CFP: International Symposium “Women in Iberian Cinema” University of Lisbon School of Arts and Humanities Lisbon, Portugal, 11-12 September, 2017

The call for papers is now open for the International Symposium ‘Women in Iberian Cinema’, an interdisciplinary event organized by the research group ‘Cinema and the World – Studies on Space and Cinema’, to be held at the Centre for Comparative Studies in the University of Lisbon School of Arts and Humanities, Lisbon, Portugal, on 11^and 12 September 2017.
Women have always occupied a peripheral position within the world of film. While female characters, particularly protagonists, are scarce, and women’s subjects tend to be framed through a male gaze, significant contributions made by women to film production and criticism are often dismissed and/or underrepresented in film canons, historical archives and official narratives. For instance, according to the “Celluloid Ceiling” report conducted by the Centre for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, USA, only 4% of the 100 highest earning movies in 2016 were directed by women, and 29% were led by female characters.
Despite the international visibility of filmmakers including Isabel Coixet, Iciar Bollaín and Teresa Villaverde, to name but a few, in Spain, barely 8% of the films produced every year are directed by women. In Portugal, only 40 feature-films were directed by women between 1946 and 2009: that is less than one film per year. Focused on the cinemas of Portugal and Spain, this symposium aims to bring together researchers from different disciplines working on women and their status in relation to any aspect of Iberian cinemas. Our aim is to launch a debate about the position of women in cinema that draws insight and at the same time contributes to study fields as varied as Film Studies, Comparative Studies, Cultural Studies, Feminist Studies, Queer Studies and Postcolonial Studies.
This symposium will contribute to expanding debates about the position of women in the cinemas of Portugal and Spain through a revision of feminist and postfeminist theory, as well as new accounts of film history. It also aims to promote comparisons between Iberian cinemas from all regions, a topic that is almost unexplored in academia, despite the similar histories of the two countries, particularly throughout the twentieth century.
We welcome proposals for 20-minute presentations and/or pre-constituted panels of max. 3 speakers. The event’s working languages will be English, Portuguese and Spanish. Early-career researchers are especially encouraged to apply. Topics may include (but are not limited to):
·Female characters, subjects and representations in specific regional, national and/or transnational contexts;
·Gender and genre in the cinemas of Portugal and Spain;
·The role of women in the film industry, from early to contemporary cinema;
·Case studies of women directors, producers, screenwriters and below-the-line staff;
·Female stars in Portugal and Spain;
·Feminist and postfeminist approaches to film studies in different eras;
·Women and censorship, propaganda, or politics more generally.
Please send 300-word abstracts and a brief biographical note to the organizers, Elena Cordero and Mariana Liz, to by 9 June 2017. The symposium will also include a roundtable on women in Portuguese cinema, with guest directors, producers and programmers. More details will be available soon at