The women behind Women & Film

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Women & Film magazine was the world’s first feminist film journal, published in California between 1972 and 1975. Although short-lived, it published some of the first pieces of feminist film criticism, and predates the foundational essay ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’ by Laura Mulvey that appeared in Screen in 1975. Many of its contributors would go on to play a significant role in the development of both feminist film theory and film studies more generally and several would go on to found other journals, such as Jump Cut and Camera Obscura. This paper will briefly explore the magazine’s beginnings, including its founding by two women: Siew-Hwa Beh and Saundra Salyer, who were emboldened by the women’s liberation movement and inspired by the counterculture and the theories of Herbert Marcuse, Mao, Wilhelm Reich and Jean-Luc Godard to start a magazine dedicated to a feminist discussion of cinema. But I will also chart the magazine’s demise, accelerated by editorial conflicts over politics, film theory, language, accessibility and the struggle to work collectively.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2018
EventDoing Women's Film and Television History Conference: Calling the Shots – Then, Now, and Next - University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom
Duration: 23 May 201825 May 2018
Conference number: IV


ConferenceDoing Women's Film and Television History Conference
Abbreviated titleDWFTH
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address

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