File spoon-archives/french-feminism.archive/french-feminism_1998/french-feminism.9803, message 22

Subject: film theory and liminality?
Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 18:08:23 -0000

Dear List,
I'm hoping for help on "liminality" and film theory.

I have a student writing her honors thesis on various representations of
the Nuns of Loudun.  She begins with Michel de Certeau and uses
discourse theory to think about the nun's speech as an altered
transgression of the medical, theological and juridical discourses that
were awaiting the nuns and located the nuns' possessed speech in
discourses that nevertheless they disturbed.   Then she will shift to
Ken Russell's film, The Devils to think about how he, influenced by
Aldous Huxley, constructed a discourse in which to insert the now
modern, hysterical nuns. 

She has asked me about using Turner's notion of the liminal to think
about the nuns' location as a disruption of discourse.  Although I have
produced two critiques of Turner (Catherine Bell and Theresa de
Lauretis) I nevertheless think that an important essay or tradition of
film theory has thought about the filmic, liminality of film.  Is anyone
failiar with an essay that is thinking about the fluidity, filmic,
liminal status of film?  I'm wondering whether there isn't a feminist
appropriation of liminality that would be useful here.


Mary Keller
University of Stirling

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