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Janet Staiger

WILLIAM P. HOBBY CENTENNIAL PROFESSOR OF COMMUNICATION, PROFESSOR OF WOMEN'S AND GENDER STUDIES (EMERITUS)

Janet Staiger

As a theoretician and historian of American film and television, Janet researches and has published on the following topics:

Janet has served on various national committees including the National Film Preservation Board of the U.S. Library of Congress (1992-96) and the jury for the American Film Institute's Television Awards (2010, 2012). She is past president of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (1991-93) and has served on the Executive Committees of the Cultural Studies Association (U.S.) (2005-09) and the Reception Studies Society (2005-present).  At The University of Texas at Austin, she was Director of the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies (2001-04) and Chair of the University’s Faculty Council (2009-10).

Author and editor of twelve books and over 60 essays, her book publications include:


Work by Topic

Authorship Theory

Authorship and Film.  Co-edited:  David A. Gerstner and Janet Staiger.  New York: Routledge, 2002. Includes: “Authorship Approaches," pp. 27-57.

"Creating the Brand:  The Hitchcock Touch," in The Cambridge Companion to Alfred Hitchcock, ed. Jonathan Freedman.  New York: Cambridge University Press (forthcoming).

"'Because I am a Woman': Thinking 'Identity' and 'Agency' for Historiography," Film History 25, nos. 1-2 (2013, forthcoming).

“Analysing Self-Fashioning in Authoring and Reception,” in Ingmar Bergman Revisited:  Performance, Cinema and the Arts, ed. Maaret Koskinen.  London:  Wallflower, 2008.  Pp. 89-106.

“Authorship Studies and Gus Van Sant,” Film Criticism 29, no. 1 (Fall 2004), 1-22.  

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Modes of Production:  Classical Hollywood, "Indie" Cinema, and More

The Studio System.  Edited.  New Brunswick, NJ:  Rutgers University Press, 1995.

The Classical Hollywood Cinema:  Film Style and Mode of Production to 1960.  Co-authored:  David Bordwell, Janet Staiger, and Kristin Thompson.  London and New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul and Columbia University Press, 1985.

“Considering the Script as Blueprint in 2012,” Northern Lights [Denmark], 10 (2012), 75-90.

 “Independent of What?  Sorting out Differences from Hollywood,” in American Independent Cinema, ed. Geoff King, Claire Molloy, and Yannis Tzioumakis.  London:  Routledge, 2012.  Pp. 15-27.

"Das Starsystem und der Klassische Hollywoodfilm" ["The Star System and the Classical Hollywood Cinema"] in Der Star:  Geschichte, Rezeption, Bedeutung, ed. Werner Faulstich and Helmut Korte.  Munchen, Germany:  Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 1997.  Pp.48-59.

"Le commerce international du cinema et les flux culturels mondiaux:  une approche neomarxiste" ["World Film Trade and Global Cultural Flows:  A Neo-Marxist Approach"] in Une Histoire economique du cinema francais (1895-1995): Regards croises franco-americans, ed. Pierre-Jean Behghozi and Christian Delage.  Paris:  Editions L'Harmattan, 1997.  Pp. 341-62. Rpt. in  Film and Nationalism, ed. Alan Williams.  New Brunswick, NJ:  Rutgers University Press, 2002.  Pp. 230-48.

"I B Movies e il discorso de Hollywood sul pubblico."  In Studi Americani:  Modi di produzione a Hollywood dalle origini all'era televisiva, ed. Vito Zagarri.  Venezia, Italy:  Marsilio Editori, 1994.  Pp. 263-269.  Trans. Daniele Di Chiappari.

"Announcing Wares, Winning Patrons, Voicing Ideals:  Thinking about the History and Theory of Film Advertising," Cinema Journal, 29, no. 3 (Spring 1990), 3-31.

"Standardization and Independence:  The Founding Objectives of the SMPTE," SMPTE Journal, 96, no. 6 (June 1987), 532-537.

"'The Eyes are Really the Focus':  Photoplay Acting and Film Form and Style," Wide Angle, 6, no. 4 (1985), 14-23.

"Blueprints for Feature Films:  Hollywood's Continuity Scripts," in The American Film Industry, ed. Tino Balio.  2nd ed.  Madison, Wisconsin:  University of Wisconsin Press, 1985. Pp. 173-92.

"'Tame' Authors and the Corporate Laboratory:  Stories, Writers, and Scenarios in Hollywood," The Quarterly Review of Film Studies, 8, no. 4 (Fall 1983), 33-45.

"Combination and Litigation:  Structures of US Film Distribution, 1896-1917," Cinema Journal, 23, no. 1 (Winter 1983), 41-72.

"Individualism versus Collectivism:  The Shift to Independent Production in the US Film Industry," Screen, 24, no. 4-5 (July-October 1983), 68-79.

"Seeing Stars," The Velvet Light Trap, no. 20 (1983), 10-14.

"Mass-Produced Photoplays:  Economic and Signifying Practices in the First Years of Hollywood,"  Wide Angle, 4, no. 2 (1981), 12-27.

"Dividing Labor for Production Control:  Thomas Ince and the Rise of the Studio System," Cinema Journal, 18, no. 2 (Spring 1979), 16-25.

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Cultural and Political Issues of Representation

Political Emotions.  Co-edited: Janet Staiger, Ann Cvetkovich, and Ann Reynolds. New York:  Routledge, 2010. 

Bad Women:  Regulating Sexuality in Early American Cinema, 1907-1915.  Minneapolis, MN:  University of Minnesota Press, 1995. 

"'Based on the True Story of': Political Filmmaking and Analogical Thinking," RS*SI Recherches sémiotiques/Semiotic Inquiry 30, nos. 1-3 (2010) (forthcoming).

"The Significance of Steven Spielberg's Old Mr. Lincoln:  Political Emotions and Intertextual Knowledge," Jump Cut (forthcoming).

“The Cutting Edge:  Emergencies in Visual Culture,” Jump Cut (February 2006), www.ejumpcut. org/currentissue/SchaivoStaiger/index.html.

“Fault Line Stories:  Families, Masculinities and Texas Dynasties,” The Texas Gulf Historical & Biographical Record, 37, no. 2 (November 2001), 45-58.

"Cinematic Shots:  The Narration of Violence."  In The Persistence of History, ed. Vivian Sobchack.  New York:  Routledge/American Film Institute Readers, 1996.  Pp. 39-54.  Rpt. in Perverse Spectators.

"Response to 'Ideology Takes a Day Off:  Althusser and Mass Culture'," Studies in 20th Century Literature, 18, no. 1 (Winter 1994), 55-59.  Rpt. as "The Places of Empirical Subjects in the Event of Mass Culture:  Jeanie Bueller and Ideology" in Perverse Spectators

"Self-Regulation and the Classical Hollywood Cinema," Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, 6, no. 2 (Fall 1991), 221-231.

"Class, Ethnicity, and Gender:  Explaining the Development of Early American Film Narrative," Iris [France], no. 11 (Summer 1990), 13-25.

"Securing the Fictional Narrative as a Tale of the Historical Real:  The Return of Martin Guerre," South Atlantic Quarterly, 88, no. 2 (Spring 1989), 393-413.  Rpt. in Perverse Spectators.

"Future Noir:  Contemporary Representations of Visionary Cities," East-West Film Journal, 3, no. 1 (December 1988), 20-44.

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Genre Theory

“Les Belles Dames sans Merci, Femmes Fatales, Vampires, Vamps, and Gold Diggers: The Transformation and Narrative Value of Aggressive Fallen Women,” in Reclaiming the Archive: Feminism and Film History, ed. Vicki Callahan.  Detroit, MI:  Wayne State UP, 2010.  Pp. 32-57.

 “Film Noir as Male Melodrama: The Politics of Film Genre Labeling,” in The Shifting Definitions of Genre:  Essays on Labeling Films, Television Shows and Media, ed. Lincoln Geraghty and Mark Jancovich.  Jefferson, NC:  McFarland & Company, 2008.  Pp. 71-91.           

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Historical Reception Studies of Film and Television

Media Reception Studies.  New York:  New York University Press, 2005. 

Perverse Spectators:  The Practices of Film Reception.  New York:  New York University Press, 2000.  241pp.  Includes reprints of:

"Modes of Reception," in Le Cinema en Histoire:  Institution cinematographique, reception filmique et reconstitution historique, ed. Andre‚ Gaudreault, Germain Lacasse and Isabelle Raynauld.  Quebec, Canada:  Editions nota bene, 1999.  Pp. 305-323.

“Writing the History of American Film Reception,” in Hollywood Spectatorship:  Changing Perceptions of Cinema Audiences, ed. Melvyn Stokes and Richard Maltby.  London:  British Film Institute, 2001.  Pp. 19-32.

"The Perversity of Spectators:  Expanding the History of Classical Hollywood Cinema," in Moving Images, Culture and the Mind, ed. Ib Bondebjerg.  Luton, England:  University of Luton Press, 2000.  Pp. 19-28.

“The Cultural Productions of A Clockwork Orange,” in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, ed. Stuart Y. McDougal. New York:  Cambridge University Press, 2003.  Pp. 37-60.

"Finding Community in the Early 1960s:  Underground Cinema and Sexual Politics," in Swinging Single: Representing Sexuality in the 1960s, ed. Hilary Radner and Moya Luckett.  Minneapolis, MN:  University of Minnesota Press, 1999.  Pp. 38-74.

"The Romances of the Blonde Venus:  Movie Censors Versus Movie Fans," Canadian Journal of Film Studies, 6, no. 2 (Fall 1997), 5-20.

"Hitchcock in Texas:  Intertextuality in the Face of Blood and Gore," in "As Time Goes By": Festskrift i anledning Bjorn Sorenssens 50-arsday, ed. Gunnar Iversen, Stig Kulset, and Kathrine Skretting.  Trondheim, Norway:    Tapir, 1996.  Pp. 189-197.

"Taboos and Totems:  Cultural Meanings of Silence of the Lambs."  In Film Theory Goes to the Movies, ed. Jim    Collins, Hilary Radner, and Ava Collins.  NY:  Routledge/American Film Institute, 1993.  Pp. 142-54.

Blockbuster TV:  Must-See Sitcoms in the Network Era.  New York:  New York University Press, 2000.  

Interpreting Films:  Studies in the Historical Reception of American Cinema.  Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1992.   

"Creating the Brand:  The Hitchcock Touch," in The Cambridge Companion to Alfred Hitchcock, ed. Jonathan Freedman.  New York: Cambridge University Press (forthcoming).

"'Based on the True Story of': Political Filmmaking and Analogical Thinking," RS*SI Recherches sémiotiques/Semiotic Inquiry 30, nos. 1-3 (2010) (forthcoming).         

"'Nuking the Fridge':  Great Expectations and Affective Reception," in Zuschauer? Swischen Kino und sozialen Netzwerken, ed. Wilfried Pauleit.  Berlin: Bertz + Fischer Verlag, forthcoming.

“’The First Bond Who Bleeds, Literally and Metaphorically’: Gendered Spectatorship for ‘Pretty Boy’ Action Movies,” in Feminism at the Movies, ed. Hilary Radner and Rebecca Springer.  New York: Routledge, 2011.  Pp. 13-24.

“The Centrality of Affect in Reception Studies,” [on Sweeney Todd] in Film-Kino-Zuschauer:  Filmrezeption/Film-Cinema-Spectator: Film Reception, ed. Irmbert Schenk, Margrit Tröhler, and Yvonne Zimmermann.  Marburg, Germany:  Schüren, 2010.  Pp. 85-98.

Kiss Me Deadly:  Cold War Threats from Spillane to Aldrich, New York to Los Angeles, and the Mafia to the H-Bomb,” in New Directions in American Reception Studies, ed. Philip Goldstein and James L. Machor.  NY: Oxford University Press, 2008.  Pp. 279-88.

“The Revenge of the Film Education Movement: Cult Movies and Fan Interpretative Behaviors,” Reception:  Texts, Readers, Audiences, History 1 (Fall 2008), 43-69.  http://www.english.udel.edu/RSSsite/Staiger.pdf

“Cabinets of Transgression:  Collecting and Arranging Hollywood Images,” Particip@tions 1, no. 3 (2005) http://www.participations.org/volume%201/issue%203/1_03_staiger_article.htm

"Film, Reception, and Cultural Studies," The Centennial Review, 36, no. 1(Winter 1992), 89-104.

"Reception Studies:  The Death of the Reader," in The Cinematic Text:  Methods and Approaches, ed. R. Barton Palmer.  Georgia State Literary Studies, no. 3.  New York: AMS Press, 1989.  Pp. 353-68.

"'The Handmaiden of Villainy':  Methods and Problems in Studying the Historical Reception of a Film,"  Wide Angle, 8, no. 1 (1986), 19-27.  Revision reprinted in Interpreting Films.

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Historiographical Issues in Writing Media Histories

Convergence Media History.  Co-edited:  Janet Staiger and Sabine Hake.  New York:  Routledge, 2008. 

"The Wertham Case:  Evaluating Effects of Media Theories," in Moral Panics, Social Fears, and the Media: Historical Perspectives, ed. Sian Nicholas and Tom O'Malley.  New York: Routledge, forthcoming.

“Film History, Film Practices,” Scandia [Sweden] 76, no. 2 (2010), 13-30.

“The Future of the Past,” Cinema Journal  44, no. 1 (Fall 2004), 126-29. 

“Matters of Taste, Subtexts of Rank,” Framework 45, no. 2 (Fall 2004): 76-80.

"Hybrid or Inbred:  The Purity Hypothesis and Hollywood Genre History," Film Criticism, 22, no. 1 (Fall 1997), 5-20.

"The Pleasures and Profits of a Postmodern Film Historiography," Norsk medietidsskrift [Olso,Norway], 2, no. 2 (1995), 7-17.

"This Moving Image I Have Before Me," in Image as Artifact:  The Historical Analysis of Film and Television, ed. John O'Connor.   American Historical Association Institutional Services Program.  Malabar, Florida:  Robert Kreiger Publishers, 1990.  Pp. 247-75.

"The Politics of Film Canons," Cinema Journal, 24, no. 3 (Spring 1985), 4-23.  Dialogue response in 25, no. 1 (Fall 1985), 61-64.

"Theorist, yes, but what of?  Bazin and History," Iris [France], 2, no. 2 (1984), 99-109.

"The History of World Cinema:  Models for Economic Analysis," co-authored:  Janet Staiger and Douglas Gomery, Film Reader, 4 (1979), 35-44.

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Contact Information

512-471-4071
CMA 6.128
Office Hours
  • Not teaching

Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1981