The research essay (5500-6000 words) will be a filmic analysis which makes use of one or more theoretical approaches from the course. Students must develop their own essay topic and choose their own film (s):My Research Argument:I argue that the use of the female vampire character in a “A Girl Who Walks Home Alone At Night” is a form of feminist resistance to the Iranian patriarchal society. I also show that this film is an example of resilience and creativity of feminists in their refusal to be dominated. I propose that the appropriation of the symbolic meaning and the ironic use of the ‘burka’ covering in the first female Middle Eastern vampire character signals a rebellion and resistance to a male Iranian patriarchal society and a response to a common portrayal of Middle Eastern woman as victims in mainstream media. It can be seen as a way to mock traditional Iranian societal values.In this essay my focus will be to demonstrate that altering the original uses and meanings of covering can be interpreted as a form of resistance to the local hegemony emphasizing social conformity. I also show through this film that by imitating a dominantly male character (vampire), the use of this covered Iranian female character can also be seen as an attempt to mock the institutional patriarchal power. I will explain how the veil in this movie can be seen as a cloak of invisibility that challenges the enforcement of a male dominated justice and discipline the underlying gender politics in the region. Professors Feedback and advice:I think you\’ll find research about women in Iranian film, about the representation of the veil, and about feminist approaches to reframing the veil more useful than some of the classic male gaze theory. Or, better, you can start from male gaze theory but move to the context of feminist and diasporic Iranian film and gender politics as the main concern of your essay.So, as a next step, let me know what your argument about the film in relation to the question of redefining Iranian gender politics is. In terms of research, you\’ll need to become more familiar with Iranian film and its associated gender politics, as we briefly discussed last week. I\’d recommend that you have a look at the founding book (written in English) on Iranian film: Hamid Naficy\’s An Accented Cinema. There are also books on post-revolutionary Iranian cinema (e.g., Mottahedeh 2008) as well as a couple of articles from a feminist perspective to get you started on the gender politics question:M MacDonald, \’Muslim Women and the Veil\’, Feminist Media Studies 6.1LC Moore, \’Women in a Widening Frame\’, Camera Obscura 20.2 GM Rezai-Rashti, \’Transcending the Limitations\’, Critique: Critical Middle Eastern Studies 16.2The sources include among other feminist theories:Ann Kaplan (1983) “Is the Gaze Male?” in Women and film: Both sides of the camera, New York, Methuen, 23-35. ISBN: 0416317502Hamid Naficy\’s An Accented Cinema.M MacDonald, \’Muslim Women and the Veil\’, Feminist Media Studies 6.1LC Moore, \’Women in a Widening Frame\’, Camera Obscura 20.2 GM Rezai-Rashti, \’Transcending the Limitations\’, Critique: Critical Middle Eastern Studies 16.2
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