Drawing on the letters female fans submitted to Motion Picture Magazine between 1914 and 1918, this article seeks to center negative feelings as a constitutional part of Hollywood reception during the World War I years. Emergent at this time, the language of affective film reception took up a combative tenor reflective of women’s lived experiences: anger, derision, and dissent pervade the first-person writings submitted by self-identified movie-loving “misses” and “girls.” Reading their published correspondence as proto-manifestations of feminist “troublemakers” and “killjoys” helps in historicizing early Hollywood fandom as an “intimate publics” commercially centered on women’s culture, but communally appropriated by female consumers as a means to express antisocial responses.
Fire in the Hole: Negative Feelings in Silent Film Fan Communities
Diana W. Anselmo is a feminist film historian. She is the author of A Queer Way of Feeling: Girl Fans and Personal Archives of Early Hollywood (University of California Press, 2023), and multiple articles on female audiences and media historiography. She is currently an assistant professor of Critical Studies at California State University, Long Beach.
Diana W. Anselmo; Fire in the Hole: Negative Feelings in Silent Film Fan Communities. Feminist Media Histories 1 January 2024; 10 (1): 28–56. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fmh.2024.10.1.28
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