Exposition: Further Reading

33.1 Urban Studies

Shaw, Debra Benita
Posthuman Urbanism: Mapping Bodies in Contemporary City Space
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-7834-8079-1

The World Health Organisation estimates that, by 2030, six out of every ten people in the world will live in a city. But what does it mean to inhabit the city in the twenty-first century? Posthuman Urbanism evaluates the relevance and usefulness of posthuman theory to understanding the urban subject and its conditions of possibility. It argues that contemporary science and technology is radically changing the way that we understand our bodies and that understanding ourselves as ‘posthuman’ offers new insights into urban inequalities. By analysing the relationship between the biological sciences and cities from the nineteenth-century onward as it is expressed in architecture, popular culture and case studies of contemporary insurgent practices, a case is made for posthuman urbanism as a significant concept for changing the meaning of urban space. It answers the question of how we can change ourselves to change the way we live with others, both human and non-human, in a rapidly urbanising world.

Birdsall, Carolyn
Nazi Soundscapes: Sound, Technology and Urban Space in Germany, 1933-1945
Amsterdam University Press, 2012
ISBN: 978-9-0896-4426-8

Many images of Nazi propaganda are universally recognizable, and symbolize the ways that the National Socialist party manipulated German citizens. What might an examination of the party’s various uses of sound reveal? In Nazi Soundscapes, Carolyn Birdsall offers an in-depth analysis of the cultural significance of sound and new technologies like radio and loudspeaker systems during the rise of the National Socialist party in the 1920s to the end of World War II. Focusing specifically on the urban soundscape of Düsseldorf, this study examines both the production and reception of sound-based propaganda in the public and private spheres. Birdsall provides a vivid account of sound as a key instrument of social control, exclusion, and violence during Nazi Germany, and she makes a persuasive case for the power of sound within modern urban history.

Ong, Aihwa
Fungible Life: Experiment in the Asian City of Life
Duke University Press, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-8223-6264-7

In Fungible Life Aihwa Ong explores the dynamic world of cutting-edge bioscience research, offering critical insights into the complex ways Asian bioscientific worlds and cosmopolitan sciences are entangled in a tropical environment brimming with the threat of emergent diseases. At biomedical centers in Singapore and China scientists map genetic variants, disease risks, and biomarkers, mobilizing ethnicized “Asian” bodies and health data for genomic research. Their differentiation between Chinese, Indian, and Malay DNA makes fungible Singapore’s ethnic-stratified databases that come to “represent” majority populations in Asia. By deploying genomic science as a public good, researchers reconfigure the relationships between objects, peoples, and spaces, thus rendering “Asia” itself as a shifting entity. In Ong’s analysis, Asia emerges as a richly layered mode of entanglements, where the population’s genetic pasts, anxieties and hopes, shared genetic weaknesses, and embattled genetic futures intersect. Furthermore, her illustration of the contrasting methods and goals of the Biopolis biomedical center in Singapore and BGI Genomics in China raises questions about the future direction of cosmopolitan science in Asia and beyond.

Palardy, Diana
The Dystopian Imagination in Contemporary Spanish Literature and Film
Palgrave Macmillan, 2018
ISBN: 978-3-319-92884-5

This study examines contemporary Spanish dystopian literature and films (in)directly related to the 2008 financial crisis from an urban cultural studies perspective. It explores culturally-charged landscapes that effectively convey the zeitgeist and reveal deep rooted anxieties about issues such as globalization, consumerism, immigration, speculation, precarity, and political resistance (particularly by Indignados [Indignant Ones] from the 15-M Movement). The book loosely traces the trajectory of the crisis, with the first part looking at texts that underscore some of the behaviors that indirectly contributed to the crisis, and the remaining chapters focusing on works that directly examine the crisis and its aftermath. This close reading of texts and films by Ray Loriga, Elia Barceló, Ion de Sosa, José Ardillo, David Llorente, Eduardo Vaquerizo, and Ricardo Menéndez Salmón offers insights into the creative ways that these authors and directors use spatial constructions to capture the dystopian imagination.

Davies, Dominic
Urban Comics: Infrastructure and the Global City in Contemporary Graphic Narratives
Routledge, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-1384-8358-3

Urban Comics: Infrastructure and the Global City in Contemporary Graphic Narratives makes an important and timely contribution both to comics studies and urban studies, offering a decolonisation and reconfiguration of both of these already interdisciplinary fields. With chapter-length discussions of comics from cities such as Cairo, Cape Town, New Orleans, Delhi and Beirut, this book shows how artistic collectives and urban social movements working across the global South are producing some of the most exciting and formally innovative graphic narratives of the contemporary moment. Throughout, the author reads an expansive range of graphic narratives through the vocabulary of urban studies to argue that these formal innovations should be thought of as a kind of infrastructure. This ‘infrastructural form’ allows urban comics to reveal that the built environments of our cities are not static, banal, or depoliticised, but rather highly charged material spaces that allow some forms of social life to exist while also prohibiting others. Built from a formal infrastructure of grids, gutters and panels, and capable of volumetric, multi-scalar perspectives, this book shows how urban comics are able to represent, repair and even rebuild contemporary global cities toward more socially just and sustainable ends. Operating at the intersection of comics studies and urban studies, and offering large global surveys alongside close textual and visual analyses, this book explores and opens up the fascinating relationship between comics and graphic narratives, on the one hand, and cities and urban spaces, on the other.

Gladwin, Derek
Ecological Exile: Spatial Injustice and Environmental Humanities
Routledge, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-1381-8968-3

Ecological Exile explores how contemporary literature, film, and media culture confront ecological crises through perspectives of spatial justice—a facet of social justice that looks at unjust circumstances as a phenomenon of space. Growing instances of flooding, population displacement, and pollution suggest an urgent need to re-examine the ways social and geographical spaces are perceived and valued in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Maintaining that ecological crises are largely socially produced, Derek Gladwin considers how British and Irish literary and visual texts by Ian McEwan, Sarah Gavron, Eavan Boland, John McGrath, and China Miéville, among others, respond to and confront various spatial injustices resulting from fossil fuel production and the effects of climate change. This ambitious book offers a new spatial perspective in the environmental humanities by focusing on what the philosopher Glenn Albrecht has termed ‘solastalgia’—a feeling of homesickness caused by environmental damage. The result of solastalgia is that people feel paradoxically ecologically exiled in the places they continue to live because of destructive environmental changes. Gladwin skilfully traces spatially produced instances of ecological injustice that literally and imaginatively abolish people’s sense of place (or place-home). By looking at two of the most pressing social and environmental concerns—oil and climate–Ecological Exile shows how literary and visual texts have documented spatially unjust effects of solastalgia. This interdisciplinary book will appeal to students, scholars, and professionals studying literary, film, and media texts that draw on environment and sustainability, cultural geography, energy cultures, climate change, and social justice.

Rothstein, Richard
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
Liveright, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-6314-9453-6

In this groundbreaking history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein, a leading authority on housing policy, explodes the myth that America’s cities came to be racially divided through de facto segregation—that is, through individual prejudices, income differences, or the actions of private institutions like banks and real estate agencies. Rather, The Color of Law incontrovertibly makes clear that it was de jure segregation—the laws and policy decisions passed by local, state, an federal governments—that actually promoted the discriminatory patterns that continue to this day. Through extraordinary revelations and extensive research that Ta-Nehisi Coates has lauded as “brilliant” (The Atlantic), Rothstein comes to chronicle nothing less than an untold story that begins in the 1920s, showing how this process of de jure segregation began with explicit racial zoning, as millions of African Americans moved in a great historical migration from the south to the north. As Jane Jacobs established in her classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities, it was the deeply flawed urban planning of the 1950s that created many of the impoverished neighborhoods we know. Now, Rothstein expands our understanding of this history, showing how government policies led to the creation of officially segregated public housing and the demolition of previously integrated neighborhoods. While urban areas rapidly deteriorated, the great American suburbanization of the post–World War II years was spurred on by federal subsidies for builders on the condition that no homes be sold to African Americans. Finally, Rothstein shows how police and prosecutors brutally upheld these standards by supporting violent resistance to black families in white neighborhoods. The Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibited future discrimination but did nothing to reverse residential patterns that had become deeply embedded. Yet recent outbursts of violence in cities like Baltimore, Ferguson, and Minneapolis show us precisely how the legacy of these earlier eras contributes to persistent racial unrest. “The American landscape will never look the same to readers of this important book” (Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund), as Rothstein’s invaluable examination shows that only by relearning this history can we finally pave the way for the nation to remedy its unconstitutional past.

Bruce, Caitlin Frances
Painting Publics: Transnational Legal Graffiti Scenes as Spaces for Encounter
Temple University Press, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-4399-1445-8

Public art is a form of communication that enables spaces for encounters across differences. These encounters may be routine, repeated, or rare, but all take place in urban spaces infused with emotion, creativity, and experimentation. InPainting Publics, Caitlin Bruce explores how various legal graffiti scenes across the United States, Mexico, and Europe provide diverse ways for artists to navigate their changing relationships with publics, institutions, and commercial entities Painting Publics draws on a combination of interviews with more than 100 graffiti writers as well as participant observation, and uses critical and rhetorical theory to argue that graffiti should be seen as more than counter-cultural resistance. Bruce claims it offers resources for imagining a more democratic city, one that builds and grows from personal relations, abandoned or under-used spaces, commercial sponsorship, and tacit community resources. In the case of Mexico, Germany, and France, there is even some state support for the production and maintenance of civic education through visual culture. In her examination of graffiti culture and its spaces of inscription, Bruce allows us to see moments where practitioners actively reckon with possibility.

Carrier, Neil. and Tabea Scharrer, ed.
Mobile Urbanity: Somali Presence in Urban East Africa
Berghahn, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-78920-296-0

The increased presence of Somalis has brought much change to East African towns and cities in recent decades, change that has met with ambivalence and suspicion, especially within Kenya. This volume de- mystifies Somali residence and mobility in urban East Africa, showing its historical depth, and exploring the social, cultural and political underpinnings of Somali-led urban transformation. In so doing, it offers a vivid case study of the transformative power of (forced) migration on urban centres, and the intertwining of urbanity and mobility. The volume will be of interest for readers working in the broader field of migration, as well as anthropology and urban studies.

Zukin, Sharon. Philip Kasinitz and Xiangming Chen
Global Cities, Local Streets: Everyday Diversity from New York to Shanghai
Routledge, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-1380-2393-2

Global Cities, Local Streets: Everyday Diversity from New York to Shanghai, a cutting-edge text/ethnography, reports on the rapidly expanding field of global, urban studies through a unique pairing of six teams of urban researchers from around the world. The authors present shopping streets from each city—New York, Shanghai, Amsterdam, Berlin, Toronto, and Tokyo—how they have changed over the years, and how they illustrate globalization embedded in local communities. This is an ideal addition to courses in urbanization, consumption, and globalization. The book’s companion website, www.globalcitieslocalstreets.org, has additional videos, images, and maps, alongside a forum where students and instructors can post their own shopping street experiences.

July 14th, 2020

Nicholas Burman | An Eruption of Fragmentary Impressions: Exploring the Spectral Narrator in Martin Vaughn-James’ The Cage

33.1 Urban Studies

Abstract

More than an aesthetic depiction of ruins, Martin Vaughn-James’ 1975 comic The Cage alerts one to the possibility of an urban environment overwhelming a narrative agent. This article draws on The Cage’s narratological tactics as well as hauntology in order to read the narrator as a spectral presence. It posits that what this narrator depicts reflects what Marc Augé describes as “places of memory.” Finally, the article describes how a tear in the spectral narrator’s vision points to a crisis in perception. The Cage’s unnerving quality resides in how it reveals perception itself to be a cage, a frame that limits one’s understanding.

July 14th, 2020

N.F. Hartvelt | The Urban Intersection: Resisting Control in the City of Mirror’s Edge Catalyst

33.1 Urban Studies

Abstract

This article examines environmental storytelling in the 2016 video game Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, which is set in an urban control society. The article discusses the link between ‘the urban’ and ‘the control society,’ paying attention to the digital aspect of (urban) control mechanisms and how these (invisible) mechanisms are consequently represented in Catalyst. It argues that through parkour gameplay and emergent narratives—both of which are firmly rooted in the urban setting of the game—Catalyst allows the player both to imagine and enact resisting control, thereby furthering understanding of the representation of (resistance to) control in the smart city.

July 14th, 2020

Judith Naeff | Time, Space and Subaltern Phenomenology in the Documentary Film Essay Taste of Cement

33.1 Urban Studies

Abstract

This article analyses how the film essay Taste of Cement by Ziad Kalthoum portrays Syrian construction labourers in Lebanon. It shows that the film’s evocation of sensory experience makes two important contributions to the way we conceive of cities in general, and of post-civil war Beirut in particular. First, Taste of Cement succeeds in representing the workers as subaltern subjects without participating in their erasure. Second, the film presents a view that I call “oscillating urbanism,” thus challenging conventional narratives of (post-)conflict cities.

July 14th, 2020

Floris Paalman | An Ontology of City, Art, and Time: Plotting the Work of Fra Paalman

33.1 Urban Studies

Abstract

This article examines the artistic work and practice of Fra Paalman in order to rethink the relationship between art and the urban environment. It attempts to move away from the concept of urban art as capturing a fragment of a certain time and place in a city, given how such theoretical frameworks always imply a sort of ‘ideal city,’ or an imagined wholeness. Instead, Paalman’s art is explored for how the city becomes spatially integrated into, and temporally traversed by, the artwork, and vice versa. Through this, the article uses Paalman’s artwork to demonstrate how urban ontology is temporal, and acts as a composite and integration of various levels of experience.

July 14th, 2020

Daniela Vicherat Mattar | Public Space as a Border Space: Social Contention and Street Art in Santiago Post-18/O

33.1 Urban Studies

Abstract

In October 2019, massive demonstrations took place in the streets of Santiago, Chile. The demands were varied, addressing several aspects of the acute social inequalities that characterise Chilean society. Protests were met with a brutally violent response by the police forces deployed to control them. What was more difficult to regulate was the explosion of graffiti and street art that accompanied the social unrest. These mobilisations speak of the repolitisation of the civil sphere through the occupation of public spaces. In this article, I propose to look at the role public spaces have played in these events not only from the perspective of public spaces as sites of political encounter and counter-hegemonic mobilisations, but mostly as borders. I contend that public spaces act as material and symbolic borders where the struggles over practices of ordering and othering take place. By looking at the history of a square in Santiago’s city center—Plaza de la Dignidad—and a selection of the graffiti in its surroundings, I explore how the square acts as a border and, in doing so, enables an alternative spatial imagination that feeds new possible political and social orders.

July 14th, 2020

Simon Oxholm Roy and Jeff Diamanti | The Bifurcation of Amsterdam’s Terminals and Tourists: Urgenda and Beyond

33.1 Urban Studies

Abstract

This essay provides a visual and historical analysis of Amsterdam City and the terminal landscape of Westpoort in order to detail the aesthetic, discursive, and material entanglements of global logistics to the cultural imaginary of Amsterdam. By taking the recent victory of Stichting Urgenda over the interests of Dutch Petrocapital as a starting point, the essay suggests that while polity is beginning to shape environmental policy, the Port of Amsterdam continues to expand finance fueled fossil futures unabated. To explain why, archival and creative research generation is used to compare the Port of Amsterdam’s visual regime of energy storage and circulation in Westpoort to Amsterdam City’s post-industrial aesthetics.

July 14th, 2020

Kaixuan Yao and Max Casey | Foreword

33.1 Urban Studies

Titled “Perspectives of Urban Studies,” this issue of FRAME features articles that share in making apparent what is lying below the surface of urban existence. Through analyzing the spatial-visual-material regime of the city (Vicherat Mattar; Roy and Diamanti; Burman), and the cultural representation and artistic remediation of urban living (Naeff; Paalman; Hartvelt; Burman), these articles each posit a distinct perspective in understanding lived or represented urban phenomena.

July 14th, 2020

Exposition: Further Reading

32.2 Feminist Bodies

Recent Publications

Barla, Josef
The Techno-Apparatus of Bodily Production A New Materialist Theory of Technology and the Body
Columbia UP, 2019
ISBN: 978-3-8376-4744-0
What if the terms “technology” and “the body” did not refer to distinct phenomena interacting in one way or another? What if we understood their relationship as far more intimate—technologies as always already embodied, material bodies as always already technologized? What would it mean, then, to understand the relationship between technology and the body as a relation of indeterminacy? Expanding on the concept of the apparatus of bodily production in the work of Donna Haraway and Karen Barad, Josef Barla explores how material bodies along with their boundaries, properties, and mean- ings performatively materialize at sites where technological, biological, technoscientific, (bio-)political, and economic forces intra-act.

Fidmer-Oraiz, Natalie
Homeland Maternity: US Security Culture and the New Reproductive Regime
U of Illinois P, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-252-08414-0
In US security culture, motherhood is a site of intense contestation both a powerful form of cultural currency and a target of unprecedented assault. Linked by an atmosphere of crisis and perceived vulnerability, motherhood and nation have become intimately entwined, dangerously positioning national security as reliant on the control of women’s bodies. Drawing on feminist scholarship and critical studies of security culture, Natalie Fixmer-Oraiz explores homeland maternity by calling our attention to the ways that authorities see both nonreproductive and “overly” reproductive women’s bodies as threats to social norms and thus to security. Homeland maternity culture intensifies motherhood’s requirements and works to discipline those who refuse to adhere. Analyzing the opt-out revolution, public debates over emergency contraception, and other controversies, Fixmer-Oraiz compellingly demonstrates how policing maternal bodies serves the political function of securing the nation in a time of supposed danger with profound and troubling implications for women’s lives and agency.

Gallop, Jane
Sexuality, Disability and Aging: Queer Temporalities of the Phallus
Duke UP, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-4780-0161-4
Drawing on her own experiences with late-onset disability and its impact on her sex life, along with her expertise as a cultural critic, Jane Gallop explores how disability and aging work to undermine one’s sense of self. She challenges common conceptions that equate the decline of bodily potential and ability with a permanent and irretrievable loss, arguing that such a loss can be both temporary and positively transformative. With Sexuality, Disability, and Aging, Gallop explores and celebrates how sexuality transforms and becomes more queer in the lives of the no longer young and the no longer able while at the same time demonstrating how disability can generate new forms of sexual fantasy and erotic possibility.

Gill, Tiffany and Blain, Keisha
To Turn the Whole World Over: Black Women and Internationalism
U of Illinois P, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-252-08411-9
Black women undertook an energetic and unprecedented engagement with internationalism from the late nineteenth century to the 1970s. In many cases, their work reflected a complex effort to merge internationalism with issues of women’s rights and with feminist concerns. To Turn the Whole World Over examines these and other issues with a collection of cutting-edge essays on black women’s internationalism in this pivotal era and beyond. Analyzing the contours of gender within black internationalism, scholars examine the range and complexity of black women’s global engagements. At the same time, they focus on these women’s remarkable experiences in shaping internationalist movements and dialogues. The essays explore the travels and migrations of black women; the internationalist writings of women from Paris to Chicago to Spain; black women advocating for internationalism through art and performance; and the involvement of black women in politics, activism, and global freedom struggles.

Gilligan, Carol and Snider, Naomi
Why Does Patriarchy Persist?
Polity Press, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-5095-2913-1
The election of an unabashedly patriarchal man as US President was a shock for many: despite decades of activism on gender inequalities and equal rights, how could it come to this? What is it about patriarchy that seems to make it so resilient and resistant to change? Undoubtedly it persists in part because some people benefit from the unequal advantages it confers, but is that it? Is that enough to explain its stubborn persistence? In this highly original and persuasively argued book, Carol Gilligan and Naomi Snider put forward a different view: they argue that patriarchy persists because it serves a psychological function. By requiring us to sacrifice love for the sake of hierarchy, patriarchy protects us from the vulnerability of loving and becomes a defense against loss. By uncovering the powerful psychological mechanisms that underpin patriarchy, they are able to show that forces beyond our awareness may be driving a politics that otherwise seems inexplicable.
This new book, co-authored by one of the world’s most influential feminist thinkers, will be of great interest to anyone who is concerned about our messy psycho-political times.

Guffey, Elizabeth
Designing Disability: Symbols, Space, and Society
Bloomsbury Press, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-3500-0427-6
Designing Disability traces the emergence of an idea and an ideal— physical access for the disabled—through the evolution of the iconic International Symbol of Access (ISA). The book draws on design history, material culture and recent critical disability studies to examine not only the development of a design icon, but also the cultural history surrounding it. Infirmity and illness may be seen as part of human experience, but ‘disability’ is a social construct, a way of thinking about and responding to a natural human condition. Elizabeth Guffey’s highly original and wide-ranging study considers the period both before and after the introduction of the ISA, tracing the design history of the wheelchair, a product which revolutionised the mobility needs of many disabled people from the 1930s onwards. She also examines the rise of ‘barrier-free architecture’ in the reception of the ISA, and explores how the symbol became widely adopted and even a mark of identity for some, especially within the Disability Rights Movement. Yet despite the social progress which is inextricably linked to the ISA, a growing debate has unfurled around the symbol and its meanings. The most vigorous critiques today have involved guerrilla art, graffiti and studio practice, reflecting new challenges to the relationship between design and disability in the twenty-first century.

Lindner, Katharina
Film Bodies: Queer Feminist Encounters with Gender and Sexuality in Cinema
Bloomsbury Press, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-7845-3624-4
The representation of gender and sexuality is well-explored territory in film studies. In Film Bodies, Katharina Lindner takes existing debates into a new direction and integrates queer and feminist theory with film phenomenology. Film Bodies explores the female body’s presence in a range of genres including the dance film, the sports film and queer cinema. Moving across mainstream and independent cinema, Lindner provides detailed ‘textural’ analyses of Black Swan, The Tango Lesson, 2 Seconds, Offside, Tomboy and Girlhood and discusses the queer feminist encounters these films can give rise to. This provocative book is of vital interest to students and researchers of queer cinema, queer/feminist theory, embodiment and affect and offers a unique new way of understanding the relationship between queerness, feminism, the body and cinema.

Mendes, Kaitlynn, et al.
Digital Feminist Activism Girls and Women Fight Back Against Rape Culture
Oxford UP, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-1906-9785-3
• Draws on a wide range of empirical data, including over 800 pieces of digital data and interviews with hard-to-access groups.
• Mobilizes key theories from feminist and digital media studies, including “affective solidarity” and “affective publics” to demonstrate how digital feminist activism works in the everyday lives of participants.
• Combines interdisciplinary methods, including qualitative content analysis, thematic textual analysis, and ethnographic methods such as in-depth interviews, group interviews, surveys, and close-observations of online communities.

Steinbock, Eliza
Shimmering Images: Trans Cinema, Embodiment, and the Aesthetics of Change
Duke UP, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-4780-0388-5
In Shimmering Images Eliza Steinbock traces how cinema offers alterna- tive ways to understand gender transitions through a specific aesthetics of change. Drawing on Barthes’s idea of the “shimmer” and Foucault’s notion of sex as a mirage, the author shows how sex and gender can appear mirage-like on film, an effect they label shimmering. Steinbock applies the concept of shimmering—which delineates change in its emergent form as well as the qualities of transforming bodies, images, and affects—to analyses of films that span time and genre. These include examinations of the fantastic and phantasmagorical shimmerings of sex change in Georges Méliès’s nineteenth-century trick films and Lili Elbe’s 1931 autobiographical writings and photomontage in Man into Woman. Steinbock also explores more recent documentaries, science fiction, and pornographic and experimental films. Presenting a cinematic philosophy of transgender embodiment that demonstrates how shimmering images mediate transitioning, Steinbock not only offers a corrective to the gender binary orientation of feminist film theory; they open up new means to understand trans ontologies and epistemologies as emergent, affective, and processual.

Warren, Shilyh
Subject to Reality: Women and Documentary Film
U of Illinois P, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-252-08434-8
Revolutionary thinking around gender and race merged with new film technologies to usher in a wave of women’s documentaries in the 1970s. Driven by the various promises of second-wave feminism, activist filmmakers believed authentic stories about women would bring more people into an imminent revolution. Yet their films soon faded into obscurity. Shilyh Warren reopens this understudied period and links it to a neglected era of women’s filmmaking that took place from 1920 to 1940, another key period of thinking around documentary, race, and gender. Drawing women’s cultural expression during these two explosive times into conversation, Warren reconsiders key debates about subjectivity, feminism, realism, and documentary and their lasting epistemological and material consequences for film and feminist studies. She also excavates the lost ethnographic history of women’s documentary filmmaking in the earlier era and explores the political and aesthetic legacy of these films in more explicitly feminist periods like the Seventies. Filled with challenging insights and new close readings, Subject to Reality sheds light on a profound and unexamined history of feminist documentaries while revealing their influence on the filmmakers of today.

January 10th, 2020

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