Aftershocks of the New: Feminism and Film History

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"In this vibrant collection of essays, Patrice Petro draws on her capacious understanding of feminist theory and German film theory to articulate what is, was, and should be at stake in our interpretive practices. Whether analyzing the disorienting photomontages of Hannah Höch, the disturbing portraits of Otto Dix, or the charged performance of Marlene Dietrich in Blonde Venus, Petro remains firmly in command of historical contexts, theoretical implications, and ideological consequences."-Maria Tatar, author of Lustmord: Sexual Murder in Weimar Germany

"Patrice Petro's Aftershocks of the New is unified by a focus on the connection between feminist film criticism and historical research. It also invokes a history of the film studies discipline (including television) as she rehearses and comments upon some of the major debates in the field over the past two decades."-Lucy Fischer, director of the film studies program, University of Pittsburgh

The beginning of this century has brought with it a host of assumptions about the newness of our technologies, globalized economies, and transnational media practices. The essays here are joined by a common concern to chart another side to modernity-precisely after the shock of the new-when the new ceases to be shocking, and when the extraordinary and the sensational become linked to the boring and the everyday. Patrice Petro explores how the mechanisms of modernism, German cinema, and feminist film theory have evolved, and she discusses the directions in which they are headed.

Petro's essays-some published here for the first time-raise such questions as: What roles do television and other media play in film studies? What is the place of feminist film theory in our conceptions of film history? How is German film theory situated within international film theory?

Rather than continue to sensationalize sensation, Aftershocks of the New aims to lower the volume of debates over the place of cinema within the culture of modernity. It accomplishes this by locating them within a more complex matrix of contending sensibilities, voices, and impulses.

Patrice Petro teaches film studies in the English department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she is also the director of the Center for International Education. She is the author of Joyless Streets: Women and Melodramatic Representation in Weimar Germany, and the editor of Fugitive Images: From Photography to Video.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813529967
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2001
  • Series: New Directions in International Studies Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Introduction: Aftershocks of the New 1
Ch. 1 The "Place" of Television in Film Studies 13
Ch. 2 Feminism and Film History 31
Ch. 3 German Film Theory and Anglo-American Film Studies 46
Ch. 4 After Shock, between Boredom and History 57
Ch. 5 Historical Ennui, Feminist Boredom 82
Ch. 6 World-Weariness, Weimar Women, and Visual Culture 95
Ch. 7 Nazi Cinema at the Intersection of the Classical and the Popular 124
Ch. 8 The Hottentot and the Blonde Venus 136
Ch. 9 Film Feminism and Nostalgia for the Seventies 157
Notes 175
Works Cited 195
Index 207
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