Alix is continuing her research into gender, photography, and the digital age, while also beginning a major new project examining unfinished cinematic and literary texts by women in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
For the academic year 2020–2021, Alix will be on sabbatical funded by the competitive Cardiff University Research Leave Scheme. During this year, if international travel is possible, she will be a Visiting Fellow at the University of Sydney’s School of Literature, Arts, and Media, jointly affiliated with the Departments of English and Art History, and at the Writing and Society Research Centre at Western Sydney University. She will also spend a month conducting archival research at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library, supported by a Franklin Research Grant from the American Philosophical Society.
Alix is currently at work on three new book projects, all of which are under contract:
Incomplete: The Feminist Possibilities of the Unfinished Film (University of California Press, 2023)
Incomplete is a collection of essays edited by Alix Beeston and Stefan Solomon. It establishes the value of examining unfinished film projects by women — whether abandoned, interrupted, or lost — for understanding the conditions and practices of women’s filmmaking and issues of gender in global film production. Bringing together scholars and filmmakers in developing interdisciplinary methodologies fit for the analysis of contingent and unwieldy archives and texts, Incomplete reimagines textual unfinishedness as both destructive and generative: a sign of both the structural inequities that stymie women’s creative labor and the strategic possibilities of incompletion — for both filmmakers and feminist film scholars.
This collection of essays represents the first phase in a longer-term research project in which Alix will explore a range of unfinished works by women filmmakers, photographers, and writers in the US across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Comprising a sole-authored monograph and an associated digital project, among other publications, this project will theorize the unfinished text as an ideal site for revealing how creative labor reflects and cements wider social norms and inequities.
Photographic Women (MIT Press, 2024)
In photographs of women, who is the subject and who is the object? What forms of power are there not only in seeing but also in being seen? What forms of agency have women exhibited in relation to photographic representation and practice? How do women in photography look back at those who look at them, revealing the conditions of their visual arrest? And how do photographic women also return our gaze, making us reflect on our own spectatorship as an ethical and political act? Photographic Women explores these questions in relation to the full sweep of photography’s history, from the beginnings of the medium to the present. This richly illustrated book, projected for publication in late 2023 or early 2024, moves between scholarly and creative non-fictional styles of writing in accounting for the complexities of women’s (self-)representations, providing a visual backstory to the age of selfies and memes.
The Photograph in the Digital Age (Oxford University Press, 2027)
Commissioned as part of the Oxford History of Art series, this book will provide a generalist account of the aesthetics, practices, and politics of contemporary art photography as they are shaped by — or exist in conversation with — digital technologies and cultures. Explaining how digital photography sits with chemical photography, both recasting and extending the medium’s history, the book approaches the digital photograph as a mutable and hybrid object, subject to a diverse range of artistic and social uses and existing alongside other technologies and mediums. It focuses not only on the forms and aesthetics of digital photography from the 1990s to the present but also on how photographers have participated in the shifting visual cultures of the digital age, engaging with, for instance, the rise of citizen journalism, the genre of selfies, the impacts of ecological and economic crisis, and the oppressive power of surveillance.