She Animates examines the work of twelve female animation directors in the Soviet Union and Russia, who have long been overlooked by film scholars and historians. Our approach examines these directors within history, culture, and industrial practice in animation. In addition to making a case for including these women and their work in the annals of film and animation history, this volume also makes an argument for why their work should be considered part of the tradition of women’s cinema. We offer textual analysis that focuses on the changing attitudes towards both the woman question and feminism by examining the films in light of the emergence and evolution of a Soviet female subjectivity that still informs women’s cinema in Russia today.
Michele Leigh is an independent scholar writing on gender in film and television. A 2016-2017 Fulbright Scholar in Russia, Leigh conducted research for a manuscript on female industrial labor in the film industry prior to 1917. She has published articles on historiography, early Russian cinema, and films of the Thaw. Lora Mjolsness is a lecturer at the University of California, Irvine in the Department of European Studies and the Director of Program in Russian Studies. She teaches interdisciplinary courses on Russian and Soviet cinema, the history of Soviet Animation, Russian folklore and children’s literature.