CHDH Seminar - Towards a relational framework for evaluating the gender bias in popular film narratives - Pete Jones

Presenter: Pete Jones

Date: Tuesday 10 December

Time: 4 - 5 PM

Speaker: Pete Jones

Location: Latham Theatre (Room 102 Redmond Barry Building, University of Melbourne)

In this presentation I will discuss my research which explores the value of the relational tools and perspectives of social network analysis for investigating the vocal and relational disempowerment of women in popular film narratives. I will explain what I mean by these terms, reviewing how the question of gendered representation in popular cinema has typically been discussed and why I think relational perspectives are important to feminist film research. I will present my methods for constructing dynamic character interaction networks from films and present results for a number of blockbuster films, reflecting on what a relational analysis can tell us that might otherwise be overlooked. In particular, I focus on two central aspects of the research: (1) I will reflect on our understanding of “female-led” in cinema and consider the way in which our gendered vocabularies for leadership conceal some of the issues in the way that Hollywood tells stories about women and power, and (2) I will explore the question of how we appropriately represent narrative texts as data in order to leverage the analytical power of network analysis while retaining the ability to speak to the dynamic processes of narrative comprehension.