In the academic study of cinema, as in other kinds of academic discourses, one of the most commonly encountered questions these days tends to be some version of the following: Where in this discipline am I? How come I am not represented? What does it mean for me and my group to be represented in this manner? What does it mean for me and my group to have been made invisible? These questions pertain, of course, to the urgency and prevalence of the politics of identification, to the relation between representational forms and their articulation of subjective histories and locations. This is one reason the study of cinema, like the study of literature and history, has become increasingly caught up in the study of group cultures: every group (be it defined by nation, class, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation), it seems, produces a local variant of the universal that is cinema, requiring critics thus to engage with the specificities of particular collectivities even as they talk about the generalities of the filmic apparatus. According to one report, for instance, at the Society of Cinema Studies Annual Conference of 1998, “nearly half the over four hundred papers (read from morning to night in nine rooms) treated the politics of representing ethnicity, gender, and sexuality” (Andrew 348).' Western film studies, as Christine Gledhill and Linda Williams write, currently faces its own “impending dissolution […] in […] transnational theorization” (Introduction 1). How did this state of affairs arise?