Doing Women’s (Global) (Horror) Film History (DWGHFH) is not just a special issue.
It is a year-long training and mentoring programme for critics working on women horror filmmakers in non-anglophone countries, with a particular focus on filmmakers from the Global Majority. The project was run by Alison Peirse, with masterclasses, individual tutorials and workshops delivered by Catherine Grant, Miriam Kent, Evelyn Kreutzer, Neepa Majumdar, Dayna McLeod and Tanya Vital.
Each contributor was taken on with the assumption that they did not have any experience in videographic work, nor any technical knowledge, and would be working with free software. The programme took place online, taught out of Germany, the UK, the USA and Canada. Some contributors on the programme were already horror scholars, while others were new to horror, but had expertise in national cinemas. Many did not work inside the academy at all, and instead ran film festivals, worked as designers, or freelanced as filmmakers or film critics. Of the academics in the programme, the majority were PhD students or early career.
The Call for Proposals was released February 2022. Contributors began the programme in July 2022. A showcase of the contributors videographic training exercises can be found on Vimeo. In November 2022, a number of the contributors discussed their experiences of finding and accessing case studies at a roundtable at the De-Westernising Horror Cinema conference at Kings College London. In April 2023, contributors submitted the final versions of their video essays and written statements.
In June 2023, over half of the contributors presented their work and reflected upon the project as a whole at the Doing Women's Film and Television History Network conference at the University of Sussex. The following month, Bruna Foletto Lucas, Tuğçe Kutlu, Kate Robertson and Krista Amira Calvco then created their own New Horror Histories: Video Essays on Women in Horror event at the Fear 2000 conference at Sheffield Hallam University, UK.
In December 2023, the BAFTSS Horror Special Interest Group ran a live preview of the special issue, chaired by Valeria Villegas Lindvall, and featuring contributors Quan Zhang, Beatriz Saldanha, Kate Robertson, Ucheyamere Nkwam Uwaoma, Alice Haylett-Bryan and Krista Amira Calvo. You can view the event below:
The project will have its official premiere and launch in February 2024. It will screen at the City Kino Wedding cinema, Berlin, as part of the Final Girls Berlin Film Festival. May Santiago and Alison Peirse will appear in person, introducing selected screenings from the project and participating in a live audience Q&A.
This project was funded by the AHRC, as part of Alison Peirse's AHRC Research, Development and Engagement Fellowship in Feminist Horror Cinema, project reference AH/W000105/1.