Reply to Mike:
If you adjust your topic orientation a bit, from Sexisim in Hollywood to
Gender in Hollywood, you'll find quite a few books of interest to your
Try Molly Haskell's HOLDING MY OWN IN NO MAN'S LAND. She writes lucidly
with wit and wisdom on topics and issues students might actually feel
Of course, many other books on gender--how about opening up the writing
topics to include male as well as female images?--are also accessible to
beginning students. Maybe off-list, I could send you more titles and
some descriptions of each...excerpted from a book I'm editing now
(Film and Gender: Myth, Power, and Change).
You might look for books not aimed at scholars, whose penchant for passive
voice verbs, wordiness, allusions to theories and theorists, tortuous syntax,
and arguments from other scholars produce, for the young writer exactly
the sort of reading experience to avoid. Scholarly writing is a
obfuscatory craft one could hope young college students might avoid for
as long as possible. They have problems enough already.
Instead, why not use experts with the wisdom of scholars
but with the panache and insight to reach a broader, intelligent audience.
Haskell's books meet this standard. Also, June Sochen's recent book, FROM
MAE TO MADONNA: WOMEN ENTERTAINERS IN TWENTIETH CENTURY AMERICA
might prompt your students to clear, informed writing about the subjects
of gender and film/tv. If you like a feminist approach, try
Susan Jeffords' HARD BODIES: HOLLYWOOD MASCULINITIES IN THE REAGAN ERA.
Enough for here. These books seem to have been edited well enough and
pitched carefully enough that they may be more useful to the beginning
writer on a journey to practice good writing by seeing it in action.
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