2012 has brought into stark relief our culture’s continual fixation on the legal boundaries of the female body. By no means a new topic of debate, what and how the body is controlled has nonetheless burst into mainstream media and thought with Canada’s Bill M312 (known by many as the “When Life Begins” bill, or “Harper’s Backdoor Abortion Bill”), and south of the border where there was a sincere conversation over “legitimate rape.” Academically, the body is being taken up by cinema studies in more heartening ways, as it looks for continuity with performance studies and considers the different implications of bodies in motion.
As we move into 2013 and the launch of Cléo: A Journal of Film and Feminism, our focus in this first issue is flesh. We want to know how bodies, skin, and anatomy are figured onscreen and in culture and to what sexual, political, social, economic, violent, or aesthetic ends? Whose bodies do we see onscreen, and whose do we not? Bodies in motion, inert limbs, cyborgs, and female action bodies — what are they doing and how are they doing it? We are interested in how flesh and skin are constructed in film and what relationship these representations have to desire or anxiety. We are open to a wide spectrum of film texts from the more canonical, to silent films, French surrealism, and the contemporary, and we are looking forward to receiving papers considered from and informed by feminist perspectives.