Two new book projects examine cinematic and literary texts that were abandoned, interrupted, or lost. Whatever the reason these creative works were left unfinished — personal, financial, institutional, artistic — they incarnate the raw ends and false starts of modern and contemporary aesthetics and culture. They therefore focus much-needed attention on experiences and ideas that have been relegated to the borderlands of film and literary studies.
The Unfinished Film: Cinematic Fragments and Interruptions (co-edited with Stefan Solomon)
This collection of essays will contribute to an emergent strain of cinema studies that combines close readings of films with a renewed emphasis on questions of film culture, production, and circulation. The Unfinished Film represents the first sustained attempt to establish interpretative models for analyzing abandoned, interrupted, and lost films. It will draw on a wide and interdisciplinary range of perspectives in attending to unfinished projects from across the history of the medium and in various national and institutional contexts.
Unfinished literary texts are usually dismissed as unworthy objects of study, seen as minor, marginal, and marred by gaps and flaws. Unwritten reimagines these signs of deficiency as signs of possibility. This book-length study approaches the unfinished writing of Zora Neale Hurston, Lorraine Hansberry, Tillie Olsen, and Kathleen Collins as ideal textual sites for revealing how creative labor reflects and cements wider social norms and inequities. This alternative history of women’s writing (and/as non-writing) blends close textual analysis with the study of the lived practices of artistic work, the institutional realities of literary production, the processes of canonization, and the phenomenon of literary celebrity in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.