Three-D Issue 18: Women’s Media Studies Network update

Heather Nunn
Roehampton University

As ever members of the WMSN have been busy networking, reaching out to new members and hosting lively and engaging events.

Media and Mothers’ Matters

On 21st October 2011 Oluyinka Esan organised ‘Media and Mothers’ Matters’ at Winchester University with a keynote by Dorothy Hobson, University of Wolverhampton. This was a well-attended symposium featuring Stella Roberts from the Mother’s Union alongside new and established scholars with an interest in gender, the maternal and media texts and/or practice.

Kim Akass addressed ‘From Here to Maternity – Motherhood in the Media’, Janet McCabe explored ‘States of Confusion: Sarah Palin and the Media Politics of US Mothering’, Rebecca Feasey ‘Teen Drama: Absent, Inept and Intoxicated Mothers’, Racheal Agbonkhese ‘Setting the Media Agenda for Maternal Mortality in Nigeria: A long road to travel’ and Tamsyn Dent ‘The Widening Gender Gap in the UK Creative Media Industries’.

For a report on the event by Olu Esan and follow-up pieces by Akass, McCabe and Feasey see the Commentary and Criticism Section of Feminist Media Studies 2012 Volume 12, Issue 1.

Women’s Media Studies Network & Practice Network

Photo: Director Jan Dunn and Cinematographer Ole Birkeland on the set of The Calling

It’s customary for the Network to run an event for members at the MeCCSA Annual Conference as well as to hold an AGM. This year on the 12th January we were very pleased to feature filmmaker Jan Dunn in conversation with Rona Murray (Lancaster University). Jan was a tremendously engaging speaker whose commentary of clips from her films was genuinely illuminating.

Dunn made her feature-length directorial debut in 2005 with the film Gypo, which won a British Independent Film Award for Best Production. In our session she recalled the challenges and advantages of making the film under the Dogme 95 rules before going on to talk about her second film Ruby Blue which with Bob Hoskins and Josiane Balasko (2008). Dunn both wrote and directed her third feature film, The Calling (2010), with Brenda Blethyn, Susannah York, Rita Tushingham, Pauline McLynn and Amanda Donohoe. In our session she explored the pleasures of working with such a formidable cast of fine actors. She is currently adapting Rose Tremain’s best-selling novel Sacred Country for film.

Future events

We are currently in discussion with Dr Ruth Barton, Head of Dept of Film Studies, Trinity College, Dublin concerning a collaborative event with the Women’s Film and TV History Network to take place in early summer 2012. Plans include a possible screening at the Irish Film Institute followed by a symposium.

The Network is keen to ensure that events take place in every region of the UK so that as many members as possible are able to meet and socialise. So we are especially pleased to be supporting an event in Scotland on the topic of female authorship in the Autumn of 2012. The organisers are Sarah Neely (University of Stirling), Karen Boyle (University of Glasgow), Maggie Sweeney (University of the West of Scotland), Jane Sillars (University of Edinburgh) and Sarah Smith (Glasgow School of Art).

If you are interested in hosting an event with the support of the WMSN please contact Heather Nunn (

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