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Cupboards of Curiosity: Women, Recollection, and Film History Paperback – January 17, 2007

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Editorial Reviews


“[A] very interesting new book. . . . Vacillating between memoir and history, Hastie shows that these women's personal scrapbooks—often seen as tangential to film history—provide vital links between ‘women and the margins of history into which they are often placed.’ A look back you can look forward to.” - Chris Watson, Santa Cruz Sentinel

“This book transports easily and reads entertainingly. It examines important ideas from a conventional setting, reinventing them through a fresh perspective in a light, anecdotal tone.” - Maree Boyce, M/C Reviews

“There is much to commend in Amelie Hastie's imaginative, innovative, and feminist study of the intersections between memory, film history, and critical theory. Above all, Cupboards of Curiosity reveals new possibilities for recovering the oeuvre of women engaged in the creation of American film.” - Nancy J. Rosenbloom, Journal of American History

“Amelie Hastie’s Cupboards of Curiosity: Women, Recollection, and Film History is agile and meticulous. Hastie ranges across materials and objects which have remained on the edge of most accounts of film history. In this way, Cupboards of Curiosity is engaging and revealing. . . . Hastie’s curiosity about her topic is instilled in her reader who is asked to look inside the neglected cupboards of film history and, in doing so, herself become a collaborator.” - Jane Simon, Media International Australia

“Feminist scholars have long been engaged in a project to recover lost female voices, and, obviously, this is especially challenging when looking at film actresses whose images were carefully manufactured by the Hollywood star system. Fortunately, these women left behind their own documents, as seemingly mundane as notes in the margin of a book, or as fantastical as a giant dollhouse. Their history resides in these records, and Hastie beautifully and respectfully lets them speak for themselves.” - Julie Anne Taddeo, Journal of Popular Culture

“[A]n enjoyable read and important scholarly work. Where Hastie excels is in the interstices of chapters—the ways in which women by historical and cultural necessity have had to negotiate the slippage between collector-historian-critic to ultimately, through collaboration, emerge as expert.” - Cara L. Cardinale, Women’s Studies

Cupboards of Curiosity is an enormously significant and important study. Amelie Hastie’s reevaluations of female authorship are brilliant, and her approach to the ‘archive’ encourages just the kind of rethinking of established ideas that one associates with the very best kind of academic work.”—Judith Mayne, author of Framed: Lesbians, Feminists, and Media Culture

“In Amelie Hastie’s meditative and original book, the era of silent film speaks through the writings and collections of the women who made the movies—stars, directors, writers—some forgotten, most remembered for their images, not their words. Hastie models her approach to writing and theorizing film history on the novel ways her subjects themselves made history: loving attention to the fleeting and the fragmentary illuminates theories of female agency within mass-mediated modernity.”—Patricia White, author of Uninvited: Classical Hollywood Cinema and Lesbian Representability

About the Author

Amelie Hastie is Associate Professor of Film and Digital Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a member of the Camera Obscura editorial collective.

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