Cover image for A feminist reader in early cinema
Title:
A feminist reader in early cinema
Author:
Bean, Jennifer M., 1968-
Publication Information:
Durham : Duke University Press, [2002]

©2002
Physical Description:
vi, 584 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.
Language:
English
Contents:
Circuits of memory and history: The memoirs of Alice Guy-Blaché / Amelie Hastie -- Nazimova's veils: Salome at the intersection of film histories / Patricia White -- Of cabbages and authors / Jane M. Gaines -- Reevaluating footnotes: women directors of the silent era / Radha Vatsal -- The gender of empire: American modernity, masculinity, and Edison's war actualities / Kristen Whissel -- Making ends meet: "welfare films" and the politics of consumption during the progressive era / Constance Balides -- Irma vep, vamp in the city: mapping the criminal feminine in early French serials / Kristine J. Butler -- The flapper film: comedy, dance, and jazz age kinaesthetics / Lori Landay -- The queer career of Jim Crow: racial and sexual transformation in a Florida enchantment / Siobhan B. Somerville -- Taking precautions, or regulating early birth-control films / Shelley Stamp -- The new woman and consumer culture: Cecil B. Demille's sex comedies / Sumiko Higashi -- "So real as to seem like life itself": the photoplay fiction of Adela Rogers St. Johns / Anne Morey -- Oh, "doll divine": Mary Pickford, masquerade, and the pedophilic gaze / Gaylyn Studlar -- Immigrant stardom in imperial America: pola negri and the problem of typology / Diane Negra -- Technologies of early stardom and the extraordinary body / Jennifer M. Bean -- Femininity in flight: androgyny and gynandry in early silent Italian cinema / Angela Dalle Vacche -- Greta Garbo and silent cinema: the actress as art deco icon / Lucy Fischer -- An amorous history of the silver screen: the actress as vernacular embodiment in early Chinese film culture / Zhang Zhen -- Technology's body: cinematic vision in modernity / Mary Ann Doane -- Parallax historiography: the Flâneuse as cyberfeminist / Catherine Russell.
ISBN:
9780822330257

9780822329992
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

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 flâneuse 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


Summary

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 flâneuse 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


Author Notes

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.


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.


Reviews 2

Choice Review

In her introduction, Bean calls this collection of essays "inferential walks." The term is appropriate to a volume in which so much is made of flanerie (the flaneuse rather than the flaneur) and in which the chosen landscape is in such a ruinous state that evidence must be culled from myriad sources in order to reconstruct the missing films. Drawing on the work of Tom Gunning and Miriam Hansen, among others, the book defines "early" as nearly coterminous with silent cinema and makes clear that, during the chaotic originating years, cinema offered many opportunities to women that they would later lose. Essayists cast new light on early women directors like Guy Blache, Arzner, Weber, and Nazimova. Stars are also examined--Musidora, Pearl White, Garbo, Pickford, and early Italian and Chinese stars. Perhaps most interesting, the essays situate cinema within the context of the period: examined are such disparate elements as the "new woman," women in the work force, art nouveau and art deco, the airplane, fashion. In short, this collection contains myriad delights, uniformly engagingly written and exhaustively researched by mostly younger academics. Kudos to the editors. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. W. A. Vincent Michigan State University


Choice Review

In her introduction, Bean calls this collection of essays "inferential walks." The term is appropriate to a volume in which so much is made of flanerie (the flaneuse rather than the flaneur) and in which the chosen landscape is in such a ruinous state that evidence must be culled from myriad sources in order to reconstruct the missing films. Drawing on the work of Tom Gunning and Miriam Hansen, among others, the book defines "early" as nearly coterminous with silent cinema and makes clear that, during the chaotic originating years, cinema offered many opportunities to women that they would later lose. Essayists cast new light on early women directors like Guy Blache, Arzner, Weber, and Nazimova. Stars are also examined--Musidora, Pearl White, Garbo, Pickford, and early Italian and Chinese stars. Perhaps most interesting, the essays situate cinema within the context of the period: examined are such disparate elements as the "new woman," women in the work force, art nouveau and art deco, the airplane, fashion. In short, this collection contains myriad delights, uniformly engagingly written and exhaustively researched by mostly younger academics. Kudos to the editors. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. W. A. Vincent Michigan State University


Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Toward a Feminist Historiography of Early CinemaJennifer M. Bean
I Reflecting Film Authorship
Circuits of Memory and History: The Memoirs of Alice Guy-BlacheAmelie Hastie
Nazimova's Veils: Salome at the Intersection of Film HistoriesPatricia White
Of Cabbages and AuthorsJane M. Gaines
Reevaluating Footnotes: Women Directors of the Silent EraRadha Vatsal
II Ways of Looking
The Gender of Empire: American Modernity, Masculinity, and Edison's War ActualitiesKristen Whissel
Making Ends Meet: "Welfare Films" and the Politics of Consumption during the Progressive EraConstance Balides
Irma Vep, Vamp in the City: Mapping the Criminal Feminine in Early French SerialsKristine J. Butler
The Flapper Film: Comedy, Dance, and Jazz Age KinaestheticsLori Landay
III Cultural Inversions
The Queer Career of Jim Crow: Racial and Sexual Transformation in A Florida EnchantmentSiobhan B. Somerville
Taking Precautions, or Regulating Early Birth-Control FilmsShelley Stamp
The New Woman and Consumer Culture: Cecil B. DeMille's Sex ComediesSumiko Higashi
"So Real as to Seem Like Life Itself": The Photoplay Fiction of Adela Rogers St. JohnsAnne Morey
IV Performing Bodies
Oh, "Doll Divine": Mary Pickford, Masquerade, and the Pedophilic GazeGaylyn Studlar
Immigrant Stardom in Imperial America: Pola Negri and the Problem of TypologyDiane Negra
Technologies of early Stardom and the Extraordinary BodyJennifer M. Bean
Femininity in Flight: Androgyny and Gynandry in Early Silent Italian CinemaAngela Dalle Vacche
Greta Garbo and Silent Cinema: The Actress as Art Deco IconLucy Fischer
V The Problem with Periodization
An Amorous History of the Silver Screen: The Actress as Vernacular Embodiment in Early Chinese Film CultureZhang Zhen
Technology's Body: Cinematic Vision in ModernityMary Ann Doane
Parallax Historiography: The Flaneuse as CyberfeministCatherine Russell
Contributors
Index
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Toward a Feminist Historiography of Early CinemaJennifer M. Bean
I Reflecting Film Authorship
Circuits of Memory and History: The Memoirs of Alice Guy-BlacheAmelie Hastie
Nazimova's Veils: Salome at the Intersection of Film HistoriesPatricia White
Of Cabbages and AuthorsJane M. Gaines
Reevaluating Footnotes: Women Directors of the Silent EraRadha Vatsal
II Ways of Looking
The Gender of Empire: American Modernity, Masculinity, and Edison's War ActualitiesKristen Whissel
Making Ends Meet: "Welfare Films" and the Politics of Consumption during the Progressive EraConstance Balides
Irma Vep, Vamp in the City: Mapping the Criminal Feminine in Early French SerialsKristine J. Butler
The Flapper Film: Comedy, Dance, and Jazz Age KinaestheticsLori Landay
III Cultural Inversions
The Queer Career of Jim Crow: Racial and Sexual Transformation in A Florida EnchantmentSiobhan B. Somerville
Taking Precautions, or Regulating Early Birth-Control FilmsShelley Stamp
The New Woman and Consumer Culture: Cecil B. DeMille's Sex ComediesSumiko Higashi
"So Real as to Seem Like Life Itself": The Photoplay Fiction of Adela Rogers St. JohnsAnne Morey
IV Performing Bodies
Oh, "Doll Divine": Mary Pickford, Masquerade, and the Pedophilic GazeGaylyn Studlar
Immigrant Stardom in Imperial America: Pola Negri and the Problem of TypologyDiane Negra
Technologies of early Stardom and the Extraordinary BodyJennifer M. Bean
Femininity in Flight: Androgyny and Gynandry in Early Silent Italian CinemaAngela Dalle Vacche
Greta Garbo and Silent Cinema: The Actress as Art Deco IconLucy Fischer
V The Problem with Periodization
An Amorous History of the Silver Screen: The Actress as Vernacular Embodiment in Early Chinese Film CultureZhang Zhen
Technology's Body: Cinematic Vision in ModernityMary Ann Doane
Parallax Historiography: The Flaneuse as CyberfeministCatherine Russell
Contributors
Index