From Below to Above the Title: the Construction of the Star Image of Barbara Stanwyck, 1930-1935

  • Linda Berkvens

Abstract

This paper examines the construction of the star image of Barbara Stanwyck from her first role at Columbia studio in 1930, until 1935, when she became a freelance actress. I will focus especially on Stanwyck’s status as a female performer and the possible models of womanhood she portrayed. The work she did, and the accompanying publicity, raises questions about female representation, which I seek to address through this research. I will mainly use archival resources such as fan magazines, press books, and studio publicity material, contemporary to the period to examine how Stanwyck’s star image was constructed in this period. Traditionally, scholars look at film stars as part of the filmic text. My research method includes the use of other material (publicity, studio documents, etc.) contemporary to Stanwyck, and demonstrates my intention to look at stars and their images from a different angle. This paper challenges the traditional way of looking at stars as fetishised objects, instead moving toward a more practical examination of the construction of the female star image.
Published
January 21, 2009
How to Cite
Berkvens, L. (2009, January 21). From Below to Above the Title: the Construction of the Star Image of Barbara Stanwyck, 1930-1935. Networking Knowledge: Journal of the MeCCSA Postgraduate Network, 2(1). https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.31165/nk.2009.21.41
Section
MeCCSA-PGN Conference Papers