there is one course i teach regularly for which i have never
found a text that really works well . . . so i approach the
list one more time in the hopes of finding some helpful
the course is an expository writing course, for first year
students who have previously done little [if any] careful
reading and serious writing . . . the course is designed to
be built around a single topic and to culminate in a small
scale research paper . . . the topic i have used with success
in the past and want to use again is "Sexism in Hollywood"
and considers the various ways sexism shapes hollywood
practices both on the screen and behind the scenes . . .
trouble is, i have never found a book that i can assign for
this course . . . books i find most interesting [by kuhn, modleski,
doane, stacey, for example] are far far beyond their grasp--
and more difficult writers -- doane, de lauretis, silverman,
might as well be in a foreign language . . . in short the sort
of stuff that comes out of duke, routledge, or BFI is almost
by definition out of the question . . .
on the other hand the books that they might have some success
with -- i think offhand of susan douglas' WHERE THE GIRLS
ARE--are hard to take credit as academic prose or as serious
explorations of complex issues . . . .
surely there MUST be writers who deal with issues of sexism
and feminism in cinema using an approach and a language that
are serious and sophisticated yet available to what are, in
fact, novice readers
i suppose the level i'm looking for is best represented by gary
wills JOHN WAYNE'S AMERICA or robin woods' work on
hitchcock . . . i've assigned woods in a hitchcock class and while
the students did not find it easy they were at least able to work
through it more or less successfully, something i have not been
able to achieve with any of the books i've used in the sexism
in cinema class . . .
so, if you know of any books at all that might lend themselves
to these purposes i'd be grateful to learn of them
thanks very much
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