CALL FOR PAPERS
MOTHERS OF INVENTION: PARENTING AND/AS FILMMAKING PRACTICE
In 1983, E. Ann Kaplan famously called second-wave feminist film culture a movement created by daughters “unwittingly…repeat[ing] the patriarchal omission of the Mother.” By way of what Charlotte Brunsdon has called disidentification, several scholars and practitioners associated with more recent varieties of film feminism, from its third wave to its “post” incarnation, have, unwittingly or not, followed suit. Swimming against this tide, Mothers of Invention invites contributors to help construct a feminist genealogy of a different sort, one that foregrounds the relationship between acts of production on the one hand and those associated with reproductive and caring labour on the other. More specifically, it seeks to build on the ground-breaking industry research already underway at the Raising Films campaign in the UK and Moms in Film in the US in order to create an interdisciplinary edited collection that considers the role that parenting, as both a theme and a diversified practice, plays in film and media cultures.
Mothers of Invention welcomes essays about fatherhood and film and media, but the balance of the volume will be weighted toward mothers and female carers, particularly those from communities that have been historically under-represented, marginalised, and/or excluded from film and moving image practice. As much as the film and media industries, especially at the commercial end, present a challenge for all people with caring responsibilities, those who identify as female remain disproportionately responsible for caring and domestic labour. It is precisely the nature of this challenge – as well as the acts of creative invention and innovative resistance it has inspired – that are of interest to this volume. Indeed, works as diverse as Mary Kelly’s Post Partum Document (1973-79), Agnès Varda’s Daguerréotypes (1976), Arnait Video’s Before Tomorrow (2008), and Sophie Hyde’s 52 Tuesdays (2013) incorporate parenting and caring labour into both their narrative content and their artistic practice and thereby contribute to a transnational and transgenerational body of work has yet to be considered through the lens of feminist parenting studies.
We invite contributions on historical and contemporary global moving image practices, across the spectrum from industrial to artisanal and concerning all key production roles. We are open to a wide range of approaches, from close readings of film and media objects to industrial analyses to studies of circulation and spectatorship, and we welcome work from a variety of disciplines, including the following: film, television, and/or media studies; cultural and creative industries; women and gender studies; moving image practice-based research; media anthropology; and cultural studies. Finally, following Lisa Baraitser’s definitional essay ‘Mothers Who Make Things Public’ (2009), we use the term mother to “denote anyone who both identifies as female and performs primary maternal work, with a ‘child’ being understood as the other whom such a ‘mother’ elects, names and claims as her child,” and carer to denote anyone who performs primary physical and emotional work unremunerated for a partner, parent, sibling, other family member, or friend.
Please submit a 500-word proposal and brief biographical note to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com by 1 August 2017.
We anticipate that finished essays will be approximately 6000 words in length, including notes, and we plan to send out acceptances of proposals by the end of September 2017. Feel free to email us prior to the deadline with any questions.
Corinn Columpar and Sophie Mayer