Linda Williams: An Interview

Video Data Bank

1992 | 00:30:00 | United States | English | Color | Mono | 4:3 | Hi8 video

Collection: Interviews, On Art and Artists, Single Titles

Tags: Body, Feminism, Interview, Race, VDB Interviews

Linda Williams writes on what she calls “body genres”: melodrama, horror, and, most famously, pornography. One of the most influential feminist film scholars to emerge in the 1980s, she wrote important essays on the women’s film (melodrama) before publishing her most influential work, Hard Core: Power, Pleasure, and the Frenzy of the Visible (1989 and 1999). Hard Core studies the visual modes and political meanings of pornography—that enormously popular but ill-reputed strain of cinema that had largely been neglected by academia—in a rigorous study, without getting bogged down in the divisive anti-pornography versus sex-positive feminist debates.

Williams’s most recent monograph is Playing the Race Card: Melodramas of Black and White, from Uncle Tom to O.J. Simpson (2001). She is a professor in the rhetoric department and director of film studies at University of California-Berkeley.

A historical interview originally recorded in 1992.

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