A Feminist Reader in Early Cinema (a Camera Obscura book)

A Feminist Reader in Early Cinema (a Camera Obscura book)

By: Jennifer M. Bean (editor), Diane Negra (editor)Paperback

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A Feminist Reader in Early Cinema marks a new era of feminist film scholarship. The twenty essays collected here demonstrate how feminist historiographies at once alter and enrich ongoing debates over visuality and identification, authorship, stardom, and nationalist ideologies in cinema and media studies. Drawing extensively on archival research, the collection yields startling accounts of women's multiple roles as early producers, directors, writers, stars, and viewers. It also engages urgent questions about cinema's capacity for presenting a stable visual field, often at the expense of racially, sexually, or class-marked bodies. While fostering new ways of thinking about film history, A Feminist Reader in Early Cinema illuminates the many questions that the concept of "early cinema" itself raises about the relation of gender to modernism, representation, and technologies of the body. The contributors bring a number of disciplinary frameworks to bear, including not only film studies but also postcolonial studies, dance scholarship, literary analysis, philosophies of the body, and theories regarding modernism and postmodernism. Reflecting the stimulating diversity of early cinematic styles, technologies, and narrative forms, essays address a range of topics-from the dangerous sexuality of the urban flaneuse to the childlike femininity exemplified by Mary Pickford, from the Shanghai film industry to Italian diva films-looking along the way at birth-control sensation films, French crime serials, "war actualities," and the stylistic influence of art deco. Recurring throughout the volume is the protean figure of the New Woman, alternately garbed as childish tomboy, athletic star, enigmatic vamp, languid diva, working girl, kinetic flapper, and primitive exotic. Contributors. Constance Balides, Jennifer M. Bean, Kristine Butler, Mary Ann Doane, Lucy Fischer, Jane Gaines, Amelie Hastie, Sumiko Higashi, Lori Landay, Anne Morey, Diane Negra, Catherine Russell, Siobhan B. Somerville, Shelley Stamp, Gaylyn Studlar, Angela Dalle Vacche, Radha Vatsal, Kristen Whissel, Patricia White, Zhang Zhen

About Author

Jennifer M. Bean is Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and Cinema Studies at the University of Washington. Diane Negra is Lecturer in Film and Television Studies at the University of East Anglia.


Acknowledgments vii Introduction: Toward a Feminist Historiography of Early Cinema / Jennifer M. Bean 1 I. Reflecting Film Authorship Circuits of Memory and History: The Memoirs of Alice Guy-Blache / Amelie Hastie 29 Nazimova's Veils: Salome at the Intersection of Film Histories / Patricia White 60 Of Cabbages and Authors / Jane M. Gaines 88 Reevaluating Footnotes: Women Directors of the Silent Era / Radha Vatsal 119 II. Ways of Looking The Gender of Empire: American Modernity, Masculinity, and Edison's War Actualities / Kristen Whissel 141 Making Ends Meet: "Welfare Films" and the Politics of Consumption during the Progressive Era / Constance Balides 166 Irma Vep, Vamp in the City: Mapping the Criminal Feminine in Early French Serials / Kristine J. Butler 195 The Flapper Film: Comedy, Dance, and Jazz Age Kinaesthetics / Lori Landay 221 III. Cultural Inversions The Queer Career of Jim Crow: Racial and Sexual Transformation in A Florida Enchantment / Siobhan B. Somerville 251 Taking Precautions, or Regulating Early Birth-Control Films / Shelley Stamp 270 The New Woman and Consumer Culture: Cecil B. DeMille's Sex Comedies / Sumiko Higashi 298 "So Real as to Seem Like Life Itself": The Photoplay Fiction of Adela Rogers St. Johns / Anne Morey 333 IV. Performing Bodies Oh, "Doll Divine": Mary Pickford, Masquerade, and the Pedophilic Gaze / Gaylyn Studlar 349 Immigrant Stardom in Imperial America: Pola Negri and the Problem of Typology / Diane Negra 374 Technologies of early Stardom and the Extraordinary Body / Jennifer M. Bean 404 Femininity in Flight: Androgyny and Gynandry in Early Silent Italian Cinema / Angela Dalle Vacche 444 Greta Garbo and Silent Cinema: The Actress as Art Deco Icon / Lucy Fischer 476 V. The Problem with Periodization An Amorous History of the Silver Screen: The Actress as Vernacular Embodiment in Early Chinese Film Culture / Zhang Zhen 501 Technology's Body: Cinematic Vision in Modernity / Mary Ann Doane 530 Parallax Historiography: The Flaneuse as Cyberfeminist / Catherine Russell 552 Contributors 571 Index 575

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780822329992
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 592
  • ID: 9780822329992
  • weight: 839
  • ISBN10: 0822329999

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