Films for the Feminist Classroom (FFC) is hosted by the Department of Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies at Texas Woman’s University. FFC, an online, open-access journal, publishes film reviews that provide a critical assessment of the value of films as pedagogical tools in the feminist classroom. Special features, such as interviews with filmmakers, reviews of film festivals, and discussions about pedagogy, further promote engagement and discussion and support our aims to serve as a resource for educators and librarians and to enhance feminist curricula, bringing film into the classroom through thought-provoking, relevant, and dynamic content. Formerly, the Rutgers-based editorial offices of Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society and the Rutgers Women's and Gender Studies Department hosted this journal.

Issue 7.1

Films for the Feminist Classroom issue 7.1 is here! In this issue we are delighted to share the special feature “Teaching #BlackLivesMatter with Film and Video” alongside film reviews highlighting a wide range of topics, narratives, and geographical regions.

The contributors to our special feature offer thoughtful, critical activities for educators who wish to invite their students to grapple with U.S. racial politics and, more specifically, the legacies and contemporary expressions of anti-Black racism in the United States. Asking people to reflect on and analyze racism brings with it potential challenges, such as student resistance to triggering moments, assertions that we live in a post-racial society, and generalizations about how “all” people think or act are based on someone’s personal experience. To this end, “Teaching #BlackLivesMatter with Film and Video” aims to provide educators with tools they can use in various pedagogical settings and for various pedagogical purposes.

“Teaching #BlackLivesMatter with Film and Video” builds on, explores, and contributes to already ongoing vibrant political and pedagogical dialogues. In doing so, the contributors create a rich archive of films and videos, readings, lesson plans, and even an entire syllabus, which is further enriched through brief essays that unpack pedagogical and practical dimensions of teaching about race and racism. Grounded in the field of social work, Jameka Hartley offers the syllabus “For Colored Boys: Black Masculinity & the Social Welfare State,” and Megan Spencer and Daryl Adkins coauthor a piece based on their experiences teaching the class “Women in Global Cinema,” which includes a lesson plan built around the film A Place of Rage (Pratibha Parmar, 1991). Poe Johnson also outlines specific classroom activities, framing them through an engagement with fan studies and using popular television shows as primary sources. And Melissa Ooten’s essay discusses specific pairings of films/videos and readings that can be useful for an introductory-level class or for teaching students who are new to the intersections between feminism and #BlackLivesMatter.

The film reviews pick up threads that emerge in the special feature, grappling with people’s lives at the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, class, religion, age, and ethnicity. Some themes emerge around reproductive health and justice and the neoliberal dimensions of labor and economy, and reviewers show how films situate these topics in relation to transnational flows of people, goods, money, and ideas. Investigating power and privilege through a cultural dimension, other reviews address what and how we eat, the performance of gender and gender play in performances, feminist art, religion, and the identitarian dynamics that shape how we build and relate to our families. Thus, in this issue you’ll learn about films such as The Hand That Feeds, No Más Bebés, Primetime: Fighting Back against Foreclosure, Hafu: The Mixed-Race Experience in Japan, Pearls on the Ocean Floor, Xmas without China, Tales of the Waria, Red Moon: Menstruation, Culture, and the Politics of Gender, and Our Lady Queen of Harlem: A Portrait of Faith and Rebellion.

Films for the Feminist Classroom welcomes proposals for film reviews, special features, and lesson plans that include film or video media as well as suggestions about regional and international film festivals to cover in future issues. Please see our call for proposals and contact for more information.