CONTROLLING WOMEN: SOCIAL NETWORKS AND SELF-EXPRESSION
CONTROLLING WOMEN: SOCIAL NETWORKS AND SELF-EXPRESSION (Panel at SAMLA conference, 2021)
Women’s narratives‚ who gets to tell them, how they are told, and why they are important‚ remain a source of contention in society. Historically, the style in which women write, as well as their choices in reading material, have been critiqued in an attempt to control narratives about who women are—or who they are “supposed to be.” Even as women gain access to forums for self-expression, including self-publishing and managerial jobs in film and television studios, the social networks that permit a wider variety of voices to express themselves often suppress women’s efforts. This traditional panel examines how narratives about who women are and how they should be represented have taken form over time. The panel will discuss the attempts to control women’s self-expression over the years: what (and how) women read, watch, and write, in any format. Many of these formats now overlap; films written and/or directed by women face possible issues not only in the studio, but also in the reception of those films by film critics, audiences, and bloggers. Language itself is another possible form of control: from damning with faint praise, to the patronizing characterization of many female authors as “middlebrow” to the internet’s reactions to films with female protagonists. Presenters must be SAMLA members to attend and may read only one paper at the convention. Please submit by e-mail a 250-word abstract, a brief bio, and A/V requirements by May 21, 2021, to Dr. Laura J. Getty, University of North Georgia (firstname.lastname@example.org).