What if the implications for scholarship of the longstanding, ongoing, and pervasive misogynist, homophobic, transphobic, colonialist, and racist environment are not solely a problem of the archive but also of how we discern evidence and produce history? What if we research and write media history differently? What if we engage in scholarship that recuperates the private musings of our research and makes them the instigating questions? This special issue of Feminist Media Histories, building from the companion issue that preceded it in spring 2022, brings together essays that do just that. Loosening our commitments to what was to ask what might have been? and what might be? allows for repressed narratives to surface and alternative possibilities to emerge. This is especially vital for people and subjects excluded from or denigrated by the historical record and thereby the act of writing history. Indeed, an emphasis on the question, “what if?,”...
Editor’s Introduction: Acts of Speculation
Allyson Nadia Field is Associate Professor of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago. She is the author of Uplift Cinema: The Emergence of African American Film and The Possibility of Black Modernity (Duke University Press, 2015). She is also co-editor with Marsha Gordon of Screening Race in American Nontheatrical Film (Duke University Press, 2019) and co-editor with Jan-Christopher Horak and Jacqueline Stewart of L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema (University of California Press, 2015). Field was named a 2019 Academy Film Scholar by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and a 2020–2021 ACLS/Burkhardt Fellow. She is currently writing a book on the archival rediscovery and afterlives of Something Good—Negro Kiss (Selig, 1898) and another project tentatively titled The Speculative Archive.
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Allyson Nadia Field; Editor’s Introduction: Acts of Speculation. Feminist Media Histories 1 July 2022; 8 (3): 1–7. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fmh.2022.8.3.1
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