Scandalous Females in Film

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 - 6:00am to 8:00am
Helen S. Schaefer Building Dorothy Rubel Room  1508 E. Helen Street Tucson, AZ 85721

This is the first meeting of a multi-session course. 
TUESDAYS 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Jan. 27, Feb. 3, 10, 17, 24, March 3, 10, 24, 31, April 7, 2015

The “scandalous female genre” has long had box-office value and cultural presence. This seminar explores the history of such women in films. We will first discuss genre conventions: how film style and storytelling present and comment on scandalous behavior. We then will explore how film-industry conditions permit and encourage portraying scandalous females. Each week we will engage a key question of interpretation: whether the character’s scandalous behavior is shameful, or whether it reveals and critiques gender norms and social-cultural conventions. This seminar covers: early film melodrama; the 1920s “new woman”; Production Code self-censorship (precode sexual-harassment films, code-era exploitation and containment of scandalous women, and postcode “adult-theme” women); how film promotion employs gender, genre, and star images; scandalous and unruly women of color; and second- and third-wave feminist icons.

MARY BETH HARALOVICH is Professor in the School of Theatre, Film and Television. Her focus is the social history of film and television, including studies of gender and domestic space in 1950s.

More information including course fees and how to register can be found online at