Gwendolyn Audrey Foster is the Willa Cather Professor Emerita of Film Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She attended Douglass College for Women, part of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, where she earned her BA in English and a certificate in Women's Studies.
She later earned her Masters degree and her Ph.D. in English, with an emphasis on cinema studies, women's literature, and popular culture, and now teaches courses specializing in film, class, race and gender studies, as well as eco-critical approaches to film and popular culture.
Her many books include such titles as A Short History of Film (Rutgers University Press, co-written with Wheeler Winston Dixon, second edition 2013; third edition 2018); Class-Passing: Social Mobility in Film and Popular Culture (Southern Illinois University Press, 2005); Performing Whiteness: Postmodern Re/Constructions (State University of New York Press, 2003); and Identity and Memory: The Films of Chantal Akerman (Southern Illinois University Press, 2003).
Her other works include Experimental Cinema: The Film Reader (co-edited with Wheeler Winston Dixon, Routledge, 2002); Troping the Body: Etiquette, Conduct and Dialogic Performance (Southern Illinois University Press, 2000) and Captive Bodies: Postcolonialism in the Cinema (State University of New York Press, 1999). Foster's book Performing Whiteness: Postmodern Re/Constructions was cited by the journal Choice as "Essential . . . one of the Outstanding Academic Books of the Year."
In 2015, Foster and Dixon inaugurated the Quick Takes: Movies and Popular Culture for Rutgers University Press, a new series of books on film and popular culture. To date, twenty books have been contracted for the series, featuring such key authors as Steven Shaviro, David Sterritt, Valérie Orlando, Blair Davis and many others.
Foster and Dixon also served as Series Editors for New Perspectives on World Cinema, a series of books published internationally with Anthem Press, UK from 2009 - 2017. Foster writes articles regularly for numerous journals, as well as being a prolific experimental filmmaker; you can see a selected list of her film and video screenings here.
Foster taught a broad variety of courses that reflect her diverse interests: Ozu and Asian Cinema, Bresson and French Cinema, Spanish and Mexican cinema, Experimental filmmakers, Pre-Code Cinema and Film Censorship, Women Filmmakers in History, Feminist and Marxist Approaches to Film Theory, Apoco-tainment, Eco-Horror and Environmentalism in TV and Film, The Woman's Picture and Melodrama, Female Spectatorship, Race and Postcolonialism in Film, Queer Theory, Feminist Film Theory, Gay and Lesbian Filmmakers, Masculinity in Film and Media, and many other topics.
Her documentary film Women Who Made The Movies is distributed by Women Make Movies, New York, and has become a classic in the field of feminist cinema history. You can view the film here.
Gwendolyn Audrey Foster
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Gwendolyn Audrey Foster's films and videos have screened at Anthology Film Archives (NYC), Museum of Modern Art (MoMA, NYC), Film-Makers' Cooperative (NYC), Black Maria Film Festival (USA), Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival (Scotland), Analogica Film Festival (Italy), Collective for Living Cinema (NYC), Outfest (LA), Bi Arts Festival (Toronto), Experimental Response Cinema (TX), Nederlands Filmmuseum, Rice Museum, Swedish Cinemateket, National Museum of Women in the Arts (DC), Films de Femmes (Créteil), Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC), Forum Yokohama (Japan), Amos Eno Gallery (NYC), SLA 307 Art Space (NYC), Maryland Institute College of Art, Studio 44 (Stockholm), Museum of the Future (Berlin), BWA Contemporary Art Museum (Poland), Filmhuis Cavia (Amsterdam), nGKB gallery (Berlin), KinoBerlino (Berlin) Chimeres Space (Athens), Engauge Festival (Seattle), LACDA (Los Angeles Center for Digital Art) and many other museums and international film festivals.
Foster's film/video art is collected and archived at the UCLA Film & Television Archive.
Filmmaker / Artist / Author