Call for Papers
Women and Hollywood: Tales of Inequality, Abuse and Resistance in the Dream Factory (University of Illinois Press)

Edited by Karen McNally
Abstract Deadline: Friday 23 June 2023
Chapters Due: October 2023

The above volume is contracted with University of Illinois Press for their ‘Women’s Media History Now!’ series edited by Kay Armatage, Jane M. Gaines, Christine Gledhill and Sangita Gopal.

This is an additional call for chapters on the following topics:

1. Inequality and/or abuse in the Hollywood film and television industries or its films during the 1920s or 1930s. This might relate to individual figures or the theme more broadly and would demonstrate the establishment of patterns evident in the industry or on screen.

2. Inequality and/or abuse as part of the experience of lesbian women in Hollywood’s film and television industries or through representation on screen. An emphasis on the intersectional experience is key to this topic.

3. The exposure of abusive practices in Hollywood through the #metoo movement and the treatment of perpetrators and victims. Of particular interest is how inequalities might persist in the impact or otherwise on careers as these cases play out in the industry, the press and legally.

Chapter proposals should be submitted as a 300-400 word abstract to the editor, Dr Karen McNally, at by Friday 23 June 2023. Please include an author biography of 100-150 words. Final chapters will be circa 6,000 and due by end of October 2023. Please feel free to email with any queries prior to submission of abstracts.

Please see below for further details of the book description:

The Hollywood film industry in the 21st century has become synonymous with accusations of structural inequality alongside revelations of sexual harassment and abuse, the impact of which has rippled out to wider society both in the US and overseas. The pay inequalities raised by actresses including Michelle Williams and Octavia Spencer and the multiple rape and sexual assault charges and convictions against Harvey Weinstein and others have ignited the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. Simultaneously, organizations and initiatives such as the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and Black Women’s Equal Pay Day have worked to challenge the structures and practices of gender inequality that exist in the American film industry and that reflect broader national concerns.

Yet these circumstances and the narratives that accompany them are far from revelatory, hidden or limited to a contemporary context. The power imbalances and mistreatment that have defined women’s careers in Hollywood are as long-established as they are persistent, have been built into the structure of Hollywood and stretch across its entire history. From the euphemistically- termed ‘casting couch’ to the control of stars’ reproductive choices, and from the indirect expulsion of female directors, to male ownership of women’s work and the multiple limitations placed upon women of colour, the professional experience in Hollywood for women has consistently been different from that of their male colleagues. This volume will address a variety of ways in which narratives are formed that illustrate and highlight these inequities, and those that actively challenge the structured culture that has persistently worked to enact them. Topics range from early cinema to contemporary film and television, and move between press and fan magazine narratives, screen dramatizations, studies of individual figures and broader industry practices.


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