Off-White Hollywood: American Culture and Ethnic Female Stardom

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Overview

Off-White Hollywood investigates how the 'ethnicity' of white European-American actresses has played a key role in the mythology of American identity and nation building. Negra focuses on key stars of the silent - Colleen Moore and Pola Negri - classical - Sonja Henie and Hedy Lamarr - and post-classical eras - Marisa Tomei and Cher - to demonstrate how each star illuminates aspects of ethnicity, gender, consumerism, and class at work in American culture.

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Editorial Reviews

Patricia White
A unique examination of celebrity culture as the place where white American national identities are contested and consolidated. Integrating social and cultural history with close readings of films, Negra shows how "ethnicity" has been commodified or adapted to add what she calls an "enriching vague flavor of difference" to American identity. Her definitive analysis of these stars offers valuable insights into Hollywood's production of US femininity in a global frame.
Martha P. Nochimson
Diana Negra's smart, savvy, imaginative exploration brings to the surface cultural changes - from the turn of the 20th century to the present - in the invisible racial and ethnic assumptions that underlie the allure of filmic glamour and sex appeal. Perhaps Negra's most startling effect is to break the silence with which the culture industry typically embalms stars who once seemed to rule Hollywood but were ultimately casually discarded by a system that regards women as commodities, ethnicity as artificial flavoring, and whiteness as a norm.
Jon Stratton
An undoubtedly important book. With its analysis of the historical transformation in the cultural understanding of gender and ethnicity in film, Off-White Hollywood fills a gap in both whiteness studies and cinema studies. Negra is to be congratulated!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415216777
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 11/28/2001
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.39 (w) x 9.53 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

Diane Negra is Assistant Professor in the Department of Radio, TV and Film at the University of North Texas. She is the co-editor of A Feminist Reader in Early Cinema (Duke University Press 2002).

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Table of Contents

Illustrations
Acknowledgements
1 Hollywood film and the narrativization of ethnic femininity 1
2 The wearing of the green: Irishness as a promotional discourse in the career of Colleen Moore 25
3 Immigrant stardom in imperial America: Pola Negri and the problem of typology 55
4 Sonja Henie in Hollywood: Whiteness, athleticism and Americanization 84
5 Ethnicity and the interventionist imagination: Domesticity, exoticism and scandal in the persona of Hedy Lamarr 103
6 Marisa Tomei and the fantasy of ethnicity 136
7 Stardom, corporeality and ethnic indeterminacy: Cher's disrupted/disruptive body 164
Notes 182
Bibliography 200
Index 215
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