16:50 – policy discussion #3 – European Women’s Lobby (speaker tbc)
17:10 – media industry discussion #2 – Martine Simonsis (AJP)
17:30 – close/drinks reception


British Women Documentary Filmmakers 1930-1955: 5th April 2019

Posted on behalf of the symposium organisers.

Proposals are invited for a one-day symposium to be held at the London School of Economics on 5th April 2019. A pdf version of the call for papers can be found here.

As the work of filmmakers including Jill Craigie, Kay Mander and Marion Grierson testify, women have played a significant part in the early decades of British documentary and informational filmmaking. Women were a vital part of the war effort and this was apparent in the films made by the Ministry of Information as well as newsreels, documentaries and dramas. Women also worked behind the camera as directors, editors and scriptwriters on instructional and propaganda films. Yet much early British documentary history on Grierson and the Documentary Movement tends to elide the ways in which non-canonical works engage differently with questions of the nation, gender, class and identity and the ways in which form and content are linked to context of production.

This one-day symposium seeks to deepen understanding of women’s creative presence in British documentary filmmaking. Papers may explore individual films and filmmakers, as well as the industrial, social and historical contexts in which they worked. While WWII has been foregrounded in accounts of women’s participation in British film production, the day will consider a longer historical period including the innovations in documentary of the 1930s and the changing industry of the post-war period.

Topics and questions might include:

  • Women working within informational filmmaking
  • New approaches to women and non-fiction filmmaking in wartime and/or post-war period
  • How do emerging accounts of women’s role in the industry reshape standard accounts of documentary?
  • What can individual careers tell us about the obstacles and opportunities faced by women in the sector at different times within the period?
  • Does the study of women’s participation in film problematize dominant conceptions of ‘talent’, creativity and authorship?
  • The impact of distribution and reception on historical awareness of films by women
  • How can wider histories of women’s work during World War inform studies of women’s labour in film?
  • Feminist film historiographies and documentary film-making
  • Emerging methodologies for constructing women’s film histories

Please email abstracts of 300-500 words, 3-5 keywords and up to 5 key references to: gender@lse.ac.uk Deadline for submissions is 17.00 on 1 November 2018.

Please note:

  • The abstract should be in word format as an attachment with your Surname and Initials as the file name and please make sure you put BWDF in the subject line.
  • Please also include a 100 word bio.
  • Please include your NAME, EMAIL ADDRESS AND INSTITUTION (if any) on the proposal/abstract itself.
  • Any queries please contact: Kate Steward steward@lse.ac.uk

We will respond to submissions by 30th November 2018.

The symposium is funded by as part of the project, Jill Craigie: Film Pioneer, led by Lizzie Thynne (PI, University of Sussex) with Yvonne Tasker (Co-I, University of East Anglia) and Sadie Wearing (Co-I, LSE). We anticipate producing a journal issue from selected papers.

Save the Date: Remake. Frankfurt Women’s Film Days: 2-11 November 2018

On behalf of Kinothek Asta Nielsen:

Asta Nielsen in Die Suffragette (1913). Source: Deutsche Kinemathek Berlin

We’re happy to announce that the inaugural edition of Remake. Frankfurt Women’s Film Days, a new event presented by Kinothek Asta Nielsen, will take place in Frankfurt am Main from 2 -11 November 2018.
Curated by Gaby Babi
ć, Karola Gramann, Heide Schlüpmann

Remake. Frankfurt Women’s Film Days will be held regularly in the future. The event will provide a more extensive framework for the Kinothek’s work, increasing the visibility of past and present film work by women, and to encourage the screening of films in their original formats.

The Kinothek Asta Nielsen’s specific task is to make films which are relevant to awareness of, and reflection on, gender relations accessible to a wide audience. With this in mind, we are incorporating our previous work into a focussed event format.
 Remake. Frankfurt Women’s Film Days will have a thematic focus and will unfold in a mixture of festival and symposium.

Remake 2018 will celebrate double anniversaries: “100 years of women’s suffrage” and “50 years of feminist film work.”  The 2018 festival takes place in conjunction with the exhibit and event series “Votes for Women – The 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in Germany” presented by the Historisches Museum Frankfurt. Our historically-structured programme, extending from the suffragette films of the early 20th century to the present, will trace the legal system as it applies to women, the shift in female self-image that has gone along with it, and the ongoing debates about sexual politics in films. In the age of #MeToo and disputes over abortion rights these are topics that haven’t lost their relevance. In addition to this broad programme, Remake will launch a retrospective on the development of feminist film festivals. This year’s kick-off is an homage to the Women’s Event of the 1972 Edinburgh International Film Festival. A third element of our festival is a solo exhibition, dedicated to rediscovering and safeguarding the work of a woman filmmaker from the Rhein-Main region. This year, we feature the work of Recha Jungmann.

Remake. Frankfurt Women’s Film Days is supported by HessenFilm und Medien GmbH and the Women’s Department of the City of Frankfurt am Main.
Partners are the Deutsche Kinemathek – Museum für Film und Fernsehen, the Deutsches Filminstitut – DIF e.V. / Kino im Deutschen Filmmuseum, Schauspiel Frankfurt, the Historisches Museum Frankfurt, and Pupille – Kino in der Uni.

Further information on the festival concept, programme and venues will be published in early October 2018 on
 www.remake-festival.de where you can subscribe to our newsletter. 

Remake. Frankfurter Frauen Film Tage is funded by HessenFilm und Medien GmbH and the Frauenreferat der Stadt Frankfurt am Main (Women’s Department of the City of Frankfurt am Main).

Doing Women’s Film and Television History IV: Calling the Shots – Then, Now and Next

Please find below information relating to this year’s conference DWFTH-IV: 23rd to 25th May 2018.

The latest programme is available to download here: FINAL SCHEDULE for DWFTH4.

In addition, REGISTRATION is now open. Click here for a direct link to the University of Southampton online store. The options are in a list form, so here is some clarification:

1. Full standard registration (all 3 days, including buffet dinner on the 23rd): £165

2. Full unwaged registration (all 3 days, including buffet dinner on the 23rd): £85
*please note the unwaged rate is for those who are unemployed, on part-time hourly paid contracts, and students

3-5. Day rates: £85 (for those who have obligations that keep them from attending the full 3 days – please choose the day you will be attending)

6. 2 Day registration: £160 (for those who have obligations that keep them from attending the full 3 days but will be there for 2 days)

Any queries may be addressed to: dwfth4@gmail.com

Dr Shelley Cobb, Dr Linda Ruth Williams, Dr Natalie Wreyford

CFP: All About Bette: The Cultural Legacies of Bette Davis: Northwestern University, October 5-6, 2018 

This is a notification of a call for papers regarding a two-day conference at Northwestern University about all things Bette Davis, from the industries that created her to the actress herself as an industry. Davis remains emblematic of the historical era of Classical Hollywood Cinema (1929-1960), the aesthetic practices we describe as modernist, and the political practices we describe as feminist. What would it mean to read Bette Davis as modernist? How does Davis operate as a node that allows us to think about the reach of mass culture in shaping (and historicizing) early twentieth century conceptions of femininity, sexuality, embodiment, and agency?

An actress unafraid to play unlikeable women, Davis regularly wrested directorial and production power away from men, earning her the title of “the Fourth Warner Brother” and transforming her from star to auteur. While there is a significant body of work on Davis in film and media scholarship, she has only made a few appearances in literary and cultural studies, primarily in feminist and queer discussions of this period, as in Lauren Berlant and Theresa de Lauretis’s readings of Now, Voyager. This conference seeks to build on that work, exploring the many ways in which Davis was central to mass and popular culture during Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Send proposals of approximately 150 words to Julia Stern: e-mail: j-stern3@northwestern.edu.

Possible topics include 

  • Smoking (as an industry/as an aesthetic/as a politic)
  • Melodrama and the woman’s film
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Modern femininity
  • Bitchiness
  • Davis and/as drag
  • Davis and literary adaptations (Maugham, Hellman, Strachey, Prouty)
  • Davis on Broadway (Ibsen, Williams, Sandburg)
  • The artist vs. the contract system
  • Gay iconicity
  • Material artifacts—publicity materials, costumes
  • Immaterial artifacts: the persistence of Davis in the internet age
  • Davis’s make-up artists/costume designers (Perc Westmore, Orry-Kelly, Edith Head etc.)
  • Davis’s directors (William Wyler, King Vidor, Irving Rapper, Edmund Goulding, Joseph Mankiewicz, Robert Aldrich, etc.)
  • Davis and racial representation
  • Davis and whiteness
  • Davis and the historical imagination
  • Davis and WWII