Shirley Temple and the Performance of Girlhood
Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.
Publisher: Rutgers University Press (30 Jan. 2015)
By: Kristen Hatch (Author)
Beginning her career in “:Baby Burlesks,”: short films where she played vamps and harlots, her biggest hits were marketed as romances between Temple and her adult male costars. Kristen Hatch helps modern audiences make sense of the erotic undercurrents that seem to run through these movies. Placing Temple’:s films in their historical context and reading them alongside earlier representations of girlhood in Victorian theater and silent film, Hatch shows how Shirley Temple emerged at the very moment that long standing beliefs about childhood innocence and sexuality were starting to change. Where we might now see a wholesome child in danger of adult corruption, earlier audiences saw Temple’:s films as demonstrations of the purifying power of childhood innocence.
Hatch examines the cultural history of the time to view Temple’:s performances in terms of sexuality, but in relation to changing views about gender, class, and race. Filled with new archival research, Shirley Temple and the Performance of Girlhood enables us to appreciate the “:simpler times”: of Temple’:s stardom in all its thorny complexity.