B. The Overview Essay

Don’t forget to download our Women as Camera Operators Overview Submission Model & Newspaperwomen and the Movies Overview Submission Model!

The Overview Essay

Overview Essay + Bibliography (and if applicable Filmographies, Credit Report, and Archival Paper Collection list) + Images and Documents (and if applicable DVD/VHS Sources and Streamed Media).

    • Overview Essay Specifications:
      • Word count for short essay, prose section only: approximately 1,000 words (3-4 pages). Note: Bibliography and other sections are not part of this page count.
      • Word count for long essay, prose section only: approximately 4,000 words (12-16 pages). Note: Bibliography and other sections are not part of this page count.
      • 12 pt. Times New Roman typeface.
      • Double space: Overview Essay, Bibliography, all other data.
    • Stylistic Standardization and Difference:
      • We attempt to keep philological and documentary approach consistent, while expecting internal organization to exhibit variations as a consequence of respective territories and topics.
      • Topical Overviews: These peer-reviewed essays examine women’s occupations, situations, and lives from a particular perspective, for example focusing on a profession (ex. editors, cinematographers, colorists), social category (ex. ethnicity, sexuaity, 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).
      • National/Regional Cinema Overviews: In addition to discussing examples of specific occupations, women, and extant films in a particular nation or region, these peer-reviewed essays should ideally provide a wider historical background: the social situation of women, the state of the national industry, the political situation in the first decades that explain the place of this region or nation in a globalizing economy. 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).
    • Tone:
      • This is not an encyclopedia. In writing style, the Overview Essays attempt to avoid the authoritative tone of traditional historical writing. Also, it is an alternative to Wikipedia’s encyclopedic approach to knowledge, aiming to encourage further research rather than to provide final facts. The editors encourage writers to think creatively about the challenges of silent era motion picture research and to question previously published historical accounts. Make concrete references to archival sources as much as possible, highlighting not erasing the conditions of research. One way to do this is to answer these questions directly or indirectly (via bibliographic sources) in the essay:
        • Where do your findings diverge from or confirm existing accounts?
        • Are the sources readily available and rich or thin? Is most of your research based on reading trade publications from the period? Are there special print material collections? Are these public or private collections?
        • What are the special challenges of doing research on this figure? What percentage of the films are extant?
        • How does attribution (as in film credits) pose dilemmas?
        • Where do you think new research should begin? What questions need to be asked?

 For possible essay topics and instructions on how to submit to contribute, please see our “Call for Essays” page.