Epistolary Entanglements in Film, Media and the Visual Arts
Amsterdam University Press
This collection departs from the observation that online forms of communication—the email, blog, text message, tweet—are actually haunted by old epistolary forms: the letter and the diary. By examining the omnipresence of writing across a variety of media, the collection adds the category of Epistolary Screens to genres of self-expression, both literary (letters, diaries, auto-biographies) and screenic (romance dramas, intercultural cinema, essay films, artists’ videos and online media). The category Epistolary encapsulates an increasingly paradoxical relation between writing and the self: first, it describes selves that are written in graphic detail via letters, diaries, blogs, texts, emails and tweets; second, it acknowledges that absence complicates communication, bringing people together in an entangled rather than ordered way. The collection concerns itself with the changing visual/textual texture of screen media and examines what is at stake for our understanding of self-expression when it takes Epistolary forms.
Teri Higgins is an independent scholar who received her Ph.D. from the University of Otago in 2013. Her thesis, Attention to Detail: Epistolary Discourse and Contemporary Cinema inspired the idea for this edited collection.
Catherine Fowler is Professor in Film and Media at Otago University. She is the author of a BFI Classic on Jeanne Dielman and of a book on Sally Potter. Her essays on artists’ moving images have been published in journals including Screen, Cinema Journal and Framework.