Reimagining Scholarship

Research-Creation and Feminist and Queer Methodologies in the Digital and Public Humanities Practices of the Feminist Border Arts Film Festival


The Feminist Border Arts Film Festival (FBAFF) encompasses a range of scholarly work, interdisciplinary collaboration, and creative activities that contribute to its significance and impact. This piece of writing aims to highlight the multifaceted nature of FBAFF's endeavors and demonstrate how it serves as a platform for critical engagement, innovative methodologies, and transformative social change.


Section 1: Scholarly Engagement and Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Curation plays a pivotal role in FBAFF's scholarly work, exemplifying its commitment to deep engagement with feminist and queer theories, media and cultural studies, and social justice issues. The festival's founders and directors meticulously select films that align with its mission, employing a critical evaluation process with scholarly curation. They consider diverse perspectives, thematic coherence, and the social, cultural, and political significance of the films. This curation process reflects scholarly inquiry within the festival's programming, ensuring a thought-provoking and inclusive selection of films.

Film programming at FBAFF embraces an interdisciplinary approach, integrating artistic vision, critical analysis, and social impact. The festival's selection and sequencing of films require a nuanced understanding of film aesthetics, storytelling techniques, and thematic resonance. By bringing together diverse genres, narrative styles, and artistic expressions, FBAFF fosters interdisciplinary dialogue and showcases the potential of film as a medium for creative and scholarly exploration. Its innovative approach to film programming transcends disciplinary boundaries, contributing to the advancement of knowledge within gender and sexuality studies.

FBAFF extends its outreach, scholarly, creative, and pedagogical possibilities through collaboration, creating space for other scholars, artists, curators, and digital humanists to contribute and expand the festival's scope. By fostering collaborations, FBAFF amplifies its impact and attracts a wider range of voices, enriching the festival's offerings and strengthening its influence within the field. This collaborative approach enables FBAFF to evolve, grow, and become a prominent platform that draws attention from diverse communities and disciplines.

FBAFF provides NMSU learners enrolled in FBAFF-related Gender & Sexuality Studies courses with valuable opportunities to actively engage in festival programming, documentation, and digital storytelling. Through research-creation and project-based work, learners can bridge theoretical knowledge with practical experience, cultivating valuable skills and deepening their understanding of the field.

Section 2: Rigorous Evaluation and Intellectual Engagement

Evaluation is an inherent component of FBAFF's scholarly and interdisciplinary approach, ensuring the festival maintains high standards and fosters critical dialogue. Festival curation rigorously assess films based on artistic merit, technical proficiency, and their contribution to feminist, queer, and trans studies. They evaluate the films' cultural, social, and political relevance, enriching the intellectual engagement within the academic and artistic communities. This rigorous evaluation process reflects FBAFF's commitment to scholarly rigor and contributes to the festival's reputation as a platform for thought-provoking and impactful cinema.

Research-creation is a key aspect of FBAFF's scholarly and creative activities, bridging the gap between academia and creative practice. Through the production of original films, audio-visual content, and other creative outputs, FBAFF engages in knowledge production. Filmmakers involved in the festival undertake research, employ creative forms, and integrate theoretical frameworks to generate new insights and perspectives. This research-creation approach fosters interdisciplinary collaboration, contributes to scholarly advancements within gender and sexuality studies, and exemplifies the festival's commitment to innovative methodologies.

Research-creation is an essential component of FBAFF's critical-creative knowledge production. Through the careful curation of films and the production of original shorts, audio-visual content, and other creative outputs, FBAFF actively generates new knowledge and insights. Moreover, filmmakers involved in the festival conduct research, employ innovative creative forms, and integrate theoretical frameworks to critically explore and contribute to the field of gender and sexuality studies. For example, their films may challenge existing narratives, offer alternative perspectives, or address pressing social issues. This critical-creative approach not only fosters interdisciplinary collaboration but also contributes to scholarly advancements within gender and sexuality studies, exemplifying FBAFF's commitment to innovative methodologies and the production of transformative knowledge.

Section 3: Research-Creation, Academic Publications, and Presentations: Advancing Transformative Knowledge Production

The production of original short films and digital media pieces by FBAFF exemplifies a pioneering approach to research-creation and transformative knowledge production. Through the powerful medium of audio-visual storytelling, FBAFF explores feminist, queer, and trans perspectives, addressing pressing social issues and advancing queer and feminist aesthetics and creative practices. These original productions, rooted in innovative queer and feminist methodologies, serve as a means of knowledge creation, combining artistic expression, critical inquiry, and theoretical frameworks to generate new insights.

The recognition of FBAFF's short films and digital media pieces by esteemed film festivals, museums, and academic conferences attests to their artistic merit, impact, and innovative qualities. Inclusion in these platforms further highlights the groundbreaking nature of FBAFF's productions, which encompass diverse queer and feminist creative forms and practices. Additionally, by showcasing its content in museums and academic conferences, FBAFF broadens its audience, inviting diverse individuals to engage in intellectual discussions and fostering meaningful dialogue among scholars, artists, and the public.

In addition to its film screenings and exhibitions, FBAFF actively contributes to academic scholarship through the publication of articles and presentations that document and theorize its research-creation activities. These scholarly outputs serve to produce and disseminate knowledge about FBAFF's innovative methodologies, promoting critical dialogue and making space for other scholars, artists, and educators to integrate similar approaches into their own work. By bridging theory and practice, FBAFF extends its impact beyond the festival itself, influencing scholarly and pedagogical approaches and fosting meaningful engagements with its interdisciplinary research-creation endeavors.

Section 4: The Making of FBAFF: Organizational Leadership and Operations

FBAFF is guided and led by its co-founders and directors, M.C. Jonet and L.A. Williams, who oversee every aspect of the festival's creation and operations. Beyond the vital tasks of film selection, curation, and film program production, their work encompasses a comprehensive range of activities crucial to the festival's realization and impact.

Jonet and Williams actively engage in the legwork of securing funding and sponsorship to support FBAFF's operations. They pursue grants, forge partnerships, and establish collaborations that share FBAFF's mission, ensuring the festival's financial sustainability and the continuity of its transformative initiatives.

Moreover, as practitioners engaged in research-creation, Jonet and Williams integrate design into their festival work. They harness the power of audio-visual communication to produce media that promotes FBAFF and enhances its presence and viability. Through their creative design practices, they develop captivating graphics, posters, graphics, and marketing materials that authentically represent the festival's identity and engage feminist and queer discourse. By merging artistic expression with critical inquiry, their design work contributes to the broader research-creation endeavors of FBAFF, generating new insights and perspectives within the field of gender and sexuality studies.

In addition to the organizational aspects, Jonet and Williams meticulously manage the logistical dimensions of FBAFF. This entails scouting and securing suitable venues, orchestrating event schedules, and ensuring the operation of festival activities.

Central to the festival's success is the cultivation of a dedicated and diverse audience. Jonet and Williams actively employ audience-building strategies to expand the reach and impact of FBAFF. They engage in targeted outreach efforts, collaborating with community organizations, educational institutions, and activist groups to attract individuals who resonate with the festival's mission. By fostering an inclusive and supportive environment, they create spaces for vibrant interdisciplinary exchanges through critical engagement, facilitating transformative encounters among scholars, artists, and the public.

Conclusion: Charting Future Pathways with FBAFF's Feminist and Queer Engagements

Feminist Border Arts Film Festival (FBAFF) stands as a testament to the power of feminist and queer theories and methods in guiding scholarly work, interdisciplinary collaboration, and creative activities. Through its rigorous curation practices, innovative film programming, and transformative research-creation endeavors, FBAFF works to shape conversations within gender and sexuality studies and digital humanities, fostering critical engagement and advancing knowledge within these fields. The festival's influence extends beyond the films it screens, inspiring new approaches to academic scholarship, pedagical practices, and artistic creation. As we look to the future, we call upon scholars, artists, filmmakers, and students to join us in this continued exploration and celebration of diverse voices and perspectives. As we have seen, when we work collaboratively, employing feminist and queer methodologies, we can provoke thought, inspire creativity, and effect meaningful social change.


Jonet & Williams, May 27, 2023