1st Edition

Cinematic Representations of Women in Modern Celebrity Culture, 1900–1950

    324 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The purpose of this edited volume is to explore the contributions of women to European, Mexican, American and Indian film industries during the years 1900 to 1950, an important period that signified the rise and consolidation of media technologies. Their pioneering work as film stars, writers, directors, designers and producers as well as their endeavors to bridge the gap between the avant-garde and mass culture are significant aspects of this collection. This intersection will be carefully nuanced through their cinematographic production, performances and artistic creations. Other distinctive features pertain to the interconnection of gender roles and moral values with ways of looking, which paves the way for realigning social and aesthetic conventions of femininity. Based on this thematic and diverse sociocultural context, this study has an international scope, their main audiences being scholars and graduate students that pursue to advance interdisciplinary research in the field of feminist theory, film, gender, media and avant-garde studies. Likewise, historians, art and literature specialists will find the content appealing to the degree that intermedial and cross-cultural approaches are presented.


    María Cristina C. Mabrey and Leticia Pérez Alonso

    Part 1: Women, Vanguardism and the Film/Advertising Industries

    1. Silent Cinema and the Avant-Garde (1910–1939): The Provocative Advent of Mass Culture and Women’s Reformulation of Visual Arts

    María Cristina C. Mabrey

    2. Women Behind the Camera: How Lucia Schulz and Hortense Ribbentrop-Leudesdorff Changed the History of Photography and Cinematography

    Jessica Camargo Molano and Alfonso Amendola

    3. On-Screen Femininity Deconstructed: Garbo’s Greta, Khokhlova’s Edith and H.D.’s Astrid

    Zlatina Nikolova

    Part 2: Archetypal Femininity and Its Contradictions in Mexican, Italian and Hindi Cinema

    4. The Representation of Women and the Racial Problem in La Llorona (1933) by Ramón Peón

    Sabino Luévano-Ortega

    5. Shady Women in Post-War Italian Cinema

    Cristina Jandelli

    6. Deconstructing Femininity and Progression of Women in Twentieth-Century Bollywood Films

    Darshana Chakrabarty

    Part 3: Cultural Icons: Problematizing the New Woman Narratives

    7. Female Celebrity and the New Woman: Artistic and Gendered Reflexivity in Greta Garbo, Cóncha Méndez and Maruja Mallo

    David Wood

    8. Blue Angel as Red Nurse: Nazis’ Infatuation with Marlene Dietrich

    Felicia Cosey

    9. Carole Lombard, Katharine Hepburn, Barbara Stanwyck and the Gendered Agency of Screwball Comedies

    Jenny Platz

    Part 4: Visual Pleasure and the Counter-Gaze

    10. To Have and Not Have Lauren Bacall

    John Hillman

    11. Fetishism and the Male Gaze in Jaime Torres Bodet’s Day Star

    Chrystian Zegarra

    12. Mina Loy, Vachel Lindsay and Hollywood Celebrity Culture: Responses to the Male Gaze in Modernist Poetry

    Leticia Pérez Alonso


    Leticia Pérez Alonso


    María Cristina C. Mabrey is a retired Full Professor in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures which includes foreign languages and Comparative Literature, and also affiliate faculty in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, at the University of South Carolina.

    Leticia Pérez Alonso is Assistant Professor in the Department of English, Modern Foreign Languages and Speech Communication at Jackson State University, and a past Fulbright and DAAD scholar.