CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY KENYON
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Sept. 18, 2002
Lecture, film screenings highlight feminist filmmaker's UI visit
One of the world's leading feminist film theorists and filmmakers will visit
the University of Iowa Sept. 26-28 as an Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting
Professor. Laura Mulvey, professor of film and media studies at Birkbeck College,
University of London, will give a free, public lecture, "The Pensive
Spectator," at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26. She also will participate
in a discussion of her film "Disgraced Monuments," (1994) following
its screening Friday, Sept. 27 at 3:30 p.m. Both presentations will take place
in room 101 Becker Communication Studies Building (BCSB).
In "Disgraced Monuments," Mulvey uses rare archival footage and
interviews with sculptors, art historians, gallery and museum directors to
examine the fate of monuments of Lenin, Stalin and other leaders of the former
Soviet Union after the collapse of communism. The film is not available in
the U.S. and Mulvey's visit provides a rare opportunity to view it.
In advance of her arrival, three of her other films will be screened on
campus. "Riddles of the Sphinx," (1977) will be shown Sunday, Sept.
22 at 7 p.m. in 101 BCSB; "The Bad Sister" (1983) will be shown
Monday, Sept. 23 at 3:30 p.m. in 107 English-Philosophy Building; and "AMY!"
(1980) will be shown Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 6 p.m. in 101 BCSB.
Mulvey's landmark essay "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema"
(1974) established feminist film theory as a legitimate field of study, has
been translated into at least 10 languages, is the most-cited essay in the
entire discipline of film studies and is read regularly by students in literature,
women's studies, art history, and related fields. Nearly 30 years later, Mulvey's
ideas and concepts continue to be widely discussed and debated. They provide
the foundation for every investigation into film spectatorship and into the
representation of women in Hollywood cinema.
In addition, Mulvey has had a distinguished career as a filmmaker of experimental
and documentary films. Her experimental films have played at all major international
film festivals in Europe and in the United States, and three of her films
are themselves the subject of individual chapters of subsequent important
books on feminist film criticism.
She is a Fellow of the British Academy and a much sought-after speaker throughout
Europe and the United States. In addition to frequent talks at colleges and
art museums in London, Mulvey has been an invited lecturer at universities
in Brazil, Finland, Spain, the Netherlands, France, Scotland, Italy, Canada,
and the United States.
Mulvey's visit is sponsored by three UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
departments -- cinema and comparative literature, women's studies, and English.
Her activities at the UI are supported by the Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished
Visiting Professorships Program, which brings outstanding scholars to the
UI campus for residencies ranging from a few days to an entire academic year.
A native of Vinton, Iowa, Beam willed her farm to the UI in 1977. Her only
university connection was a relative who graduated from the College of Medicine.
Proceeds from the sale of the farm were used to establish the visiting professorships
program in her name. Since 1977, hundreds of eminent scholars and scientists
have visited the UI campus to give public lectures and to meet with students