Fantasy echoes and the future anterior of cinema and gender

Authored by: Kristin Lené Hole

The Routledge Companion to Cinema and Gender

Print publication date:  November  2016
Online publication date:  November  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138924956
eBook ISBN: 9781315684062
Adobe ISBN: 9781317408055


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Forty years have passed since the publication of Laura Mulvey’s “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” (1975), a text that is often made to do the work of representing a diverse and complex history of feminist theorizing. Put differently, Mulvey’s essay has often stood in for the entirety of the feminist project as it related to cinema in the 1970s. This reduction of a complex moment of emergence—what I am calling the “event” of feminist film and theory—to a single text inevitably erases as much history as it makes visible. The occlusions this produces have detrimental effects for the ways in which we understand the field of feminist film studies in the present and how we articulate or imagine future directions. In her edited collection, Reclaiming the Archive (2010), Vicki Callahan writes that,

the history that we present as feminists always implies a kind of reclaiming, rewriting, and recontextualization of materials. This self-critical turn is our central heritage from 1970s feminism, for it asks us what it means to write from a feminist perspective.


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