Critical Writing Index

Is The Dead Authour a Woman? / L'auteur mort est-ce une femme?

by Janine Marchessault and Jeanluc Svoboda

Parallelogramme, Spring 1990, v. 15, no. 4, pp. 1-19

In this English and French article, Janine Marchessault discusses the lack of critical attention to (and lack of curricula on) women filmmakers, and the problems with contemporary thought about female authorship. Marchessault uses Roland Barthes' The Death of the Author, which finds fault with the method of reading and criticism that relies on knowing elements of the author's identity to distill a work's significance, to illustrate the concept of ignoring the author's identity in criticism. Marchessault argues that labeling work as "women's art" risks reducing feminist culture to a dangerous empiricism, and refers to the documentary Calling the Shots, by Janis Cole and Holly Dale, to illustrate the point, by explaining that some female artists would not or do not consider themselves, or their work, feminist.

ITEM 1990.083 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

FragmentsPaula Fairfield

Le Film de JustineJustine Crpeau

Calling the ShotsJanis Cole

Calling the ShotsHolly Dale

You Take Care NowAnn Marie Flemming