During Hollywood’s “classic era,” from the 1920s to 1950s, roughly twenty major fan magazines were offered each month at American newsstands and abroad. These publications famously fed fan obsessions with celebrities such as Mae West and Elvis Presley. Film studies scholars often regard these magazines with suspicion; perhaps due to their reputation for purveying scandal and gossip, their frequent mingling of gushing tone, and blatant falsehood.
Looking at these magazines with fresh regarding eyes and treating them as primary sources, the contributors of this collection provide unique insights into contemporary assumptions about the relationship between fan and star, performer and viewer. In doing so, they reveal the magazines to be a huge and largely untapped resource on a wealth of subjects, including gender roles, appearance and behavior, and national identity.
Contributors: Emily Chow-Kambitsch, Alissa Clarke, Jonathan Driskell, Lucy Fischer, Ann-Marie Fleming, Oana-Maria Mazilu, Adrienne L. McLean, Sarah Polley, Geneviève Sellier, Michael Williams