CFP Acting Their Age

Friday 04th May 2012
ACTING THEIR AGE: Women, Aging & Popular Cinema – A day symposium at the Research Centre for Film & Digital Media Culture Lab, Newcastle University.

“If old people show the same desires, the same feelings and same requirements as the young, the world looks upon them with disgust: in them love and jealousy seem revolting and absurd, sexuality repulsive and violence ludicrous.”   Simone de Beauvoir

“There aren’t enough roles for women over 50. Directors here [in the US] aren’t interested in us. We have to go out there and make them for ourselves.”   Kim Cattrall

A recent report commissioned by the now defunct UK Film Council found that the majority of older women generally feel underrepresented in cinema (UKFC, April 2011).  Of the 4,315 people surveyed, sixty-one percent of women aged between 50 and 75 commented that women of their age were not portrayed as having sexual needs or desires on the big screen (contrary to their own experience).   Older women make up a key demographic in cinema audiences; yet, with few exceptions, older women are often invisible or embody ageist stereotypes.

This one-day symposium primarily questions how cinema has responded to and historically dealt with older women both off and on screen.

Keynote Speakers:

  • Dr Deborah Jermyn (University of Roehampton, Department of Media, Culture & Language)
  • Dr Sadie Wearing (London School of Economics, Gender Institute)

Proposals of 200 words for papers of 20 minutes on the subject of older women in cinema are invited, but not confined to, from the following areas:

  • Cinematic representations of aging and the older woman
  • Older women’s sexuality on screen
  • The ‘Older-Bird’ chick-flick
  • The ‘Cougar’, The ‘Puma’ and The ‘MILF’
  • Cross-generational relationships on film
  • Older, contemporary female stars on screen
  • Aging in different national or historical cinematic contexts
  • Women in the Hollywood studio system
  • Europe’s relationship with the older woman
  • Women behind the scenes (writers, producers, directors, etc)
  • Women in the audience

Proposals, accompanied by a short biog, should be sent to by Monday 13th February 2012. Notification of acceptance will be sent by Friday 2nd March 2012.
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