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"The Impossible Films of Vera, Countess of Cathcart"

Anderson, Mark Lynn (2013) "The Impossible Films of Vera, Countess of Cathcart". Researching Women in Silent Cinema:New Findings and Perspectives, 1. ISSN 2283-6462

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This essay revisits the cause célèbre occasioned when a British novelist, playwright, and divorcée was denied entry into the United States in early 1926 on the grounds of “moral turpitude.” The Countess of Cathcart made international headlines after being detained at Ellis Island for admitting to an affair with a married man, but she was also quickly championed, feared, and ridiculed by various individuals, groups, and institutions that sought to exploit her short-lived notoriety toward different ends. The cinema was one determining context for some of these contestations over the significance of the Countess, and the Cathcart case raises important questions about how we might rethink women’s involvement in early motion-picture production outside a history of the titles that were actually produced. By attending to the regulatory concerns about the films that women such as the Countess of Cathcart might have made, this essay proposes a historiographical practice that refuses to limit women’s film history to a inventory of what we can safely establish as having occurred in the past


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Anderson, Mark Lynnandersml@pitt.eduandersml0000-0001-5263-808X
Date: 2013
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Researching Women in Silent Cinema:New Findings and Perspectives
Volume: 1
Publisher: Department of Arts, University of Bologna
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.6092/unibo/amsacta/3827
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 2283-6462
Article Type: Essay
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2017 15:56
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2017 15:56


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