Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Communication

Year Degree Awarded

2016

Month Degree Awarded

September

First Advisor

Anne T. Ciecko

Second Advisor

Jarice Hanson

Third Advisor

Alexandra Keller

Subject Categories

Communication Technology and New Media | Critical and Cultural Studies | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication | Journalism Studies | Other Film and Media Studies

Abstract

This dissertation examines the ways in which female film critics practice film criticism in the convergent age. In original research drawn from ethnographic interviews with eight female film critics and bloggers as well as textual, historical, and reception analyses of criticism, this dissertation argues that women who write film criticism in the convergent era are not only writing from a space of marginalization based on the patriarchal dominance of the film industry, but also face a series of obstacles through gendered and discursive conflicts that are unique to writing online and which do not exert the same impact on male film critics. The findings reveal that women often draw on a feminist impulse to disrupt critical film discourse. I deem this disruption the “cinephilia of feminist interruptions”—a space where women who are knowledgeable about cinema must address issues of representation, identity, misogyny or sexism that interrupt the pleasure of moviegoing and their own writing practice. Women writing film criticism today not only must fight for cultural authority but must defend their knowledge of film, their feminist approach to film and media, and be constantly aware of how the simple fact of their gender shapes how male critics and audiences will receive their criticism.