ABOUT THIS BOOK
The essays in this volume represent some of the best new thinking about the crucial relations between visual representation in film and human subjectivity. No amount of empirical research into the sociology of actual audiences will displace the desire to speculate about the effects of visual culture, and especially moving images, on viewing subjects. These notions of spectatorship, however hypothetical, become extremely compelling metaphors for the workings of vision within the institution of cinema. Viewing Positions examines the tradition of a centered, unitary, distanced, and objectifying spectator's gaze; investigates the period when film spectatorship as an idea began; and analyses gender- and sexuality-based challenges to the homogeneous classical theory of spectatorship. It makes available critical understandings of spectatorship that have, until now, largely eluded cinema studies.