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Camera Obscura

Subject Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631207535.1997.x


Founded in 1974 by four women experimenting with feminist socialism and keenly interested in the relation between women and the cinema, especially A vant -GARDE and experimental films made by women, Camera Obscura reflects the changing theoretical beliefs of its creators. Janet Bergstrom, Sandy Flitterman, Elisabeth Hart Lyon, and Constance Penley joined the editorial board of Women and Film one year before founding Camera Obscura. “The need to begin a new review arose out of longstanding and seemingly unresolvable controversies within Women and Film ,” they wrote in 1979. Camera Obscura provided a fresh outlet for their theories and a chance to practice a form of feminist socialism. For the first two years, the four women acted idealistically as a single unit, signing all of their work, whether created individually or by the team, as the Camera Obscura Collective. By 1976, the same year in which Women and Film finally collapsed, forcing Camera Obscura to adopt the task of announcing information about women's film activities in a section entitled “Women Working,” the founding editors realized that the collective model was not appropriate to their journal. In a later issue they wrote (collectively) that much of the audience of their first issue found the effect to be “monolithic” and to discourage the contributions of others beyond the editorial collective. For another ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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