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Call For Papers for Our Next Conference

"The Image and the Word"

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18) "On the Screen as on the Stage: Film and Theater Interplays and the (Fe)Male Gaze"
Panel Chair: Noelia Hernando Real, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid


The influence that feminist film-making has had on feminist theatre never seemed to have a higher impact than in the 1970s, when Laura Mulvey warned against the controlling male view that orchestrated movie structures and prevented female spectators' scopophilia. Her ground-breaking article, "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema" (1975), argued that "In a world ordered by sexual imbalance, pleasure in looking has been split between active/male and passive/female. … In their traditional exhibitionist role women are simultaneously looked at and displayed, with their appearance coded for strong visual and erotic impact so that they can be said to connote to-be-looked-at-ness." Mulvey's explicit call for a new avant-garde feminist filmmaking that would subvert the male gaze and present female characters as subjects, as real agents in the real world (1975), was not only heard by female directors, but also by female playwrights and feminist scholars, most notably, Sue-Ellen Case in Feminism and Theater (1988) and Jill Dolan in The Feminist Spectator as Critic (1988), who called for a reform of theatrical structures similar to Mulvey's. Applying Mulvey's criticism to theatre studies, these scholars found that in the theory of the male gaze "the controlling perspective of a theater performance [is] that of the male spectator," usually white and middle-class (Burke 1996, 3). Starting then a crusade against realism, the traditional means of conforming to the desires of the male gaze, these scholars called for a feminist use of Brechtian techniques that would turn the object of attention "from something ordinary, familiar … into something peculiar, striking and unexpected" ("Short Description of a New Way of Acting Which Produces an Alienation Effect"). They wanted, as feminist critic Elin Diamond states, "to denaturalize and defamiliarize what ideology makes seem normal, acceptable, inescapable" (1988, 85). More than 40 years after Mulvey's thesis, and at a time when the #MeToo movement struggles to make the subjugation of female actresses visible, this panel calls for proposals that explore the mutual relationships between film and drama, ranging from film adaptations of plays to theatrical adaptations of blockbusters and the appropriation of film or theatrical techniques in plays and movies to highlight the way in which female directors/playwrights deal with the objectification of women on the screen and on the stage.


Please submit all paper proposals directly to the Panel Chair using this form no later than October 15, 2018.

Panel Chairs will notify applicants of their acceptance/rejection no later than November 15, 2016.

For information on the Conference Venue see the Organizing Committee's website.

SAAS members, ASA members, and other scholars (not necessarily affiliated with any of these associations), are invited to submit proposals to the panel of their choice. Donwload this form, fill it out, and send it via email to the chair of your selected panel.

In order to present a paper, participants who are not SAAS, ASA, APEAA or HELAAS members will be required to pay a one year's membership fee (and enjoy the benefits for the following year) plus the conference fee.

Students have to become SAAS members (if they are not SAAS/ASA/APEEA/HELAAS members already) and pay 50 percent of the registration fee (60€ early bird/75€ late registration) if they wish to present a paper and/or attend the "Félix Martín" Doctoral Seminar.

Deadline: October 15, 2018

Further guideliness for participants can be found here.


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