The Films of Jane Campion
Deadline for Submission of Abstracts: 31stJanuary, 2019
Eds: Dr Alexia L. Bowler and Dr Adele Jones (Swansea University)
As the only female director to win the Palme d’Or, and the second to be nominated for an Academy Award(both for The Piano) which is celebrating its 25thanniversary, Jane Campion is a figure who garners both critical and popular acclaim, as well as industry-wide respect.
With over thirty years standing as a film, and now television, director (with Top of the Lakeattracting collaborations with critically acclaimed actresses such as Elizabeth Moss, Holly Hunter, and Nicole Kidman), Campion’s work shines a spotlight on gender roles, often through complex female characters and an innovative approach to the screen representation of women habitually at the edges of society. As such, Campion’s name is synonymous with women on screen. Indeed, Campion is also vocal about the under-representation of females in the film industry more generally, concluding that, as ‘women are going to tell different stories – there would be many more stories in the world if women were making more films’ (Pulver, A. The Guardian, 14thMay, 2014).
However, her commitment to the place of feminism itself is tempered by an ambivalence towards the term. Indeed, Campion has stated that ‘I no longer know what this [feminism, in the context of her filmmaking] means or expresses...I am interested in life as a whole. Even if my representation of female characters has a feminist structure, this is nevertheless only one aspect of my approach’ (Wright-Wrexham, 1999).
The body of scholarship on her work to date is testament to her celebrated position within film, producing an eclectic and wide-ranging mix of responses extending to biography, nation and identity, adaptation, sex and eroticism, as well as authorship in her work. All these contributions celebrate the multiplicity in, and breadth of, her art and her vision.
Thus the collection aims to interrogate, contribute to, and extend contemporary scholarship on Campion by bringing together new and innovative analyses from emerging and established scholars in the field. There will, then, be a shared focus on the legacy and contribution made by Campion to films made by, for, and about women, as well as Campion’s filmmaking (vision and practice) and engagement with (or ambivalence to) feminist theory past and present, providing new and exciting approaches for understanding Campion’s work.
We seek contributions that engage with Campion’s work in film, television, and/or the film and television industry more generally, and which consider (and potentially re-evaluate) her contributions and position vis-à-vis feminism and feminist discourse, as well as our understanding of representations of women and/or gender in the twentieth and twenty-first century.
The edited collection will be aimed at Edinburgh University Press’s ReFocusseries, examining overlooked international film directors. Series editors are Robert Singer, PhD (NYC) and Gary D. Rhodes, PhD (Belfast, N.I.).
Possible topics could include but are by no means limited to:
- Analysis of individual films (including shorts) and/or television
- Female Authorship
- Campion and women’s cinema
- Men, Masculinity and relationships in the work of Campion
- Genre and experimentation in Campion
- Campion and collaboration (with other directors/actors/writers)
- Campion and adaptation (as feminist practice)
- Feminist ethics, politics and aesthetics in Campion’s work
- Problematising feminism
- Sex, sexuality, and the erotic
- The female gaze
- Language, selfhood, subjectivity and agency
- Generational feminisms
- Film, feminism and philosophy in Campion’s work
- French feminist critical readings of Campion
- Nation and/or institution, identity and subjectivity
- Industry, indie, Hollywood and the festival circuit/prizes
- Trauma, loss, and grief
- Campion, feminism and film philosophy
- Comparisons between feminist filmmakers’ work Campion
If you have any questions regarding the suitability of possible topics and material for inclusion in the volume, please do not hesitate to contact the editors, Dr Alexia L. Bowler (firstname.lastname@example.org) & Dr Adele Jones at (email@example.com).
Abstractsof 350 words, for chapters of between 7,000-8,000 wordsincluding endnotes (referenced in Chicago style), along with a short biographical note, should be emailed to both editors by 31stJanuary, 2019. Successful proposals will be notified by 1stMarch, 2019. Chapters will be expected, in full, by 30thJune, 2019.