Breaking the Sound Barrier: Women Sounding Out in British and Irish Film and Television


A one-day event organized by the Women’s Film and TV History Network-UK/Ireland in collaboration with BFI Southbank and support from MeCCSA Women's Media Studies Network.

Saturday 18 June, 10.00-5.00pm

NFT3, bfiSouthbank,

This one-day event focuses on women's role in the development and production in Britain and Ireland of sound as an integral part of the cinema and television experience. Given the paucity of known research into women's work on sound media, this event will take stock of past and present achievements and offer a broad introduction, from the pioneering days of British and Irish sound film to experimental TV workshops of the 1980s, while looking ahead to new challenges and advocating for the development of new research projects.

We welcome proposals for 15-minute presentations to fill a limited number of programme slots (9 in all) on any aspect of women’s contribution to sound in British and/or Irish film and television. As the event explores the issue of sound in its widest sense, we are looking for contributions covering a range of creative skills and practices, including (although not exclusively) dialogue, voice, accent and dialect, ambient sound, special sound effects, music composition, potentially involving women as composers, sound engineers and /or designers, dialogue writers, speech trainers and foley artists. 

We also welcome presentations on issues related to researching, archiving and writing the history of women’s work with sound-image media.

Submission of Proposal  

Please submit your proposal to the Breaking the Sound Barrier page on the WFTHN website:

Then click on the 'Submit a Proposal' button and enter your title and a max. 300-word abstract, along with a short bio by Thursday 4 February 2016.

Due to kind support from the MeCCSA Women's Media Studies Network, there is a possibility of (but not guaranteed) contribution towards travel. The organizing committee meets on 5 February and will be in touch with you shortly thereafter.


Organising Committee  

Lee-Jane Benion-Nixon, Elaine Burrows, Christine Gledhill, Deborah Jermyn, Janet McCabe, Angela Martin, Emma Sandon

 On behalf of Women's Film and Television History Network,     

January 2016