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Prof Laura Mulvey – intellectual path-breaker in international film industry
2014-07-10

Prof Laura Mulvey – currently a professor at Film and Media Studies at Birkbeck, University of London, recently visited the Bloemfontein Campus. As a tribute to her achievements, the UFS bestowed an Honorary Doctorate on her during our 2014 Winter Graduation Ceremony. In addition, two events were scheduled during which the public could get to know Prof Mulvey and her films better.

Prof Mulvey is a hugely influential figure in the international arena of film and visual media. She is globally recognised as an eminent feminist film scholar and worked at the British Film Institute for many years. During the 1970s and ‘80s she exploded onto the scene as a prominent avant-garde filmmaker.

During her visit, she joined Prof Annie van den Oever (University of Groningen) in two discussions of films – which included some of her most renowned film material.

Under the Skin of the City (Iran, 2001), directed by Rakhshan Bani-E'temad, was screened in full on Thursday 3 July 2014. The film centres on the trials and tribulations faced by an Iranian family. This award-winning film resonated with the South Africans present because of the social issues it addresses. A thought-provoking discussion followed between Profs Mulvey, Van den Oever and the audience – delving deeper into the mechanisms of the film.

On Saturday 5 July 2014, Prof Van den Oever and Prof Mulvey had another discussion – this time round the audience was treated to snippets from Prof Mulvey’s prominent films.

Her work has impacted the cultural and social sciences and not only does her critical analysis scrutinise issues of gender, but also that of race and ethnicity.

Described as ‘a key intellectual path-breaker’, Prof Mulvey’s visit left a trail of inspiration throughout our Kovsie community.

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