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Off-White Hollywood

Off-White Hollywood
Your Price: $44.99 CDN
Author: Diane Negra
Publisher: Routledge
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 221
Pub. Date: 2001
ISBN-10: 0415216788
ISBN-13: 9780415216784

About the Book:

Off-White Hollywood: American Culture and Ethnic Female Stardom investigates how the 'ethnicity' of white European-American actresses has played a key role in the mythology of American identity and nation building. Embodying national fantasies and 'assimilation myths', ethnic female film stars symbolized the promise of American multiculturalism and proved the desirability and reliability of the American Dream.

Through case studies of stars spanning cinema's history, Diane Negra examines Hollywood films and promotional material as a vehicle through which American culture expresses and negotiates gender and ethnic identities. Diane Negra focuses on key stars of the silent (Colleen Moore and Pola Negri), classical (Sonja Henie and Hedy Lamarr), and post-classical eras (Marisa Tomei and Cher) to demonstrate how each star illuminates aspects of ethnicity, gender, consumerism, and class at work in American culture. Tracing processes of transformation, containment, and resistance, from the assimilation imperatives of the early twentieth century to the current ethnic revival. Off-White Hollywood shows how star personae have reflected the changing meanings of whiteness in US culture.

What people say:

"A unique examination of celebrity culture as the place where white American national identities are contested and consolidated. Integrating social and cultural history with close readings of films, Negra shows how "ethnicity" has been commodified or adapted to add what she calls an 'enriching vague flavor of difference' to American identity. Her definitive analysis of these stars offers valuable insights into Hollywood's production of US femininity in a global frame." — Patricia White, Swarthmore College

"Diana Negra's smart, savvy, imaginative exploration brings to the surface cultural changes – from the turn of the 20th century to the present – in the invisible racial and ethnic assumptions that underlie the allure of filmic glamour and sex appeal. Perhaps Negra's most startling effect is to break the silence with which the culture industry typically embalms stars who once seemed to rule Hollywood but were ultimately casually discarded by a system that regards women as commodities, ethnicity as artificial flavoring, and whiteness as a norm." — Martha P. Nochimson, Mercy College

"Negra's six case studies provide a brilliant demonstration of how Hollywood uses the ethnicity of white US actresses to support its myths of assimilation. Negra supports her strong film analyses with evidence from social history, popular culture newspaper gossip, fanzines, and publicity material. ... Recommended for upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals." — M. Yacowar, University of Calgary

"An undoubtedly important book. With its analysis of the historical transformation in the cultural understanding of gender and ethnicity in film, Off-White Hollywood fills a gap in both whiteness studies and cinema studies. Negra is to be congratulated." — Jon Stratton, Curtin University of Technology

About the Author:

Diane Negra is Professor of Film Studies and Screen Culture and Head of Film Studies at University College Dublin. A member of the Royal Irish Academy, she is the author, editor or co-editor of ten books including Off-White Hollywood: American Culture and Ethnic Female Stardom. Her work in media, gender and cultural studies has been widely influential and recognized with a range of research awards and fellowships, most recently an award from the Government of Japan that led to a lecture tour in that country. She currently serves as Co-Editor-in- Chief of Television and New Media.