Archive for the 'Film Studies' Category

Treasure in the Archives

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

We’re moving offices here at WLU Press. It’s an internal move, so our institutional address stays the same, but we’ve been in the same offices for more than twenty years and we have accumulated a LOT of junk. I mean stuff. I mean valuable archives.

We’re packing up said archives and deciding which will come with us, which can be stored off-site and which are ok to recycle/shred. Printouts of emails that say “let’s have a meeting tomorrow at 2″ can probably safely be discarded.

Sometimes you come across treasure, though. Yesterday I was moving author files from the file cabinets to the moving boxes and a postcard fell out. It’s from Stan Brakhage, the late American experimental filmmaker. In 1999, WLU Press released The Films of Stan Brakhage in the American Tradition of Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein and Charles Olson, by R. Bruce Elder. The postcard from Brakhage was to thank us for his complimentary copies. The message shows a man full of grace and gratitude for the attention paid his films, and I reproduce it here:

I am very appreciative of the extraordinary insights into my film-making which Bruce Elder has provided therein, and deeply grateful to Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press for extending these insights to the public-at-large. The book is beautifully balanced in the hand, IS a beauty on sight, the print exactly right (it seems to me) … the whole FEEL of it, from paper to cover, of an excellence rare today. In short, I am overjoyed and meaningfully honored.

What a joy it was to find this in the files! I’m going to keep it in mind as we slog on and hope that more treasure like this comes our way.

International Women’s Day

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

March 8 marks International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate women and their accomplishments, and a day to highlight the struggles that still exist for women around the world. Some, like Margaret Wente of The Globe and Mail would say this day is unnecessary, that the the “war for women’s rights is over. And we won.” Others, like Emma Woolley at Shameless Magazine, refute that statement with statistics that show that gross inequalities and injustices remain in women’s lives both at home in North America and abroad, especially in the developing world.

There is no doubt that there is much work to be done, both internationally, as contributors to The Global Food Crisis (Clapp/Cohen) attest, and nationally, as shown in our social work texts, like Cruel But Not Unusual: Violence in Canadian Families (Alaggia/Vine) and Moving Toward Positive Systems of Child and Family Welfare (Cameron et al.). Also troubling are persistent cultural biases in media, as Cheryl Krasnick Warsh explores in her forthcoming collection Gender, Health, and Popular Culture.

But our books also explore the roles and celebrate the accomplishments of women in literature, the arts, politics, and other areas. On this day we celebrate the women who are the authors of these books and the women about whom they are written. Here is just a selection of our women’s studies titles:

The Gendered Screen: Canadian Women Filmmakers (Brenda Austin-Smith and George Melnyk, editors)

Wider Boundaries of Daring: The Modernist Impulse in Canadian Women’s Poetry (Di Brandt and Barbara Godard, editors)

Textual Mothers/Maternal Texts: Motherhood in Contemporary Women’s Literatures (Elizabeth Podnieks and Andrea O’Reilly, editors)

Minds of Our Own: Inventing Feminist Scholarship and Women’s Studies in Canada and Quebec (Wendy Robbins, Meg Luxton, Margrit Eichler, and Francine Descarries, editors)

Florence Nightingale on Women, Medicine, Midwifery, and Prostitution, CWFN Vol. 8 (Lynn McDonald, editor)

The Feminine Gaze: A Compendium of Non-Fiction Women Authors and Their Books, 1836–1945 (Anne Innis Dagg)

Canadian Women in Print, 1750–1918 (Carole Gerson)

Beyond Bylines: Media Workers and Women’s Rights in Canada (Barbara M. Freeman)

The New Paragone

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

Harmony and DissentThe New Paragone: The Cinema and Vanguard Art Movements is the name of syposium beginning today at Ryerson University in Toronto. Convened to discuss the ideas of R. Bruce Elder, whose most recent book is Harmony and Dissent: The Cinema and Avant-Garde Art Movements in the Early Twentieth Century (WLU Press, 2008), the workshop includes panel discussions and film screenings. A launch of Harmony and Dissent is scheduled for 7pm today in room IMA 301 at the Ryerson School of Image Arts, with special guest Michael Snow. All are welcome.

The event continues through to Saturday and features well-known speakers and filmmakers such as Bart Testa, Seth Feldman, Kathryn Elder, James Miller, Gerald O’Grady, and more.