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FRAMES Cinema Journal
Call for Papers: Magical Women, Witches & Healers
Issue 16, Winter 2019

Chief Editors: Ana Maria Sapountzi & Peize Li Book Review Editor: Patrick Adamson

Almost every culture on earth contains within its history some form of magic and magical women. From the high priestesses of Ancient Egypt to the oracles of Ancient Greece, the brujas of Latina America to the voodoo queens of the Caribbean and New Orleans, the shamanesses of Mongolia to the mudangs of Korea, the medicine women of Native America to the witches of Medieval Europe, female figures with the ability to harness and utilise earthly, cosmic, and spiritual forces have transcended cultures and proved an irresistible topic in history, myth, and folklore.

Since cinema’s inception and throughout its global history, the figure of the magical woman has appeared countless times and in a plethora of manifestations, her image and function designed and determined by national, cultural, historical, political, and ideological contexts.

The magical woman begins her flight in silent cinema, first appearing in films such as The Witch of Salem (Raymond B. West, USA, 1913) and Häxan (Benjamin Christensen, Sweden-Denmark, 1922). She then manifests in mid-century productions, such as Bell, Book and Candle (Richard Quine, USA, 1958) and Baeksabu-in/Madame White Snake (Shin Sang-ok, South Korea, 1960), and continues her presence in Viy/Spirit of Evil (Konstantin Yershove & Georgi Kropachyov, Russia, 1967), Himiko (Masahiro Shinoda, Japan, 1974),Suspiria (Dario Argento, Italy, 1977), Eve’s Bayou (Kasi Lemmons, USA, 1997), The Craft (Andrew Fleming, USA, 1996), and Practical Magic (Griffin Dunne, USA, 1999). In recent years, the figure has been foregrounded in works such as Tulen Morsian/Devil’s Bride (Saara Cantell, Finland, 2016), The Love Witch (Anna Biller, USA, 2016) and I Am Not a Witch (Rungano Nyoni, Zambia, 2017), confirming her resilience in and importance to cinema.

In light of the magical woman’s prominence across contemporary culture, the 16th Issue of Frames Cinema Journal seeks to investigate her new filmic manifestations in 21st century cinema and revisit those of the past century. Due to the rich nature and history of the magical woman figure, we are excited to hear from contributors working in a variety of aspects of film studies. We are particularly keen on papers which examine the figure from a feminist, historical, spiritual, ecological, and ideological perspective.

Topics to discuss and analyse the magical woman figure through may include, but are certainly not limited to:
The magical woman and feminism/feminist issues.
The magical woman, gender, and sexuality.
The magical woman, and the female body and its experience.
The magical woman, emotion and feeling.
The magical woman and activism (e.g. feminist, eco-feminist, LGBTQIA+)
The magical woman and politics/geopolitics/ecopolitics.
The magical woman, ecology, and nature.
The magical woman, modernity, post-modernity, and/or capitalism.
The magical woman and traditional/modern setting.
The magical woman, religion and spirituality.
The magical woman, girlhood, and the girlhood experience.
The magical woman and motherhood.
The magical woman and sisterhood.
The magical woman and fashion.
The magical woman and female persecution and/or accused women.
The magical woman, national identity, and/or ancestry.
The historical, literary, and/or poetic magical woman figure and her filmic adaptation.
The magical woman and genre.
The magical woman and stardom.
The magical woman and film festival programming.
Notes for Authors:
Frames accepts written pieces and video essays for submission. Written pieces can be either essays for our Features section, which should be between 5,000-7,000 words (including footnotes, but excluding bibliography) or shorter articles for our Point-of-View (POV) section, which may be between 1,000-3,000 words (including footnotes, but excluding bibliography). Book reviews are typically 1,000 words. If you would like to publish a book review, please contact our Book Review Editor, Patrick Adamson, at

Video essays can be of varying length and should be discussed with the editors on a case-by-case basis. Video essay submissions must be sent to the editors in the form of a link using an online streaming source (Vimeo, YouTube, etc.)

All submissions to Frames should not be under consideration elsewhere, and should be original and previously unpublished.

Proposal abstracts should be no more than 250 words and must be accompanied by an indicative bibliography. A brief biography of approx. 150 words should be provided along with the abstract. Abstracts should be sent through as Word Documents and titled “Frames Issue 16 Author First name Author Surname” (e.g. Frames Issue 16 Jane Doe). Please submit your proposal to Ana Maria Sapountzi and Peize Li at

Timetable for Frames Cinema Journal Issue 16:
Abstract Proposal Deadline: 13/09/2019
Abstract Decision Announcement: 23/09/2019
First Draft Deadline (written & video content): 04/11/2019
Final Draft Deadline: 09/12/2019
Intended Publication Date: 16/12/2019
Abstracts are to be submitted no later than Friday 13 September, 2019, as they will not be considered after that. Authors should expect to be notified of the editorial committee’s decision by Monday 23 September, 2019.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

Ana Maria Sapountzi & Peize Li
Frames Cinema Journal Chief Editors

twitter: @FramesJournal