Breaking the Glass Frame: Women and Animation, Past, Present, Future

October 5, 2018 - October 7, 2018, Friday 7pm-9pm, Sat 9am-7:30pm, Sun 9am-7:30pm

SCA 108, 110, 112

Breaking the Glass Frame Symposium

Breaking the Glass Frame: Women and Animation, Past, Present, Future is a symposium that brings together scholars, educators, historians, independent artists and industry personnel to explore and celebrate women’s contributions to animation, as well as to examine and discuss the ways in which discrimination and bias continue to confront women working within the animation industry and academia today. 

The  keynote speakers are Brenda Chapman, director of Brave and The Prince of Egypt; and Brown Johnson, Producer and Creative Director, Sesame Workshop and Nickelodeon.

The symposium will feature paper presentations, panels, screenings, and networking lunches and receptions. Topics to be addressed include the history of women in animation; mentorship and advocacy in commercial and academic settings; sexual harassment and gender/racial inequality; strategies for positive change now and in the next generation; and women working with cutting-edge technologies.

In the evening programs, there will be three curated screenings of animated shorts by women alumnae of USC, UCLA, and CalArts, and a new documentary about the women of Titmouse Animation studio. 

To register for the Symposium visit:

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7:00pm – 9:00pm Screening + filmmaker Q&A: USC + UCLA + CalArts: Animation by Women Students and Alumni 


9:00am  Registration Check-in

9:45am  Welcome Remarks

10:00am  Keynote Speaker Brenda Chapman

10:45am Panel #1:  Advocating for Diversity + Inclusion in Animation: Race, Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation + Age
A look at bias and discrimination taking place in the animation industry, and strategies for change. This panel draws on personal experience to discuss issues such as the lack of diversity in the workplace as well as harassment related to race, gender, sexual orientation and age.

1:30pm  Panel #2:  Breaking through the Boys’ Club: Effective Strategies for Positive Change in the Industry 

With recent developments related to the #metoo movement, this panel explores past and current sexual harassment taking place in the animation industry. Representing the television and feature film animation industry, panelists explore how to navigate the traditionally male environment and ideas on transforming the animation industry.

3:15pm  Paper Presentations: Group #1 Independent Women and Group #2 The Animation Industry – Film and Television 

5:00pm Cocktail + hors d’oeuvres meet & greet reception 

6:30pm - 8:00pm Panel #3:  Screening and Panel: The Women of Titmouse Animation: The Inbetweens of Education, Employment & Everyday Life

Following a new short documentary, The Women of Titmouse Animation: The Inbetweens of Education, Employment & Everyday Life, this panel explores issues discussed in the film, including the role of mentors in career development and how to challenge the lack of representation in the animation industry. Panelists will share their experiences from the classroom to their career, offering advice to young animators.


9:00am  Registration Check-in

9:30am Paper Presentations: Group #3 Animation Outside the U.S. and Group #4 Animation’s Futures 

10:30am Panel #4:  Mindy Johnson Panel: An Invisible History - Trailblazing Women of Animation

Mindy Johnson, author of Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney’s Animation, will discuss the historical role of women in the animation industry. Following her presentation will be a panel discussion with animation trailblazers Enid Denbo Wizig and Jane Shattuck-Takamoto-Baer who will offer their own perspectives on their careers in the 40s and 50s.

11:30am  Panel #5:  WiA Panel: NextGen World View

Views of several NextGen filmmakers on inclusion, intersectionality and the near future when 75% of the workforce will be NextGen.

1:30am - 3:00pm Panel #6: Teaching + Mentoring: Strategies for Positive Change in Academia

Faculty from USC, CalArts, UCLA, Woodbury University, Cal State Long Beach, and Loyola Marymount University discuss their strategies for positive change in education, and how to assist students in navigating the industry after graduation.

3:15pm  Panel #7:  Navigating the Cutting Edge of New Media

Women working in games, VFX, VR, AR,  projection mapping and installations share their experiences in these traditionally male-dominated careers. Panelists discuss obstacles and provide strategies when encountering male backlash and female stereotypes.

5:00pm  Keynote Speaker Brown Johnson

6:00pm  Cocktail + hors d’oeuvres meet & greet reception

The Symposium is organized by USC Animation & Digital Arts Professor Sheila M. Sofian, USC Animation & Digital Arts Associate Professor Lisa Mann, UCLA Animation Workshop Chair & Professor Celia Mercer, and CalArts Experimental Animation Director & Faculty Maureen Furniss. The BTGF branding and animation was designed by Megan Simon. The symposium was developed from a concept by Dr. Bella Honess Roe (Senior Lecturer, University of Surrey, UK), who also coordinated the paper panels and CFP. 

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For more details about the symposium and a full schedule, please visit:





Contact Information

Name: Lisa Mann