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colleagues--

i write again with a question that i first asked two or three years back,
dealing with a matter i need to address again

some of my students in a first year writing course which takes cinema
as its topic [but it's an expos course, not a cinema studies course] are
intrigued by feminist criticism and want to do research papers on some
aspect of that large and complex area . . .  there's obviously no shortage

of  materials to be found, and they've successfully located a lot of very
interesting stuff, almost all of which is virtually unintelligible
to them  . . .  these are kids who know almost nothing about freud or
marx,  and have never even heard of foucault, lacan, althusser, zizek,
raymond williams, john berger, or laura mulvey . . . such terms as
"diegesis," "simulacrum," "apparatus," "repression," "iconicity,"
"representation," "subject position" and "the gaze" are a foreign
language  . . .

these are smart and ambitious students, and welcome the challenge
of reading difficult stuff, but it has to be stuff that they have the
tools to decipher . . . and most of the stuff we ourselves read every
day --stuff that may often challenge us--is simply beyond them

there is work that fits the bill -- i think especially of that by molly
haskell and marjorie rosen -- but it's pretty dated now, and in fact
one of the reasons that it remains so readable is that it antedates the
more intensely theoretical turns that cinema studies in general, and
feminist theory in particular, took after the 1970s . . . because it's now
so old i'm hesitant to recommend it -- and in any case it does not
deal with any of the films my students care about

so . . . to get to the point . . . can anyone recommend essays or books
dealing with feminist approaches to cinema that i might in good
conscience ask my students to read and expect them to understand

many thank

mike

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Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
University of Alabama: http://www.tcf.ua.edu