Universal Women: Filmmaking and Institutional Change in Early Hollywood

byMark Garrett Cooper

Paperback | March 10, 2010

Universal Women: Filmmaking and Institutional Change in Early Hollywood by Mark Garrett Cooper
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Between 1912 and 1919, the Universal Film Manufacturing Company credited eleven women with directing at least 170 films, but by the mid-1920s all of these directors had left Universal and only one still worked in the film industry at all. Two generations of cinema historians have either overlooked or been stymied by the mystery of why Universal first systematically supported and promoted women directors and then abruptly reversed that policy.

In this trailblazing study, Mark Garrett Cooper approaches the phenomenon as a case study in how corporate movie studios interpret and act on institutional culture in deciding what it means to work as a man or woman. In focusing on issues of institutional change, Cooper challenges interpretations that explain women''s exile from the film industry as the inevitable result of a transhistorical sexism or as an effect of a broadly cultural revision of gendered work roles. Drawing on a range of historical and sociological approaches to studying corporate institutions, Cooper examines the relationship between institutional organization and aesthetic conventions during the formative years when women filmmakers such as Ruth Ann Baldwin, Cleo Madison, Ruth Stonehouse, Elise Jane Wilson, and Ida May Park directed films for Universal.

Mark Garrett Cooper is an associate professor of English and film and media studies and the director of the Moving Image Research Collections at the University of South Carolina. He is the author of Love Rules: Silent Hollywood and the Rise of the Managerial Class.
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Title:Universal Women: Filmmaking and Institutional Change in Early HollywoodFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:264 pages, 9 X 6 X 0.6 inShipping dimensions:264 pages, 9 X 6 X 0.6 inPublished:March 10, 2010Publisher:University of Illinois PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0252077008

ISBN - 13:9780252077005

Appropriate for ages: All ages

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Editorial Reviews

"A stellar analysis of women filmmakers'' rise and fall within the context of the Universal Film Manufacturing Company."--Enterprise & Society