Making the Invisible Visible



As film stars, actresses have throughout film history contributed to the film industry’s glamorous surface, providing audiences with visual attraction and different representations of femininity. To talk about women in film as “invisible” may thus seem odd or even wrong. This book, however, is concerned with the paradox that on the other side of the camera, women are clearly underrepresented. This is true of contemporary film culture, and has been true historically, despite significant variations between countries/geographical areas, historical time periods and different roles/professions in film production, distribution and exhibition. Many of the “pioneers” featured on the Women Film Pioneers Project ( which focuses on women’s contribution to silent cinema, were (re)discovered through the work of feminist film historians inspired by the 1970s women’s movement, but still women are clearly marginalized in film history textbooks, and there is arguably a need to extend the attention on women’s contributions to film history beyond the silent era, making visible what has been absent in traditional film history books, and reclaim women’s agency in a wider film historical perspective. This book is a step in this direction. The articles included in the book deal with women’s agency in a wide range of roles, in film production, exhibition and criticism, but also with new perspectives on stars/actresses and their agency, and extending focus to include LGBT and queer identities.

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About the Editor

Ingrid Stigsdotter

Ingrid Stigsdotter completed her university education in the UK, but after finishing her PhD thesis at the University of Southampton in 2008 she returned to Sweden, where she has taught Film Studies and Visual Culture at several different universi... Read more