Lois Weber’s Uneasy Progressive Politics: The Articulation of Class and Gender in Where Are My Children?

Pravadelli, Veronica (2013) Lois Weber’s Uneasy Progressive Politics: The Articulation of Class and Gender in Where Are My Children? DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsacta/3793. In: Researching Women in Silent Cinema: New Findings and Perspectives. A cura di: Dall'Asta, Monica ; Duckett, Victoria ; Tralli, Lucia. Bologna: Dipartimento delle Arti - DAR, Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna, pp. 42-52. ISBN 9788898010103. In: Women and Screen Cultures, (1). A cura di: Dall'Asta, Monica ; Duckett, Victoria. ISSN 2283-6462.
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Abstract

After decades of oblivion the status of Lois Weber’s production has emerged as one of the most important in American cinema of the 1910s. Indeed, recent historical research has made clear that by 1915 Weber had become a popular celebrity whose work was as distinctive as that of Griffith and De Mille. In her most famous and successful films, Weber tackled some of the controversial issues of the period which she treated in a moral fashion. Where Are My Children? (1916) is the first of four films dealing with birth control while Shoes (1916), for example, deals with underpaid female labor. In both cases, as in other films, Weber’s social discourse develops along a dual axes, that of gender and class. Though she didn’t consider herself strictly a feminist, she thought of her work in line with that of activists and reformers, including feminists such as Margaret Sanger and Jane Addams. It is interesting to note that well before current debates around essentialism and anti-essentialism, Weber was well aware, like many feminists of the time, that women’s condition as gendered subjects was not unique and universal, but intimately related to their class.

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Pravadelli, Veronica
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ISSN
2283-6462
ISBN
9788898010103
DOI
Deposit date
24 Sep 2013 07:58
Last modified
13 Mar 2015 14:51
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