CFP: Inspiring Change through Feminist Documentary

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Heather McIntosh
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CFP: Inspiring Change through Feminist Documentary

One of the key themes for this year's National Women Studies Association's conference is "Practices of Effecting Change." We can see this theme throughout the body of feminist documentary films, both historical and contemporary. Historically, A Woman's Film (1971) raises awareness about women's everyday experiences and the inequalities the women see within them. With Babies and Banners (1979) and The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter (1980) both raise awareness about women's labor issues in earlier times. More recently, Miss Representation (2011) calls our attention to the problems of women's and girls' media representations through a series of montages and interviews with successful women in media. A Walk to Beautiful, for another example, raises awareness about the health issues associated with obstetric fistulas in Ethiopian women and efforts made to help these women.

Feminist documentary makers often take this theme as a key motivation for making their works. In making their documentaries they hope to educate, evoke, incite, and inspire some kind of change. We are seeking proposals from potential presenters for a panel that brings together the missions of feminist documentary with theme of effecting change. Starting questions that proposals might address include the motivations underpinning feminist documentaries, the kinds of changes motivating these documentaries, the representations of these changes appearing within them, the overall impacts resulting from these documentaries, and the challenges in effecting changes throughout communities, countries, and the world.

If you are interested in joining this panel, please submit a 250-500 word proposal that outlines your presentation to Heather McIntosh,, or Gigi McNamara,, by 5 p.m. EST Monday, February 11. Decisions will be made by Monday, February 18, and the panel selection decision will be made by April.

The NWSA meets in Cincinnati on November 7-10, 2013. More information about the conference is available here: For questions about the proposals, please contact Heather McIntosh at