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Made in Movieland: Imitation, Agency, and Girl Movie Fandom in the 1910s.
Camera Obscura (2100)
  • Diana Anselmo-Sequeira, University of Pittsburgh

This article uses the key concept of imitation as a frame through which I explore the complex relationship established between a burgeoning American film press and the first generation of girls to be culturally construed as “adolescent” and “movie fans.” Interlacing early-twentieth-century psychology literature with commercial print sources and girls’ own fan testimonies, I set out to investigate the ways imitation became a source of agency for movie-loving girls at a time popular and scientific sources understood imitative behavior as both a mark of women’s intellectual inferiority and a product of female adolescent arrestment. The goal of this piece is to show that adolescent girls were a crucial part of early American cinema, and that the ambivalent modes of representation and address movie magazines directed at girl spectators evidence a growing commercial dependence—as well as a patriarchal anxiety—over young female audiences’ centrality to a profit-driven film industry.

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Diana Anselmo-Sequeira. "Made in Movieland: Imitation, Agency, and Girl Movie Fandom in the 1910s." Camera Obscura (2100)
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