This essay dialogically examines materials from Mary Hallock-Greenewalt's largely self-curated and reflexively annotated archive, illuminating overlooked facets of her life and work, in particular her bicultural upbringing, elements of syncretism that inform her oeuvre, and her practices of self-mythologizing. The text is divided into interconnected sections that explore the following facets of the spectral Middle East in Hallock-Greenewalt's life and work: the remembrance of the Syrian mother, the activation of pervasive Orientalist discourses, genealogical expansions through the figure of Hallock-Greenewalt as mother-inventor, and archival interventions. It argues that her autobiographical writings engage her mythologized past in service of the construction of hagiographic narratives of female agency.
Mary Hallock-Greenewalt's Spectral Middle East: Autobiographical Orientations and Reflexive Mediations
Anne Ciecko is an associate professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She has published widely on international cinema, women filmmakers, and gender and transmedia stardom. Her work on Middle Eastern film and media cultures has appeared in journals and edited collections, including Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism, Asian Cinema, Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, Culture on Two Wheels (Jeremy Withers and Daniel Shea, eds., University of Nebraska Press, 2016), and Historical Dictionary of Middle Eastern Cinema (Terri Ginsberg and Chris Lippard, eds., Rowman and Littlefield, 2010).
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Anne Ciecko; Mary Hallock-Greenewalt's Spectral Middle East: Autobiographical Orientations and Reflexive Mediations. Feminist Media Histories 1 January 2017; 3 (1): 25–49. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fmh.2017.3.1.25
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