The next meeting of the Film and Media Studies PhD Colloquium will be held on Monday, April 3rd, 2017 at 5 pm (Location TBA).
Victoria Duckett will be speaking about her research on the intersection between film and Victorian melodrama, and we will be discussing a selection from her current project, A Female Peerage: Gesture and Generation in the Early Twentieth Century, entitled “Performing in pairs: Sarah Bernhardt and Gabrielle Réjane, c. 1911.”
Abstract: My research project examines the actresses whose theatrical performance and celebrity were formed and fashioned in the late nineteenth century, who remained active as performers in the early twentieth century, and who became involved with early film. These performers, usually examined as individual celebrity case studies and introduced as un-contextualized examples in star studies, can instead collectively offer us insight into a period of theatrical and cultural change. My aim is twofold. I want to significantly develop the research I have undertaken on art nouveau gesture in my book Seeing Sarah Bernhardt: Performance and Silent Film. I also want to focus on a generation of women who overlapped with and performed in early twentieth century theatre but who have been all but ignored in histories of modernism and rarely, if ever, discussed in histories of film. Instead of looking at Bernhardt in isolation, I will begin to interpret and evaluate her work in relation to her competitors: Fanny Davenport, May Irwin, Eleanora Duse, Mistinguett, Yvette Guilbert, and Gabrielle Réjane.The Film and Media Studies Colloquium at Columbia is a collaborative group formed between the English, Theatre, and Film departments, welcoming PhD students, faculty, and scholars in all departments who are interested in or study film and media.
Victoria Duckett is a lecturer in Screen and the Director of Entertainment Production at Deakin University, Melbourne. She has published extensively in the area of women and early film and performance on film. Her book, Seeing Sarah Bernhardt: Performance and Silent Film (University of Illinois Press, 2015) was recently nominated as a 2016 Choice Outstanding Academic title. She is co-editor of the special dossier “Women and the Silent Screen”, Screening the Past (2015), “Archives and Archivists”, Feminist Media Histories (2016), and co-editor of Researching Women in Silent Film: New Findings and Perspectives (University of Bologna, 2013). She is on the editorial board of Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film and Feminist Media Histories.