2017 | FMACS & ARTS&HUMS 5th Doctoral Student-led Conference.
Date: Friday 30 June 2017
Venue: Cinema, 43 Gordon Square
10 : 00-17 : 00
Arrival from 9: 30, where tea and coffee will be available
10:00-11:00 | SESSION ONE | Selina Robertson, ‘Disorderly Narratives’: doing queer feminist film historiography in the Rio cinema archive 1980s-1990s, chaired by Janet McCabe
Throughout the 1980s-1990s the Rio Cinema in Dalston hosted and supported a plethora of intersectional feminist film curatorial activity. My current research has led me into Rio cinema’s attic, to unpack and consider how to interpret these undocumented women’s curatorial film histories through an archiving practice. Taking Jack/Judith Halberstam’s 2005 queer archiving theory of ‘disorderly narratives’ as a reference point, this presentation aims to reflect on my methodology of a mindful interpretation of this minoritian archive that holds the histories of curating feminism as activism and advocacy, a history that has for too long fallen outside the orderly formation of London’s cultural cinema history.
Using a single episode of Black Butler, this session will use the show to explore the research of two of our doctoral candidates working on anime. Olivia Hinkin will detail her latest work on distribution and production, while Syada (Tish) Dastagir will look at the issue of race in relation to her most recent findings.
12: 30-13:30 | lunch
13: 30-14: 30 | SESSION THREE : Bruce Eadie : Representing unrepresented traumatic states: Albertina Carri’s The Blonds (2003), chaired by Tim Markham
Albertina Carri’s parents were kidnapped and murdered during Argentina’s ‘dirty war’ of the 1970s, when Carri was three-years old. At the age of 30, Carri made The Blonds to explore what she called “my constitution as a person starting from an absence”. Fiercely protective of her sense of connection to her lost parents, Carri becomes aware that this connection has little narrative or representational content; never sure if any of her memories are more than second-hand recollections picked up from others. As the film progresses, Carri gradually sloughs off these false or alien memories, revealing an acute, unbreakable sense of bodily connection. Bruce theorizes this ‘body memory’ through the psychoanalytic work of Freud, Winnicott, André Green, Rosine Perelberg, et al.
14: 30-15: 30 | SESSION FOUR : Kelli Westen : Duality in Cinematic Representations of the Black Female Gothic, with the film, Wake, by Bree Newsome (20mins), chaired by Emma Sandon
Kelli Westen’s research concerns ‘Female Gothic’ cinematic narratives, using the double as a lens to reveal the ways in which the standard implications of the genre change when those narratives feature women of colour in the leads. Wake makes use of a classic image from African American folklore – the conjure woman – to explore the way patriarchal forces stifle black women and also causes a split that encourages the need for a ‘protector’ of sorts, a natural dissociation takes place. The film also subtly challenges the monstrous configuration of black women in mainstream horror cinema. Kelli will use the film to discuss cinematic representations of black women and the ways Gothic/Horror cinema makes for an interesting platform to examine communal anxieties around race and femininity, especially turned inward.
Kelli Westen is currently in the second year of her doctorate research in Film and Screen Media at Birkbeck University of London, where she also completed an MA in Film, Television and Screen Media. She specializes in horror cinema and the role of race in American films, specifically those films that centre the black female experience. Her previous academic research similarly concerned the configuration of black women in cinema in addition to cinema’s function as a reflection of societal anxieties. I am a regular contributor to Sight and Sound magazine, where my publications have focused on feminism, womanism, and female spectatorship.
30 min comfort break, with tea and coffee
16: 00 -17: 00 | OBJECT LESSONS, a discussion on methodology and the use of objects in research, led by Janet McCabe and Tim Markham