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*New Book: Gendering History on Screen: Women Filmmakers and Historical Films
Julia Erhart
Library of Gender and Popular Culture, IB Tauris, 2018

Movies about significant historical personalities or landmark events like war seem to be governed by a set of unspoken rules for the expression of gender. Films by female directors featuring female protagonists appear to receive particularly harsh treatment and are often criticised for being too ‘emotional’ and incapable of expressing ‘real’ history. Through her examination of films from the United States, Europe, Australia and elsewhere, Julia Erhart makes powerful connections between the representational strategies of women directors such as Kathryn Bigelow, Ruth Ozeki and Jocelyn Moorhouse and their concerns with exploring the past through the prism of the present. She also compellingly explores how historiographical concepts like valour, memory, and resistance are uniquely re-envisioned within sub-genres including biopics, historical documentaries, Holocaust movies, and movies about the ‘War on Terror’. Gendering History on Screen will make an invaluable contribution to scholarship on historical film and women’s cinema.

“Drawing on insightful readings of a diverse array of films including Monster, Nadar, La rafle/The Round Up and Zero Dark Thirty, Erhart has crafted an eminently readable study of how female directors reshape historical film to make room for women’s perspectives.”

-	Julianne Pidduck, University of Montreal and author of Contemporary Costume Film


“In Gendering History on Screen, the first book-length study of its kind, Julia Erhart persuasively argues that innovative films directed by women have transformed the genre of the historical film. Trans-national in focus and expansive in its consideration of genre and sub-genre, Erhart's book offers fresh and provocative ways of thinking about what counts as a history film and about the multitude of differences gender makes to the experience of history on screen. The book fills a gap in cinema studies and will doubtless inspire other scholars to follow in its path.”

-	Susan Linville, University of Colorado at Denver, author of History Films, Women, and Freud’s Uncanny and Feminism, Film, Fascism: Women’s Auto/biographical Film in Postwar Germany

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