Dipartimento di Musica e Spettacolo - CONFERENZE, Women and the Silent Screen Conference

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Movies in the Lives of American Girls: Interrogating the Evidence Found in High School Memory Books
Leslie DeBauche

Last modified: 2010-05-28


In the 1910s it was conventional, in all parts of the United States, for teenage girls to keep scrapbooks documenting their last year in secondary school.  Between the pages of these books, girls collected photographs of their friends, newspaper articles about graduation, autographs written by their classmates and teachers, and invitations and favors from parties they attended. Significantly, many of these memory books also included movie ephemera including ticket stubs, theater programs, and pictures of movie stars. 

 In this paper, I will argue that girls not only included movies among their leisure activities, but also that they turned the stuff of movies including, stars, characters, film titles into a lingua franca.  For instance, girls used movies to make jokes and to describe their friends.  My paper will also be an argument for efficacy and importance of scrapbooks as a tool for film historical research.


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