The Female Gaze in Art and Photography


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About the Author

Anita Selzer is an acclaimed author of thirteen books in adult and children’s non-fiction. Her interest is in women, gender and culture, and history. She has earned a BA, Dip Ed, Master of Education, PhD in Education and Grad Dip in Women’s Studies at universities in Melbourne, and was awarded the Peter Fensham Education Scholarship 1989 at Monash University for her PhD work on gender, history and education. She was also the recipient of an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA, now renamed RTP – research training program) and the Postgraduate Publication Award for a paper based on her PhD work.

Selzer has been a lecturer in politics and English and worked in women’s affairs in the Victorian Premier’s Department as an administrative officer. She has also been a book reviewer for Cambridge University Press and the peer-reviewed journal Gender and Education.

Anita Selzer’s young adult publication, I am Sasha (Penguin, 2018), was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s History Awards in 2019, and is currently being taught in schools. It is about her father, who assumed a female identity and lived that identity as a teenage girl during the Holocaust to survive. A 40-minute movie, Sasha’s Game, based on this book is currently being produced.

Among her other publications, Selzer wrote a series of books on Australian Sportswomen (Macmillan Education, 2000), which focused largely on Olympian athletes; The Armytages of Como (Halstead Press and National Trust of Australia: Victoria, 2003); Governors’ Wives in Colonial Australia (National Library of Australia, 2002); and Educating Women in Australia from the Convict Days to the 1920s (Cambridge University Press, 1994). Her recent publication are I am Woman (Shawline, 2020), a memoir focusing on gender issues, and Reclaiming Beauty (Shawline, 2022), which has been nominated for the Elizabeth and Colin Roderick award for 2023.


The Sheila Foundation’s purpose is to overturn decades of gender bias by writing women artists back into Australian art history and ensuring equality for women artists today. To this end, The Female Gaze in Art and Photography plays an important role in alerting us to the political and social relevance and vibrancy of the work of contemporary women artists and the unique perspectives their art brings to bear on 21stcentury life. Through the work of the artists captured in these pages, selected and discussed by Anita Selzer, we can see and imagine a world in which the female gaze is honoured and nurtured, a world that embraces difference and diversity and in which equity is a given. The Female Gaze in Art and Photography reminds us of how far we have come and that there is still work to do. Kelly Gellatly, Chair, Sheila Foundation
The Female Gaze in Art and Photography is an insightful, accessible and intimate reflection of and on women artists whose work reconfigures the way we imagine the human subject and subjectivity in art and photography. Beautifully illustrated, this book offers a celebration of difference becoming visible.

Professor Barbara Bolt, University of Melbourne

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