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Women, Convergent Film Criticism, and the Cinephilia of Feminist Interruptions

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.