Film & History 2013 Conference
Making Movie$: The Figure of Money On and Off the Screen

The Marking and Marketing of Women:
Sex, Violence, and Money in Film

Deadline for Abstracts: July 1, 2013

Whether in mainstream, independent, international fiction, or documentary films, images and narratives of sex—as prostitution, pornography, sex trafficking, or other forms of sexual marketing—coalesce around violence against women, marking them as commodities. And yet many of these films struggle to promote the agency of women and give voice to victims, often turning women themselves into agents of violence. Are such contradictions a function of genre? How do thrillers, action films, westerns, and romantic comedies, for example, shape the narratives of sex toward and against the marking and marketing of women? Recently, film genres such as action movies, thrillers, and horror films have featured a more varied depiction of femininity and non-­conformist gender display. When does sexual or gender violence—either by a woman or against a woman— attract the audience, and why? More broadly, what cultural or historical conditions shape our response to this marking and marketing of women and violence? What racial or economic conditions shape it?

This area will explore all questions related to the sexualized marking and marketing of women in film, television, and online media. Papers that explore contemporary films about “marked women” in various national or international cinematographies are especially welcome.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Surrogate Sex Workers: The Sessions (2012)
  • Enemies/Lovers in War: Full Metal Jacket (1987)
  • Prostitution and Pimps: Taxi Driver (1976); Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
  • The Noble Prostitute and the Cinderella Myth: Pretty Woman (1990)
  • Houses of Pleasure or Pain: Brothels Across Cultures: La Vie En Rose (2007)
  • Pandora, Pleasure and Perversion: Famous Seductresses in Weimar Cinema
  • Sex and Addiction: Prostitutes in Shame (2011)
  • Happy Hookers: Monsieur Ibrahim (2003)
  • Male Prostitutes and the Margins: Taxi Zum Klo (1980)
  • Children of Prostitutes: Born Intro Brothels (2004)
  • The Underbelly of Society and Musicals: Moulin Rouge, Cabaret and Chicago
  • Nightclubs and drag: La cage aux folles series
  • Drugs, Teenagers and Prostitution: Christiane F. – Wir Kinder Vom Bahnhof Zoo (1981)
  • Moral codes and Britain: Downton Abbey and the “Fallen Women”
  • Sex, Submission and the Holocaust: The Night Porter (1974)
  • Exotic sex sells: Salaam Bombay (1988); Highway Courtesans (2005)
  • Erotica or Trade: The ugly side of the sex industry in Film

Proposals for individual papers should include a 200-word abstract and the name, affiliation, and contact email of the presenter. Proposals for complete panels (three related presentations) are also welcome, but they must include an abstract and contact information, including an e-mail address, for each presenter.

Deadline for Abstracts: July 1, 2013

For updates and registration information about the upcoming meeting, see:

Please send submissions or queries to the area chair:

Karen A. Ritzenhoff
Central Connecticut State University

Movie Posters