Film Strip image from Wikimedia Commons

Film Strip image from Wikimedia Commons

Friday, January 3, 2014

January 16: Pamela Robertson Wojcik on Shirley Temple as Streetwalker

Please join the Chicago Film Seminar at 6:30 pm on Thursday, January 16 to welcome Pamela Robertson Wojcik (Notre Dame) for her talk, "Shirley Temple as Streetwalker."  Miriam Petty (Northwestern) will provide the response. The CFS will be held at DePaul's Loop Campus in the Daley Building at 14 E. Jackson Blvd., Room LL 102, using the State St. entrance located at 247 S. State.

Thursday, January 16 at 6:30pm
Pamela Robertson Wojcik, Notre Dame 
"Shirley Temple as Streetwalker"
RespondentMiriam PettyNorthwestern

Wojcik describes her talk as follows:

My talk is called "Shirley Temple as Streetwalker," which I mean literally - she walks in streets - and metaphorically - her mobility in urban space seems to conjure prostitution and narratives of fallen women.  Temple's films of the 1930s yoke together seemingly contradictory narratives of the fallen woman and the "new girl."  They show Temple being unmoored from home - orphaned or displaced - and then finding herself on streets where she encounters men.  Their encounters, however, do not lead to "degradation" or victimization.  Instead, they emphasize the girl's mobility and freedom and ascribe to her significant agency to transform and improve not only her situation, but also that of the men.  In this way, these films offer a vision of the urban as largely benign, and of girlhood as powerful.  This talk comes from my current book, Fantasies of Neglect: Imagining the Urban Child.

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