Targeted CFP: The Films of Jane Campion

deadline for submissions: 
April 3, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Adele Jones, Swansea University

Targeted Call For Papers: ReFocus The Films of Jane Campion

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Extended Deadline for Submission of Abstracts: 3rd April, 2020

Eds: Dr Alexia L. Bowler and Dr Adele Jones (Swansea University)

In response to the CFP below, we have accepted submissions on In the Cut (2003), The Piano (1993), and Top of the Lake (2013, 2017). Due to unexpected gaps in the collection, we are now seeking submissions on Campion’s other works (both film and television), as well as chapters which more broadly address her position within a wider tradition of women’s filmmaking. We would particularly welcome submission which addresses Campion’s early work. Please contact the editors with any queries.


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 [1993]) which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, 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 Lake attracting 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, 14th May, 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 ReFocus series, 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 

•            Motherhood

•            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 ( & Dr Adele Jones at (

Abstracts of 350 words, for chapters of between 7,000-8,000 words including endnotes (referenced in Chicago style), along with a short biographical note, should be emailed to both editors by 3rd April, 2020. Successful proposals will be notified by 20th April, 2020. Chapters will be expected, in full, by 7th August, 2020.