Call for Contributors for Overview Essays!

The Women Film Pioneers Project is now expanding to include more Overview Essays to be published online by the Columbia University’s Center for Digital Research and Scholarship. WFPP Overview Essays are edited by Sofia Bull, Monica Dall’Asta, and Jane Gaines, and will from now on be peer-reviewed. The editors seek both short and long overview essays on the model of existing essays such as “French Film Colorists,” “Writing the History of Latin American Women in the Silent Era,” “The Absence of Canadian Women in the Silent Film Industry,” and “Women Camera Operators or ‘Cranks,’” to give just a few examples.

The essays examine women’s occupations, situation and lives from a particular perspective, for example focusing on a profession (ex. editors, cinematographers, colorists), social category (ex. ethnicity, sexuality, age group) or issue (ex. censorship, transnational careers, private lives). We allow for a great deal of variation and creativity in terms of the topics and themes. You may want to refer to existing entries on individual women (these references can be added to the bottom of the overview or integrated later).

While we do welcome your own proposals, here are some suggestions: “Women, Furniture and Drapery: Set Decorators and Set Dressers,” “Reporters and Gossip Girls: Female Film Journalists and Critics,” “Heavy Lifting: Female Menial Workers in the Film Industry,” “The Show Business: Female Executives, Producers and Accountants,” “Could Women Have It All? On Set Pregnancy and Child Care,” “Explorers and Travelers: Transnational Women Film Pioneers,” “Scandals: Mistresses, Divorcées and Party Girls” “Unaccredited, Anonymous and Incognito Film Pioneers,” and “Unfinished Projects, Masterpieces Never Made”


1) Send a 1 paragraph description + title + description of archival research to be conducted, and specify whether you envision a short (1000 words) or long (4000 words) essay, to WFPP coordinator Kate Saccone via email: Please also include a short preliminary bibliography along with your paragraph proposal.

***Please note that since WFPP is always expanding, there is no deadline for your description. However, if you are accepted to write an overview essay, you will be given a due date (see below).***

2) See Complete Guidelines for WFPP Overview Essays:

3) The editorial team will review your proposal and let you know whether or not it has been accepted.

4) After your proposal has been accepted by the editors, we will send you a deadline. Deadlines in this updatable publication are revolving between 1 and 2 years from the date of assignment, depending on length and amount of archival research entailed. Your submission will be sent to reviewers when we receive a version that conforms to our specific guidelines.