New Cinema History has tended to focus on developing microhistories of the exhibition, distribution, and reception of theatrical Hollywood and other mainstream cinemas. While such scholarship has been essential for understanding how cinema operates as a sociocultural institution, its focus on the highly public forms of cinemagoing that often followed Hollywood film has left untouched the sometimes furtive and deliberately hidden cinemagoing practices and microhistories of queer audiences, curators, and exhibitors throughout the mid-to-late 20th century. This paper intervenes in this state of affairs and queers New Cinema History. I situate film festival studies and New Cinema History within the same methodological and theoretical terrain and argue that the exclusion of queer film festivals from New Cinema History is a result of both the field’s methodological preference for big data, as well as a structural heteronormativity underlying its methodologies. I further argue that by following affect, ephemera, and anecdotes, New Cinema History can better account for queer and other marginalised cinema practices.

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Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis

Petrychyn, Jonathan. (2020). Queering New Cinema History: Affective Methodologies for Comparative History. Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis, 23(1-2), 1–22. doi:10.18146/tmg.588