Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.800777
Title: Spaces of female subjectivity in contemporary British women's cinema
Author: Smyth, Sarah
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2019
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Abstract:
Conceptualising and representing female subjectivity in cinema remains a contentious problem for feminist film theory. This thesis argues that the notion of space is critical to this problematic, but remains overlooked in studies of women’s cinematic subjectivity. Drawing out the spatial investments and implications in key works on female subjectivity, this thesis demonstrates that psychoanalytic feminist film theory offers no space in which to figure the female subject. She can be represented as neither an embedded, embodied, interiorised nor mobile subject. Turning to more recent feminist film theory allows us to conceptualise a female subject who is spatially present; in other words, she can be figured as embedded, embodied, interiorised and mobile. Privileging British women’s filmmaking as a site where this subjective exploration takes place, this thesis examines a number of British women-authored films to consider how female subjectivity is represented through a specific spatialized mode of representation: as a marginalised subject in Belle (Amma Asante, 2014), as an embodied subject in Prevenge (Alice Lowe, 2016), as an affective subject in We Need to Talk about Kevin (Lynne Ramsay, 2011) and as a mobile subject in Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold, 2009). In doing so, this thesis argues that a spatial analysis not only offers a theoretical and conceptual tool through which female representational subjectivity can be figured, but also enables these subjectivities to be contextualised within the specific social, cultural, political, national, and generic spatial frameworks through which these women are located, embodied, affected and move. British women’s cinema, then, is as much a realisation of the spatial possibilities of representing female subjectivity on screen, as it is a reflection on the spatial limitations of women in the contemporary moment.
Supervisor: Cobb, Shelley ; Williams, Linda R. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.800777  DOI: Not available
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