A Feminist Reader in Early Cinema

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Jennifer M. Bean, Diane Negra
Duke University Press, Nov 21, 2002 - Literary Criticism - 584 pages
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DIVA 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/div

  

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Contents

Toward a Feminist Historiography of Early Cinema
1
Reflecting Film Authorship
27
The Memoirs of Alice GuyBlache
29
Salome at the Intersection of Film Histories
60
Of Cabbages and Authors
88
Women Directors of the Silent Era
119
Ways of Looking
139
American Modernity Masculinity and Edisons War Actualities
141
The Photoplay Fiction of Adela Rogers St Johns
333
Performing Bodies
347
Mary Pickford Masquerade and the Pedophilic Gaze
349
Pola Negri and the Problem of Typology
374
Technologies of Early Stardom and the Extraordinary Body
404
Androgyny and Gynandry in Early Silent Italian Cinema
444
The Actress as Art Deco Icon
476
The Problem with Periodization
499

Welfare Films and the Politics of Consumption during the Progressive Era
166
Mapping the Criminal Feminine in Early French Serials
195
Comedy Dance and Jazz Age Kinaesthetics
221
Cultural Inversions
249
Racial and Sexual Transformation in A Florida Enchantment
251
Taking Precautions or Regulating Early BirthControl Films
270
Cecil B DeMilles Sex Comedies
298
The Actress as Vernacular Embodiment in Early Chinese Film Culture
501
Cinematic Vision in Modernity
530
The Flaneuse as Cyberfeminist
552
Contributors
571
Index
575
Copyright

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References to this book

Encyclopedia of Early Cinema
Richard Abel
No preview available - 2004
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About the author (2002)

DIV

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.

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