Studies in French Cinema Becomes French Screen Studies
Studies in French Cinema holds a pioneering and unique status as the only academic journal entirely devoted to French film. Its impressive record since its inception in 2000 has made it an essential reference point for the field. However, as the journal enters its twentieth year, now is a good time for change – of editorial leadership, and of the aims and scope of the journal. Following the journal’s establishment in 2000 with a particular remit to foster younger scholars, Phil Powrie joined its founder Susan Hayward, and they acted as joint General Editors of the journal until 2010, when Phil Powrie continued on his own as Chief General Editor. He served in this post for ten highly successful years, during which he greatly expanded the remit, the readership and the visibility of the journal, amongst other initiatives making it the flagship of BAFTSS’s French and Francophone Special Interest Group. As he steps down, a new team takes over from January 2020: Mary Harrod (Associate Professor in French Studies at the University of Warwick, a member of the journal’s college of General Editors since 2017) and Ginette Vincendeau (Professor in Film Studies at King’s College London).
Our aim is to expand and to some extent renew the journal’s remit, scope, pool of contributors and readership. Our decision comes in response to the fact that over the last twenty years, the production, circulation and consumption of film has shifted beyond recognition. As a result, the new title French Screen Studies reflects our intention to rebrand the journal along more inclusive lines apt for a contemporary mediascape characterized by increasingly porous borders, in which ‘cinema’ is in dialogue with other media and platforms. As a result we wish to:
- Widen the journal’s remit to media beyond film, in particular television, given the importance of series such as Spiral or Call My Agent, but also internet screen culture.
- Open the journal up to the work of historians in order to address what we perceive as ‘forgotten’ areas of, and figures in, French film history; ensure a balance between auteur and popular cinema; acknowledge the contribution of non-directorial filmmaking personnel, such as screenwriters, composers, producers and actors; and more generally maintain the new impetus to foster industry perspectives demonstrated of late by the journal.
- Enhance and develop our collaboration with French and Francophone scholars throughout the world to broaden the journal’s racial and cultural diversity.
Under its new editorship the journal will continue to engage with key areas of debate within the field, such as political cinema, the relationship to Europe and to Hollywood, pedagogy, comedy and ethnicity, space and the banlieue, and so on. In addition, we are particularly keen to solicit papers or proposals for Special Issues – below an indicative but not exhaustive list:
- New screen fictions (e.g. long form series)
- Little-explored genres, such as the French youth movie and middlebrow cinema
- Changes in the structure of the French audiovisual industry
- Issues of diversity in French audiovisual industries and/or representations
- Reappraising the role of feminism in French screen studies in the post-#MeToo era
- Queer approaches to French screen studies
- The changing landscape of stardom and celebrity in France
- Silent film stardom
We also welcome proposals for guest-edited Special Issues on individual films with an important social and/or critical impact and which invite a range of critical perspectives.
Mary Harrod is Associate Professor in French Studies at the University of Warwick.
Her main area of research expertise in French screen studies is in post-1980s cinema, especially comedy and other popular genres. This overlaps with interests in women’s filmmaking and gender studies approaches to film and media; transnational French cinema and television, especially in dialogue with US models under accelerated globalisation; and dialogue in contemporary screen media. She also has expertise in contemporary US cinema.
Ginette Vincendeau is Professor in Film Studies at King’s College London
Her main area of research expertise is first, popular French cinema, especially of the classical era (popular genres such as the thriller and film noir, and heritage cinema; filmmakers such as Marcel Carné, Julier Duvivier, Jean Renoir, Jean Grémillon, Jean-Pierre Melville and – currently – Claude Autant-Lara). Secondly, she works on stardom and celebrity culture, particularly in the French context, both the star system and specific stars (Bardot, Gabin). Thirdly, she has a longstanding interest in feminist approaches to the cinema, gender representations and the work of women filmmakers.
In addition to these changes, the Chief General Editors would like to welcome Professor Kate Ince (Birmingham) and Professor Jamil Jean-Marc Dakhlia (Paris 3 – Sorbonne Nouvelle) to French Screen Studies’ college of General Editors, as Dr. Harrod and Professor Florence Martin step down, with thanks to the latter for her hard work and invaluable contributions. Phil Powrie will meanwhile join the Editorial Board, in order to provide continuing support to the journal.