CFP: [Film] ACLA 09: Gender in Local Cinema: Theories and Practices of Spectatorship (11/03/08; 3/26-3/29)

full name / name of organization: 
Polina Kroik
contact email: 

Call for Papers

ACLA Seminar: Gender in Local Cinema: Theories and Practices of Spectatorship

ACLA Annual Meeting, March 26-29 2009
Cambridge, MA

Seminar Description:

Local, non-Western cinemas played little role in the development of the major theories of
spectatorship of the sixties and seventies, theories which remain influential even as increasing
attention is paid to non-Western and alternative practices that often challenge or contradict the
basic premises of the Euro-centric theoretical canon. Discussions on cinematic representation of
gender and sexuality typically draw on psychoanalytically informed concepts originating in those
decades. Nonetheless, since the eighties these apparatic theories have been complicated by a
growing corpus of scholarship on postcolonial, queer, and transnational spectatorship. With the
cultural studies turn within film studies, extra-textual spectatorship/reception has been
increasingly recognized as multiple, fragmented, and culturally-historically inflected in later
theorizations of spectatorship (Diawara, Neale, Naficy).

This seminar will examine the relation between modes of spectatorship and the social context
within which they operate, focusing on the role of cinema in the construction of gender and
sexuality within its specific cultural context(s) of production and reception. While we welcome
discussions of any “local” context (including Western and diasporic communities), we are
especially interested in studies that go beyond a simple opposition to the Western paradigm of
spectatorship. Building upon the work of post-apparatic feminist theorists such as bell hooks,
Ella Shohat, Jigna Desai, we would like to examine social contexts where cinema has a different
function in the construction of gender/sexuality. How do the varying social functions of the
medium affect its role in the inculcation or destabilization of gender roles; the affirmation or
subversion of normative sexualities? How do the forms of pleasure in a particular practice of
spectatorship modify its relation to the construction of gender and sexuality?

Please submit 250 word abstracts no later than November 3rd through the ACLA website:

If you have any questions, please contact Polina Kroik (pkroik at or Soumitree Gupta
(soumitree.gupta at

For further details of the conference, please see the ACLA website:

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Received on Sun Oct 26 2008 - 16:09:05 EST