Mary R. Desjardins

Professor of Film and Media Studies
Academic Appointments

Professor, Department of Film and Media Studies

Mary Desjardins received her PhD in Cinema-TV from USC. Before coming to Dartmouth, she taught at UC Santa Barbara and UT Austin. She has published articles in a variety of journals, such as Film Quarterly, Camera Obscura, Film History, Cinema Journal, Celebrity Studies, The Velvet Light Trap, Quarterly Review of Film and Video, Vectors, and The Spectator. She also has book chapters in 21 book collections, including Mapping Movie Magazines:  Digitization, Periodicals, and Cinema History; The Anthem Handbook of Screen TheoryTelevision, History, and American Culture: Feminist Critical Essays; Everyday eBay: Culture, Collecting and Desire; Headline Hollywood: 100 Years of Film Scandal; Communities of the Air: Radio Century, Radio Culture; When Private Talk Goes Public: Gossip in United States History; Glamour in a Golden Age:  Movie Stars of the 1930s; Idols of Modernity:  Movies Stars of the 1920s; and Fires Were Started: British Cinema and Thatcherism.  Her books include Dietrich Icon, which she co-edited with Gerd Gemunden (Duke University Press, 2007);  Recycled Stars: Female Stardom in the Age of Television and Video (Duke University Press, 2015); and Father Knows Best (Wayne State University Press, 2015). Mary served as an executive board member of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies between 2014 and 2017, and served on the advisory boards of Console-ing Passions: Conference on Television, Audio, Video, New Media, and Feminism until 2015 and "She Made It: Women Creating Television and Radio," a permanent collection at the Paley Center for Television and Radio. Areas of teaching specialty include: media history, film and television stardom, feminist theory, gender and the media, feminist filmmaking, melodrama, material culture, print culture and history. 

207 Black Family Visual Arts Center
HB 6194
Film and Media Studies
Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
B.A. University of California at Riverside
M.A. University of California at Berkeley
Ph.D. University of Southern California

Selected Publications

Recycled Stars:  Female Film Stardom in the Age of Television and Video (Duke University Press, 2015).

Father Knows Best (Wayne State University Press, 2015)

Dietrich Icon, co-edited with Gerd Gemunden (Duke University Press, 2007).

Special issues of Celebrity Studies (Volume 8, no. 4, December 2017) on celebrity biography/biopics, co-edited with Michael DeAngelis; Journal of e-Media Studies (Summer 2015) on race, gender, and genre in broadcast television and radio, co-edited with Mary Beth Haralovich.

"Gross 'Inaccuracies, Misrepresentations, and Exaggerations': The Motion Picture Industry's Clean-up of Movie Fan Magazines in 1934," Mapping Movie Magazines:  Digitization, Periodicals, and Cinema History, ed. Daniel Biltereyst and Lies Van de Vijver (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020).

"The Perils of 'IT':  Clara Bow, Agency, Experience, and the Scandalous Life Story," Celebrity Studies 8:4 (2017).

"Classical Hollywood (1928-1946)," Chapter Two of Costume, Make-up and Hair, edited by Adrienne L. McLean for Behind the Silver Screen Series (Rutgers University Press, 2016).

"Editors' Introduction:  Reconsidering Gender, Genre, and Race in Broadcast Radio and Television," (co-written and co-edited with Mary Beth Haralovich) Special Issue of Journal of e-Media Studies 4:1 (Summer 2015)

"Performance, Labor, and Stardom in the Era of the Synthespian," Production Studies, the Sequel! Cultural Studies of Global Media Industries, edited by Miranda Banks et al (Routledge, 2015).

"'Fan Magazine Trouble':  The AMPP, Studio Publicity Directors and the Hollywood Press, 1945-1952," Film History 26:3 (2014).

"'As Told by Helen Ferguson':  Hollywood Publicity, Gender, and the Public Sphere," When Private Talk Goes Public:  Gossip in American History," edited by Kathleen Feeley and Jennifer Frost (Palgrave MacMillan, 2014).

"Fading Stars and the Ruined Commodity Form:  Star Discourses of Loss in Early Fan Magazines," Researching Women in Silent Cinema:  New Findings and Perspectives, edited by Monica Dall'Asta, Victoria Duckett, and Lucia Tralli (e-book, University of Bologna and University of Melbourne, Women and Screen Cultures, 2013).

"'The Elegance. . .is Almost Overwhelming':  Glamour and Discursive Struggles over Female Stardom in Early Television," Television:  le moment experimental, edited by Gilles Delavaud and Denis Marachal (Editions Apogee, 2011).

"'Not of Hollywood':  Constance Bennett, Kay Francis, Ruth Chatterton, Ann Harding, Nancy Carroll," Glamour in a Golden Age:  Movie Stars of the 1930s, edited by Adrienne L. McLean (Rutgers University Press, 2011).

"A Method to this Madness?  The Myth of the Mad Silent Film Star," Not So Silent:  Women in Cinema Before Sound, edited by Sofia Bull and Astrid Soderberg Widding (Stockholm University Press, 2010).

"An Appetite for Living:  Clara Bow, Gloria Swanson, Colleen Moore, and the New Woman of the 1920s," Idols of Modernity:  Film Stars of the 1920s, edited by Patrice Petro (Rutgers University Press, 2010).

"Ephemeral Culture/eBay Culture:  Film Collectibles and Fan Investments," Everyday eBay:  Culture, Collecting, and Desire, edited by Ken Hillis et al (Routledge University Press, 2006).

"The Objects of Our Affection:  Material Practices, Material Culture," Vectors (e-journal, 2006).

"The Incredible Shrinking Star:  Todd Haynes and the Case of Karen Carpenter," Camera Obscura 57 19:3 (December 2004).

"Systematizing Scandal:  Confidential Magazine, Stardom, and the State of California," Headline Hollywood:  A Century of Film Scandal, edited by Adrienne L. McLean and David Cook (Rutgers University Press, 2001).

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Works in progress

Publicity Matters:  Case Studies in Studio-era Hollywood's Public Relations, book-length study of the relation between the Hollywood studios, the press, and public relations between 1930-1960.  In progress.

Selected works and activities