Mulvey, Laura

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Laura Mulvey

Laura Mulvey (UK, 1941) is Emeritus Professor of Film & Media Studies at the University of London (UK) and a fundamental author in the development of the psychoanalytic perspective for the analysis of cinema and media culture.

She is the author of one of the main influential essays in feminist cinema studies: Visual pleasure and narrative cinema (Screen, 1975). In this essay, Mulvey develops Male Gaze Theory. She is also author or co-author of 9 books, among them, Visual and other pleasures (1989), Fetishism and curiosity (1996) and Death 24x a second: Stillness and the moving image (2006). She is especially interested in a critical analysis of cinema and in the study of experimental cinema during the 70s. It was, in fact, during the 70s when she began her academic career. In the following decades, during the Women’s Liberation Movement, she would develop a feminist and critical analysis of cinema and a political and psychoanalytic perspective for the study of cinematic production.

Mulvey has focused on the need for the construction of a new cinematographic language that questions the patriarchal order of classic cinema. She argues that the way to develop this questioning is through avant-garde cinema. Because of this belief, she has co-directed 8 films together with Peter Wollen and Mark Lewis. Since the 90s, she has been interested in analyzing technological development in cinema and new ways of cinema-viewing.

Mulvey is a Fellow of the British Academy since 2000 and a Honorary Member of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. She has also received several honorary doctorates (honoris causa) from Concordia University (Canada), University College Dublin (Ireland) and Yale University (US).

Selected publications:

  • Mulvey, L. (1975). Visual pleasure and narrative cinema. Screen, 16(3), 6-18. https://doi.org/10.1093/screen/16.3.6
  • Mulvey, L. (1989a). Visual and other pleasures. Palgrave.
  • Mulvey, L. (1989b). Afterthoughts on ‘Visual pleasure and narrative cinema’ inspired by Duel in the Sun. In L. Mulvey (Ed.), Visual and other pleasures (pp. 29-38). Palgrave.
  • Mulvey, L. (1996). Fetishism and curiosity. Indiana University Press.
  • Mulvey, L. (2004). Looking at the past from the present: Rethinking feminist film theory of the 1970s. Signs, 30(1), 1286-1292.
  • Mulvey, L. (2006). Death 24x a second: Stillness and the moving image. Reaktion Books.

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